Online Teaching: Innovative Strategies to Make E-learning Better

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The pandemic has completely changed the lifestyle and brought many changes around communities and homes. Earlier as people were prevented from going out, they were doing most of their work from home. Similarly, it also changed the way of imparting education. In education too people are learning more through Internet technology. As schools are closed for the past several months, people have relied heavily on Internet technology to ensure that education and learning are not interrupted. Teachers shifted their teaching style from manual to virtual. But somewhere, children and teachers are facing difficulties while operating e-learning.  What can a teacher do to overcome these difficulties and what are the innovative strategies to make online teaching better and more effective? Let’s discuss them in this article.

Innovative Strategies for Online Teaching:

Now, people have adapted themselves to online learning. But, online teaching may prove less effective for a teacher if we compare it with classroom teaching. This has been a growing concern since there are many teachers with limited skills in advanced technology. We discussed in our previous article that in the future, ed-tech will play a significant role.  Thus there is a need to train the teachers so that they can easily operate technology in education and develop new pedagogy strategies. Online teaching requires teachers to understand various aspects of the technology ecosystem. Teachers are like pillars of the education system that put efforts towards making learning more interesting and innovative.

Here are some strategies which will help teachers to make their online sessions and their teaching interesting.

Prepare a Lesson Plan:

Before initiating a new task, we first prepare a plan for it. Similarly, in teaching, teachers prepare a blueprint that gives them an insight of their teaching activity. In the online mode of learning, teachers should know what, how much and how to deliver the content to students. A plan should be flexible so that while conducting the session, teachers can accommodate the changes according to the specific needs of the students. This planning in advance helps to align the pace of teaching to the syllabus that needs to be covered within a set timeframe.

Set your Goals:

In order to make teaching effective, one should know the aim to achieve teaching-learning goals in specific sessions. Develop a proper strategy and fix your targets. Include the study materials like videos, presentation slides, worksheets, etc. to make your sessions interesting. Set your goals, stay focused and committed until you have achieved them.

Slide show presentation:

In a physical classroom, the teacher teaches with the help of a textbook and many effective teaching aids. But in online teaching, it is quite difficult to use these teaching aids effectively. The use of slide show presentations with multimedia enhances the quality of learning. Text-only slideshow presentations are less creative and deliver the content in a monotonous way.  Use of vibrant colours, colourful images, animations, soundtracks, etc. to presentations makes them appealing to eyes. Therefore, if you add a variety of multimedia elements to the presentations, it could capture the attention of students for a long time.

Videos:

Given the popularity of digital videos, incorporating them into the e-learning process ensures better demonstrations of concepts in discussion, particularly the complex topics that demand a great level of understanding. When the students are able to hear and see the content, it helps to keep them engaged in learning as well as improves comprehension. Content taught using videos is strongly memorized by students. The videos are one of the most creative and convenient teaching aids that can be viewed anytime and from anywhere. Sessions can also be recorded by teachers for further reference. Inculcation of videos will help the learners to increase their digital competence.

Virtual Tour:

Students get excited about field trips. If there are situations like pandemic, organizing a field trip is not possible, so take them on a virtual tour. The teacher can simulate a virtual field trip with different applications. For instance, during history lessons, the teacher can show the students videos of historical places. Teachers can also teach the students about the Earth and its structure in a practical way. They can visit a foreign country virtually and learn about their culture and more. A virtual tour will engage the students as visual activities enhance the learning.

Engage with Learners:

In online teaching, teachers need the attention of their students right from the beginning of the session to maintain an effective learning environment. In physical learning, it is easily possible but while teaching virtually, teachers have to make an extra effort in doing so. For this teachers have to make themselves visible and available to the students through a camera. They have to greet the students like any traditional class and make them feel welcome to the session.

Be available for them after your session to clear their doubts. Ask questions and try to involve students in discussions. Teachers can also share educational posts, forums on social media so that students can take part in the discussions. This will enable the students to stay updated with extra information outside the learning environment and in turn students will feel connected with the teachers.

Enhance collaborative learning:

As an online teacher, you have an opportunity to create a supportive online learning environment for your learners. At the start of your online class, encourage students to interact in the session. Engage the students in different activities by assigning them after-class projects. Create an online open platform where learners can post their requests and can get assistance from their classmates. This helps in developing peer-to-peer support. Learners can complete their assignments through video calling at a particular time. Make students work in teams virtually which enhances collaborative learning and encourages learners to work together as an active learning community.

Provide Feedback:

Feedback is an essential component of all the effective learning environments. Feedback given by online teachers will help to create an e-learning experience that is motivational for learners. Teachers during online sessions should give continuous feedback to the students. This constructive feedback helps students to identify which aspect they have to work on to improve their learning. Ongoing feedback is very important in online education as it is informative and engaging. Educators or teachers can encourage group feedback through collaborative exercises which also helps to promote peer engagement.

Management of online platforms:

Technology is now offering more ways to communicate with our students than ever before. So, it is important to find engaging platforms that offer holistic services. But before that, a teacher should learn to use them properly. It is also important for teachers to know how technology can be integrated for different subjects based on the requirements. This is so because, if the teacher didn’t have the skills to operate them, they wouldn’t be able to use it effectively and efficiently during the class.

In the online mode of teaching, it is required to know about the e-learning apps, synchronous teaching, using the Internet, plug-in devices and the requisite skills. Teachers can upgrade their skills to use technology in education. When they work fluently then only they can deliver the content effectively. Teachers also need to be familiar with tools to conduct online quizzes, tests and evaluate assignments.

Remedial Teaching:

It is genuine to have individual differences among the students because every child is different. In a physical classroom, it is easier for teachers to understand the individual difference. But digital learning needs more attention by teachers to understand this difference. Teachers should make their learning methods more diagnostic. Diagnostic assessments reduce the need to re-teach the concepts taught online when the schools reopen and classroom teaching resumes.

In these assessments, teachers can evaluate students’ strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and skills before their instruction. Diagnostic assessments are a form of pre-assessment and the teacher should intervene this with remedial teachings. Remedial teaching helps to identify slow learners and provides them the necessary help and guidance. Through remedial teaching, learners can overcome their problems, after identifying their areas of difficulty.

Why do we need to strategize virtual teaching?

Students feel a strong personal connection with their teachers. They talk with them and teachers provide constructive guidance to them. Teachers sometimes criticize students and sometimes even praise them. This builds trust between students and teachers. Because of this, students show more engagement in learning and behave better in class. Positive teacher-student relationships draw students into the process of learning and promote their desire to learn.

If teachers face difficulties in using technology in education, how they would motivate students to learn. It is so difficult for teachers to give attention to every single student. Apart from conducting classroom sessions online, they also have the responsibility to develop the digital format of the teaching materials. Therefore in order to enhance learning, to strengthen student-teacher relationship and to achieve educational goals through the digital world, it is important to bring innovative strategies to the teaching system.

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