Tips for Creating a Successful Online School Schedule
on May 21, 2021
One of the most important aspects of online teaching is the creation of an effective, efficient and comprehensive school schedule. Just like students in traditional schools, students who attend an online school do their best work when the day is well-structured. Creating an online schedule that suits everyone’s needs, however, can be difficult. Your students may come from different time zones, be used to different learning styles, and have their own well-established routines. Taking all of these factors into account, in addition to encouraging student collaboration and creating a timeline to ensure consistent progress, is a challenge, to say the least.
But it is possible. Below we’re going to take a look at a number of tips that you can use to help create a successful online school schedule.
Curate your schedule according to the needs of your students
Every student has different needs, and the best schedule should be one that takes every variability into account. The best way to discover exactly what these needs are is by speaking directly to your students. Ask them about their past online learning experiences – what they found appealing about it and what they struggled with. It also helps to know what other commitments they have in their lives so that you know when and how often they will be available. Lastly, it’s crucial to understand each student’s optimal learning style, so you can tailor your schedule accordingly for the maximum benefit of each individual.
Include a comprehensive course introduction
Proper course introductions let the student know what they’re in for right from the start of the course, and also helps them conceptualize the workload ahead. A comprehensive introduction should acquaint the students with your vision of the course and demonstrate how it meets their preferences. It should also include a content outline and comprehensive timeline so that they can plan accordingly.
By explaining everything this way, you’re showing that the school has done its research when it comes to making online education manageable and effective.
Maximize engagement wherever possible
Since online schooling is more flexible than traditional classes, students tend to complete their assignments and activities whenever it is convenient for them. By allocating due dates ahead of time, you give students a realistic time frame of when work has to be completed by, and empower them to manage their time more effectively. This makes it easier for students to complete their assignments while simultaneously maximizing engagement.
Other steps you could take to increase this engagement is to touch base individually with students about whatever part of the curriculum you’re currently working on every couple of weeks. This will make them feel more included in the course and help assuage any doubts they have about the work. You might also plan small content-reviews at specific times during the course, just to ensure that everyone is up to speed.
Schedule time for breaks
Students, just like everyone else, can’t work consistently forever. From time to time, they will need to take a minute and recover their mental stamina, which is why it’s important to schedule regular breaks. Encourage your class to stand up, stretch, or maybe even take a stroll for a few minutes before they sit down to work again. It may seem counterintuitive since breaks technically take away from learning time, but think of it as quality over quantity. Less high-quality minutes spent learning are better than more low-quality ones. Breaking up the day with regular breaks also makes any workload much more bearable to accomplish.