7 Guidelines for Effective Online Teaching During Lockdown

Saturday, May 16, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we do things. It has forced schools and other public facilities to close down to limit new infections.

Instructors that are used to in-person lecturers have been forced to adapt to online teaching.

Since we know it can be difficult to make the switch, we’ve prepared a list of guidelines to help you make online teaching more effective.

The following tips suggested by EFL Learning Centre, an English school in Chiang Mai which currently also use online teaching methods during the COVID-19 pandemic, have proven useful in the past.

7 Guidelines for Effective Online Teaching During Lockdown

  1. Make the Lectures Engaging

    Classroom lectures are often long and very engaging because the instructor can monitor the students. With online learning, things are slightly different. Your students are in a different location, and you can’t see what they are doing except what they show you on the webcam. To make the class more effective, make online learning more engaging. Divide the class into discussions and short exercises. Don’t lecture throughout, let the students contribute to the lesson.

  2. Inclusive Learning

    Although we have the fastest internet speeds in the world, we still experience downtime. For effective online teaching, design a course that will factor in different internet speeds. You may have students from other parts of the world where internet connectivity is not as good. Make your online course more inclusive by factoring in different bandwidths.

  3. Have a Backup Plan

    Technology is not perfect, and you may experience connection problems during a live session. Be prepared to take action if that happens. Familiarize yourself with the technology so that you know what to do in such situations. Create a backup solution that your students can use as you fix the connection problem.

  4. Avoid Long Lectures

    People that go online have a very short attention span. If you want your students to remain attentive, make the classes short. Divide them into short 10-minute videos. You should also avoid long PowerPoint presentations. Make them short so that learners can take breaks in between lecture sessions. Include questions at the end of those lecturers so that learners can recap what they have learnt. Also, if you’re going to send the student learning materials, add some pictures and infographics so that they don’t get bored reading long text.

  5. Lay Down the Ground Rules

    Before you begin teaching the online course, let students know what you expect from them. They should know how they are going to be graded. Let them know that failure to attend a live session and participate will lead to a loss in marks. Let them know how you will be communicating with one another and how takeaway assignments will be handled. They should know how they can reach you when they have an urgent question. Setting expectations lets students know that you’ll be taking the online sessions seriously.

  6. Set the Stage

    Use interpersonal skills to make the online course livelier. Look straight into the webcam so that students can see that you’re maintaining eye contact. Also, the sound should be clear so that students don’t have to struggle to hear from you. Lighting is another crucial element. Your students should be able to see your face. During live sessions, turn off anything that may be too noisy and distracting to the learners. Remind them to also switch off any noisy devices and look for a quiet room to enjoy the lecture.

  7. Small Classes

    When you have too many learners logged into a lecture, it becomes difficult to engage them. If you wait for all 50 students to respond through live chat, the class will take too long. It is better if you divide the students into groups of 8. Create a schedule for every group so that all students know when you expect them to be online.

With students forced to learn from home because of COVID-19, you have to make the lessons fun and engaging so that the learners learn something. Use the above tips to make those online courses more effective. Also, the more you do it, the better you’ll become at online teaching.

About the Author

Patrick-Watt-imagePatrick Watt is a content writer, writing in several areas, primarily in business growth, value creation, M&A, and finance. Other interests also include content marketing and self-development. Say hi to Patrick on Twitter @patrickwattpat

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