The ways of the world are evolving at an unimaginable pace and technology is at the forefront of these transformations. While every sphere of life is undergoing transition, education is no different. Education of all sorts and in all parts of the world is going increasingly remote. Virtual classrooms and online learning define the new normal in global education.
To substantiate, as per Cision, the global remote learning market is anticipated to reach USD 180.9 billion by the end of 2026. This hints at a major shift in the way education will be conducted in the coming years. Having said that, you as an educator need to embrace this change and diversify your teaching skills for the effective management of online classes.
Needless to say, the increasing expanse of remote learning does offer a fair share of benefits to educators. Today, you can even work as a freelance teacher from the comfort of your home. However, managing a virtual classroom can be easier said than done. Virtual classrooms are highly scattered and highly vulnerable to disruptions. Having said that, managing online classrooms requires a dedicated approach. What is this approach we are laying emphasis on?
This blog sheds light on the most effective strategies for managing online classes. As an educator, you can find a perfect guide in this blog when it comes to managing virtual classrooms. These strategies will ensure that you advance your teaching and management skills coherently with the changing regime of global education. So, let us get started without further ado.
- Master the Technology
Everything is going digital and there is no way the education sector can give a blind eye to this fact. Regardless of what you teach or where you teach from you must equip yourself with the required digital skillsets to be able to handle online classes or fit in, in the evolving learning field.
Virtual learning is associated with a range of advantages that stream from flexibility and affordability, but it also has its downside. Constraints may not only spring from the student’s end, but they can also arise from a teacher’s side and the biggest challenge is technical issues. So, it’s always essential to prepare for the unexpected.
There are currently many technologies and tools that can support online teaching and learning and these include Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Canvas, YouTube, Screen Capture, and Blackboard among others. These technologies can help teachers conduct real-time learning sessions with students, create videos, and also share them.
As a teacher, try to discover the latest technologies and platforms that can connect you with your students. Utilizing the right technology based on the subject can help you maintain enthusiasm and a positive attitude among your students. If it requires you to assign up for an online teaching program to attain the required management skills then go for it. With this, it will show how professional and updated you are. In this digital world, constantly upscaling your digital literacy is the key to self-improvement and success.
- Create an Ideal Learning Environment
With the traditional teaching style, teachers always ensure to keep the highest standards of discipline in a class. But how can you keep up the same in a virtual classroom?
As a lecturer ensure to select a decent room or space, which is away from distractions and disruptions such as noise. Besides, as the leader of the class, you also ought to encourage your students to do the same.
The initial phase of the lockdown treated us with all sorts of video meeting fails which in some cases were embarrassing. Although there may be no assurance that such similar incidents may not take place during online classes, it is essential not to make it a habit.
We are also currently surrounded by different gadgets like smartphones and tablets that may make it easy for students to lose focus. With that, it is necessary for a teacher to be a great observer to minimize distractions.
Besides, creating an ideal learning environment also means that you need to set clear expectations and communicate the instructions clearly. For instance, if you are assigning a coursework writing assignment to your students, they should know all the details and guidelines with utmost clarity. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to maintain that clarity and transparency in the learning environment.
3. Prioritize Engagement
Apart from technical problems, online teaching can be hampered by poor communication. Reverting to students on time is very crucial. Your students may expect you to respond to their emails within 24 hours, however, when you take 2 days, it may just put them off. Some may even stop interacting with you, yet they need you.
Also, although convenient, it’s so easy for students to feel left out or disconnected from their peers and the tutor may not even realize it. For that matter, try to discover student learning capabilities and difficulties and engage with them accordingly. You can motivate them by sharing real-life experiences, and planning workshops or online discussion groups to fill in the gaps.
Encourage each student to share views during the session and where necessary, strike up topics that are related to usual life or lifestyles. Always begin your live sessions with a captivating story or ask each individual student how he or she is. With this, you will be able to discover one’s emotional status and you can connect with them accordingly.
4. Plan Well & Always Prepare in Advance
Want to stay at the top of this game? Ensure time management, always prepare in advance, and plan for the unexpected! Virtual classes can really be enjoyable, however, they are prone to failure if they do not have a reliable support system. So, you always need to have a clear backup plan.
Before conducting the real-time session, ensure that you have all the required materials to avoid going off-course. Always use a mix of teaching methods such as videos, recorded audio, and digital pamphlets to support your work. Also, provide content via emails, WhatsApp groups, or Google Classroom to ensure that students who couldn’t join the live sessions catch up with others.
If you started teaching online a decade ago, it’s best to understand that what worked suitably then may not work today. So it’s essential to keep in touch with your students and know what resonates with them.
As a teacher, ensure to craft a timetable that considers the nature of your students. Create a favorable timetable that is within the normal working hours. Remember that with all efforts, time management is crucial. Encouraging your students to attend classes as scheduled can help you complete the syllabus on time. It also provides ample relaxing time for them.
The bottom line is, to succeed in managing online classes, you need to set SMART objectives for planning, organizing, and executing your tutor duties.
5. Cultivate a Culture of Feedback
When it comes to online class management, feedback is a two-way thing. It’s not just a matter of you the teacher responding to student queries or telling them how to perform better. You should seek student response (feedback) about your style of teaching, the technologies used, or the material in use.
Occasionally, interact with your students to find out how they feel while attending your classes. In case they face any obstacles, you should enquire about them at regular intervals. Besides, you also need to ask for their feedback to know whether they are able to access the digital learning material conveniently. Considering your students’ opinions will help you improve your online teaching skills and management capabilities.
Whether online classes are new to you or not, there is a lot to discover with each passing day. Also, remember that online classes are highly influenced by you- the teacher. Your punctuality, professionalism, and dedication will inspire your class. Check out the latest online teaching styles to keep pace with the new learning culture and encourage self-paced learning.
Author Bio: Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer’s thoughts are well suited to Kiara Miller. She has been working as a content marketing professional at ‘The Speakingnerd’. Her passion for writing is also visible in the innovative joys of material she provides to her readers.