Here are some tips and tricks that can help teachers organize online classes effortlessly and engage students better.

As schools remain closed for an extended period and the verdict for online classes continues, teachers must prepare for the new normal with LIVE online learning. E-learning has seen exponential adoption among students during this pandemic and schools as well as institutes have shifted to an online mode to ensure that learning in India never stops. While this continues to benefit students, the shift from offline to online platforms has been a challenge for many teachers as they are unaccustomed to teaching in the virtual world.

Here are some tips and tricks that can help teachers organize online lessons effortlessly and engage students better:

1. Additional Content – Online platforms currently used by schools are not conducive to teaching and content is also seen as a challenge because online is not about “writing and teaching”. Subjects are taught on slides and therefore a teacher needs a lot of extra material. One can create a slide before a class starts using material from sources such as NCERT on PowerPoint or Google Slides, so the reliance on writing everything is reduced. Teachers can also use Viacom as a notepad to write on a ppt. In case one is not adept at creating an online presentation, all you need is a whiteboard and a marker to write down the key points and do a virtual session. Therefore, it can be a combination of technology and tools available offline.

2. Keep the video on – Studies have shown that students are more attentive and engaged on an online platform when the teacher keeps the video on. Even if the teacher uses slides to teach, it is recommended that you show your face between slides.

3. Fixed schedule – It is found that while learning online, students tend to be less serious about the sessions. It is always advisable to set a schedule for sessions in advance to create a sense of seriousness as well as a life of routine.

4. Increase student participation – The session should include activities that students can participate in, making the session a two-way communication. Student participation will increase overall attention and engagement. Teachers can include activities such as polls and quizzes to exercise their minds.

5. Test your slides – Many students can attend the session online from their mobile phones, which requires the slides to be displayed efficiently on a small screen. A teacher should ensure that the slides they create look good on smaller screens without being cropped.

6. Use accessible content – Content used by teachers should be easily accessible to students. For this, one can either use pre-developed content or share the source with the students. Accessible content will help children learn better and remember it longer because they can review it later.

7. Provide and receive feedback in a timely manner – It is very important to provide feedback to students to help them improve and stay engaged during the course. Therefore, regular intervals of feedback will benefit students, take timely action, and help them focus better on the course. Giving feedback is as important as receiving it. Timely feedback from students will, in turn, help teachers understand gaps in their teaching process and make the necessary changes to improve at each stage. This approach will create a two-way feedback process.

8. Address the issue of connectivity – Many students may not have a stable internet connection. It becomes very important for the teachers to help these students and compensate for the missed sessions by finding a reasonable solution for the same.

9. Community building – Building relationships in an online course is considerably more difficult than in a face-to-face environment. While video chats are effective and human, they simply don’t equate to being in the same room. For this reason, it is important to create a sense of community among students, so that they feel part of a group and want to continue learning together.

10. Have a backup plan – There may be situations where there will be technical/connectivity issues where links or videos may not work properly. It is best to have a backup plan for all assessments and assignments that is online based. It is best to be transparent with students about technology failures.

As teachers around the world successfully shift into high gear to go virtual, it’s important to realize that it takes practice and patience to improve the art of teaching online. With these tips, teachers will be able to engage with multiple students in an online classroom and both students and teachers can expect more interactive sessions.