It is not always easy to connect via webcam and keeping the brain of students stimulated requires creativity. If you want to teach online, then the skillsets you will use will be completely different from the ones you usually use while teaching in-person.
As you know, there are so many potential distractions at home which might make it more difficult for online teachers to keep students interested in what they are being taught, motivated, and engaged.
As an online teacher, you might have been thinking of how you can make your students enjoy their lessons and how to make the class more engaging and lively. Well, in this article, we will talk about some of the effective ways that you can make online learning more engaging. With that being said, let us proceed.
- Make the best online presentation of yourself (Visuals & Audio)
Ensure that your appearance is presentable if the students are seeing your video. The location where you are in should as well look presentable.
Tip: You can get rid of distractions by making use of a very simple background.
Try as much as possible for your face to look interested and engaged in what your students are saying as it would make them motivated. You need to be extremely patient with them. Another thing to take note of is that your whole visual materials, including the videos and slides, must be of high quality.
Whenever you want to introduce a new activity, try to change your voice tone. You should know how to teach in a storytelling manner, and when you want to offer praise, let it be loud. All of these can be encouraging to your students. Also, ensure that you are making use of high-quality audio clips. A reliable and strong internet connection is also a plus.
- Utilize Online Learning technology to the fullest
There are so many challenges that are associated with teaching online, but most platforms online gives you access to cool tools. Whether you are making use of text editors, breakout rooms, virtual games, pointers, screen-sharing tools, file editors, drawing tools, or whiteboards, you can keep your students engaged by making use of the technology.
The first thing is to learn how to make use of the above-mentioned virtual tools. Then, explain to your students how they can also make use of it. This gives them a level of confidence. Think about practical ways that you can make your lessons lively with them. For example, you can entice the students with fun rewards.
- Find out what inspires the students
To get your students involved, you should take your time to know what keeps them engaged in a class. This helps for both online and face-to-face classrooms. If you were once a brick-structure classroom teacher who later started teaching online, still teach like you are seeing your students face-to-face. Try out different new things with them until you know what they love best.
- Set goals for them and help them stick to the goals
This is another effective way that you can make online learning more engaging. When you set goals for the students, also help them to stick to those goals and track their progress.
One way to set goals is to create clear outlines for each lesson and share them with the students. This will help them to know what they are doing, the context for their activities, and where they are. Then, think of ways that you can reward the students for working very hard to finish their tasks.
You can give them points, badges, play games with them, give them positive feedback, or engage in other fun and educative activities that your students love.
- Keep the class interactive
It is often challenging to read long texts on the screen. Breaking things into portions is much easier. If an online class is silent, it would be easy for the students to drift their attention to other things. So, plan activities that will keep them actively typing, talking, or clicking all through the lesson.
This can be done by including games in the lessons, asking so many questions, and ensuring that there are physical things that the students can be doing, like typing or using drawing tools. Also, make sure that you allow your students to speak every few minutes.
- Break the lessons down
When teaching online, timing is very important, and it would be better for you to break the online lessons down, making them small and easily digestible compared to how you handle a face-to-face class. This practically means that you should avoid too many texts in your slides and lengthy explanations. You can add different types of activities to make time run faster for the students.
- Make them feel valued
It is undeniable that most students feel isolated while in an online classroom, and this can dampen their motivation. The students can easily decide not to attend the online class because of tiredness or they can even begin to think that their absence in a class will not be noticed.
To prevent these, it is important to make your students know that they are valued. You can do this by learning and making use of your student’s name, teaching them your name, giving them regular feedback after submitting their work, staying positive with them, encouraging them, knowing what the students love and using them to teach, revising with them, and many more.
- Be patient with them
It is not always easy to keep online students stimulated and engaged as anyone would say. You should remember that sometimes, younger students find it hard to sit and focus in class for a long time. So, always give your students a short break and maintain your patience with them. It is easy for your students to know when you are frustrated or annoyed when something is not going right. So, patience will make a huge difference.
At first, it might be a challenge to master online environments. But, when you put in a little effort, you will help your students love their experience, and they will always be happy to attend your online classes. We hope that the above-mentioned tips can help you make online learning more engaging.