Last Updated: July 29, 2021.
New information technologies have created new paradigms in the world of education. One of them is online classes. It may be uncharted territory for many people. But don’t worry, by using the proper teaching techniques, you can get results as good as or better than traditional teaching methods.
Here we will tell you about the importance of digital learning and six practical tips for its application.
Digital learning and online classes in the modern world
The trend of digital learning (or e-learning for short) or online classes is growing globally, and this is not surprising, as information technology has given millions of people access to education.
Today, quality education can be obtained anytime, anywhere, and by anyone from simple students or paper writers to politicians. All you need is just a smart device.
With these possibilities in mind, e-learning was created as a structured course or learning experience delivered electronically.
The importance of e-learning and online classes
Online classes and e-learning are a learning method and a technological solution that enables education to be delivered to more people in a shorter time without being affected by distance or time availability.
It also offers learners personalized and appropriate content that they can learn at their own pace, according to their own convenience and needs.
The role of the teacher in e-learning or online classes
While online classes can benefit both teachers and learners, this method also has its difficulties. In this sense, as a teacher, you should be aware that online classes have some different demands than traditional ones.
It requires preparation and effort to create a good study plan. Because, as in traditional education, in the virtual classroom, a large part of the education lies with the teacher.
Being an online teacher is not just about making video calls. It is also about the teacher’s decision-making ability. That means how teachers decide to respond and interact with students, select curriculum materials, organize learning and use communication strategies.
6 tips for being a good teacher when giving online classes
To help you be the best e-learning teacher, here are six strategies for teaching the best online classes.
- Use appropriate Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Try to use ICTs as tools to support the delivery and sharing of knowledge in your online class.
These tools will allow you to develop and adjust your course content. In addition, you will be able to give and get real-time feedback through different tools and online classroom platforms.
Create didactic teaching material such as videos, graphics or others, to make the learning process more participatory.
- Devise a learner-centered teaching strategy
Successful online teaching must be learner-centered. Knowing how to motivate learners is essential.
Virtual education requires much more motivational work than traditional education. Therefore, as a teacher, you must develop strategies to maintain student retention and interaction when teaching online to avoid students dropping out of the class.
- Establish course competencies
When planning the organization of your online classes, remember to inform your students of the set of competencies they will acquire at the end of the course. It is also essential to find out their expectations of the course.
It is also essential that you clarify their doubts and problems promptly. In this way, you will ensure that the students in your online classes are clear about the why and what for of the course, motivating them to learn.
- Stay in touch
Students should be able to communicate with you even outside of class. You can achieve this by using different methods of communication and checking in daily or hourly. Tools such as e-mails and forums are some of the ways you can be present in your online classroom.
But remember to set boundaries at the beginning of the course. Establish clear guidelines for your students to communicate with you — for example, no writing after 6:00 pm.
- Get to know your students
Take the time to get to know your students. Analyze your audience and take into account essential elements that can affect the educational process. You should pay attention to the aspects such as level of instruction, learning behaviors, time availability, etc.
You should also consider whether they know how to use the technological tools you expect to apply. Remember that teaching young university students is not the same as teaching older people with little technological knowledge.
- Keep your learning modules short
Avoid extremely long modules in your online classes. Long and tedious content is the perfect combination to disengage your audience.
Short lessons allow students to understand and commit to studying the material thoroughly. Divide lessons into short modules, separated by interactive activities such as quizzes or short assignments.
The digital age has brought significant changes that you can take advantage of to be a better teacher when teaching online. Use the tips here to help you succeed and get the most out of your online classes.