With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, many educational institutions have resorted to holding online classes for the academic year. When it comes to online teaching, most teachers would want to familiarize themselves with their students and find ways to build trust between them.
It’s one of the most effective ways to create discipline in your online classroom. Here are some tips that you can follow that help you to improve your online teaching presence.
When it comes to teaching in physical classrooms, it’s easier for teachers to rely on other means of communication to maintain discipline in their classrooms. Such as using their tone of voice and facial expressions.
Online virtual classrooms are a completely different matter. Students are more focused on their teachers’ presence and how they engage with them through the assignments, tests, and e-mails provided by them.
Teachers should adapt to the virtual classroom environment and ensure that students are engaged throughout their lessons. They must also make sure that the students are well informed about the rules and timings of their online classes. You can still be understanding and build rapport with students in an online classroom provided that they cooperate.
Dr. Judith V. Boettcher, the author of A Faculty Guide for Moving Teaching and Learning to the Web, emphasizes the interaction of teachers with their students. The author says that the way teachers interact with their students plays a big role in creating a relationship of trust.
There are questions that teachers must ask themselves when teaching, such as, are their students able to catch up with the syllabus that they are teaching? Are they able to reach out to the teachers when they have doubts? And are they following and obeying the rules that have been established? Etc.
To gain good results from your students in your online classroom, it’s important that you try to provide them with reasons to stay motivated and continue working hard. Many students fall behind due to a lack of motivation, so how can you help them improve?
You can start by allowing students to choose what exercises they want to start solving first in their lessons or allowing them to study at their own pace and even creating tasks and activities for them to engage. This allows them to learn and understand topics better.
Another reason is giving students helpful feedback. Most teachers leave little notes and remarks after checking their assignments; this method helps students be more aware of the areas they lack and how they can improve those areas. You can also give them words of encouragement to not feel disheartened if they make mistakes.
Last but not least, you can hold small competitions, set prizes like virtual gold stars, etc. This is one of the most effective ways to motivate students, but make sure that it doesn’t cause any fights or arguments among students. Instead of making students compete individually, you could also separate them into teams. This allows them to be able to depend on their classmates and work together.
As a teacher, you are provided with a wide variety of tools that you can use in your online classes to help make teaching easier. These tools are also used to create an optimal environment for online classes. This kind of technology allows students to stay organized and collaborate much like their physical classrooms.
It’s important that teachers leverage modern tools to interact with students and make it easier for them to understand their curriculum. They can experiment with different visuals and audio tools to make the content more engaging and interesting for students.
These help to improve student engagement and encourage them to participate in the classroom. Keep in mind, they’re not just designed for students, but teachers as well. Teachers can harness these tools to prep and organize material before each lesson, so there is no delay or interruptions once the class has started.
For example, an application software called Islamic Finder helps teachers to find relevant and authentic content related to the Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It also allows teachers to prepare and sort their teaching material according to the order in which they will teach their pupils.
Even researcher Charles Hodges, Professor at Georgia Southern University, states that effective online learning is a result of strategic planning and sequencing of lessons.
In 2015, a report was conducted involving approximately 50 studies that explored the relationship between student-teacher clarity. The results declared that the higher the level of clarity, the higher the effectiveness of student learning.
It’s important to keep in mind that it’s easy to forget that online classes should be controllable and easy to understand. It’s also important to keep in mind that your online presence is not communicated by your attitude and stance but by your online classroom’s clarity and organization. Being able to help and guide students through their doubts is what it means to have a strong online presence.
Since you know that giving feedback to students about their work and behavior allows them to improve, grow, and change some of their habits. You should be able to allow students to share their feedback with you about your teaching style.
This gives you the chance to reflect on your behavior as a teacher and what you can do to improve in the areas that you lack. You can give them questions to ask you, such as if they find it easy to understand what you teach. Do they comfortable around you? Do they find your work organized? And what can you do to improve your online classes and make the lectures more interesting?
These types of questions make it easier for you to figure out what your students expect from you in future classes and how you can be a better teacher.
Adding these tips into your teaching technique allows you to improve your online presence and set a steady pace when conducting your online classes. Thus, students will be able to keep up with the syllabus and grasp the concepts that teachers try so hard to convey.
Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Muslim & Quran.