Teach Online – 8 Handy Tips from Experts

If you want to teach online, I strongly recommend you to watch this video. It features Joanna Dunlap, Assistant Director for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Colorado-Denver and Patrick Lowenthal, Instructional Designer, Boise State University, coming up, out of their experience and expertise in the field, with some really important lessons on how to teach online!

Highlighting 8 tips for you that might just come handy while you teach online

1. High-Touch over High-Tech : What would you do if a student asks you a question that needs your answer for a lesson he or she went through on your course. When your students want their questions to be answered or they want to brainstorm an idea you want to be efficient. According to Joanna Dunlap, the best way is to telephone them and talk individually. You would wonder that it is not a way of online teaching. But she disagrees to it saying everything is technology and when it brings the best to you and best for you.

2. Digital Story Telling: Patrick Lowenthal speaks more about the best practices to teach online. He understands that to establish social presence while you teach online is possible through digital storytelling. i.e., Teaching through a variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives like web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, narrative computer games (such as Neverwinter Nights), audio and video podcasts. May be an animated video narration of the objectives that you would want to cover makes more striking than putting those objectives in a ppt slides. When creating such stories, however, it’s important to keep in mind the goals of teaching online.

When we read a story it compels us emotionally, we very well remember each character and concepts involved. Sometimes they stick in our brain for a life time. We tend to relate to the story to our own feelings and challenges we experienced before or the situation we come across. This automatically makes the subject matter an experience that sticks to our brain, because we are connecting with it on a deeper level. It has more impact on our memory because it is not only bound to our minds but also to our hearts. But, ensure that the story you tie into is rooted to the core ideology of the lesson, or else it won’t be of any value to your students.

3. Using Technology Intentionally : We always want to use new tools and new social media community new means of technology when we teach online but Joanna Dunlap says use them intentionally. Using technology where it is unnecessary makes no sense and brings no value to your content. We need to think what is it that we want to achieve ultimately while we teach online. What is the outcome we want. So, if you include too many animation a simple slide or an image does the needful you can actually distracting the student. As a teacher you would agree that it is to educate your students is what you intend to do.

4. External Resources : Patrick Lowenthal also emphasizes on using a lot of External resources so that you are well informed and efficient about the subject you teach online. Just as we get really some of the powerful external resources to conserve out there like on internet that if you just take the time to look you could amazingly use them to supplement your online courses. So you don’t have to do all the work yourself or it doesn’t always have to be contained in the textbook

5.Being explicit : Keep your lessons concise. Break the lengthy paragraphs into bullet points. Do not overload a lesson with too much information. In such case split them into multiple lessons, and highlight key points. If you find any idea or concept complicated try illustrating them through graphs or charts. Whole idea is ultimately to keep your content clear and concise so as to achieve your objectives of teaching online. Extraneous information and visual imagery simply distracts your students.

6. Fun and the unexpected : Make teaching fun says Joanna Dunlap. Your lessons should be in the form that the learner is engaged in the entire process till the end. Fun and playfulness and the unexpected doing something that’s different that can really jolt the student and re-energize them and re-engage them in a way that allows them to express themselves creatively so it’s not just that writing an essay, write a screenplay instead that demonstrate your understanding of these concepts so anything that adds a little playfulness re-engages people and makes the online experience not feel so like a cookie-cutter.

7. Login Regularly : Once you start to teach online you have to login regularly to your eLearning school and you probably should plan at least five times weekly to be along in your course. It doesn’t mean you have to login all five days a week but you always have to buy that time to see what your students are up to and at least by having a regular login schedule you will be able to connect to your students efficiently. They probably have questions for you on modules in the course and they need your inputs. It’s not like once your course is out there you can sit back and relax. The most successful teachers online are those who persistently followup on their students progress.

8. Personal Feedback:  Everyone asks for feedback. Even a free app that you download from the playstore. But how effective the feedback should be? Your feedback to the student you teach online in the form of an email or a text can simply make no impact on them or they scan through it and its the negative feedback that strikes more says Patrick Lowenthal. He suggests keeping the feedback personal like the voice or video version. It actually helps them to connect with you personally even to the voice inflection. They find your feedback meaningful and they walk with a positive thought. Such feedback can motivate them to further to do more and better. With mere text typed feedback the negative goes in and the positive just escape away.

It takes a lot of effort to teach online and emerge with outstanding response. Thanks to online teachers who share their experiences for the benefit of others. You can start to teach online with easy quiz maker like Learnyst in not more than five minutes. Visit www.learnyst.com to know more. 

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