Teaching Strategies for Remote Learning
on October 13, 2020
As the world transitions to remote learning and teachers everywhere begin to compile digital curriculums, there’s still one question that remains to be answered: how do we teach online? We have the tools, resources, and student body, but it’s the methodology that needs to be transitioned from traditional in-person teaching to the online forum. In an attempt to answer this question, we’re going to look at a number of tips that can be used to effectively hone your online teaching strategy.
Establish your presence as a teacher
Just as you would in a normal classroom setting, it’s important to establish your presence as a teacher right away. Welcome your students and introduce yourself. Give them an insight into who you are as a person – your interests, background, books you enjoy, and teaching philosophies. Outline the learning outcomes and content of the course that you’re about to teach and get them familiar with it and you. This initial phase is all about establishing a community where your students know you and feel comfortable in your (digital) presence.
Equip yourself with the best possible tools
The saying that a workman is only as good as his tools applies to professions of all varieties, including teaching. In an online context, having the right tools is especially important as it’s going to have a direct, measurable impact on how well you connect with your students. On a basic hardware level, this means having an effective computer, camera, and microphone. Every technical glitch that occurs further severs the already tenuous attention span of children, teenagers, and young adults in your classroom, so the less these occur the better.
Software is likewise an incredibly important tool, and is instrumental in planning courses, distributing assignments, and grading students. a.school, for example, allows for effective class and schedule planning, and student management. Likewise, Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime are all practical video-calling apps.
Set clear goals and recognize milestones
One of the best and easiest ways to motivate and encourage students (or anyone for that matter) is through goal-setting. The efficacy of goal-setting has been studied and well-documented by various psychologists and education institutions, and have been cited by many of the world’s most prosperous people as one of the powerful tools for achieving success. Having goals helps students break down complex, seemingly insurmountable exercises into more easily-achievable tasks. Surmounting these smaller tasks is also important for maintaining motivation and fostering a love of learning.
Make online learning as interactive as possible
Even in the best of times, most students don’t enjoy staring at a wall of text in the hopes of imbibing the knowledge trapped within its emotionless lines. Learning has to be an interactive, reciprocal exercise that encourages discourse and conversation. When possible, encourage communication, social interaction, and group work between students. Make use of not only textbooks or websites, but also videos, songs, games, and other engaging media. You should also ask students for feedback and encourage them to apply their knowledge in a variety of different ways so that it can be reviewed, critiqued, and rewarded.