In the recent times, online learning has become the trend. Learning online allows individuals to learn a subject or topic from anywhere in the world. All you need is a stable internet connection. Online education has become immensely popular due to its flexibility in learning and conducting classes. It provides a sense of convenience to learners as well as teachers without geography being a barrier. With the grave time that we are facing due to the Covid-19 outbreak, online learning might just be the future of education.
Online education is available to everyone with an internet connection and a display screen, irrespective of their age. Online learning enables students to carry out distance learning, not miss a class due to health issues, and geography is no more a hurdle. An online course may include both paid and free versions. By adopting the online learning method, the learners can avoid various limitations in the learning journey.
Online teaching, however, comes with its set of challenges. It's not easy for students to study through a screen without getting distracted. Additionally, one-way communication will make the class monotonous, making online live sessions less engaging for the students. This will, in turn, make the teacher less motivated in their teaching, and the teaching-learning process is hindered. But don't worry because, in this blog, we have brought you some amazing tips that are sure to help you in making your online classes engaging and your students learn better.
Tips for increasing your classroom engagement
1. Set classroom expectations
Before you begin with your class, it is important to set appropriate classroom expectations such that they are clear to your students. The classroom expectations should be clear, simple, and achievable and stated in a positive manner. When you set specific aims and objectives, it becomes much easier for you and your students to make the online session interesting and engaging. This will allow a proper cohesive and flow of learning that will increase engagement. Planning your class is essential: which topic to teach, how much to teach when to end the session etc., allows the curriculum to expand beyond its applications. Only when students find their online sessions well-planned they will be able to learn better in the online classroom. This tip will also assist the teachers in keeping track of each student's progress on a regular basis.
2. Storytelling format
Teaching is an art. There are ways to make even a dry subject or topic sound interesting. One way to do that is to teach a topic in the form of a story. We all love a good story! Instead of laying out the concept as it is, explain it in the form of a story. This will not only grab your students' attention but also make them retain whatever you have taught. Whether it's math, science or literature, storytelling works for all subjects and topics. Additionally, seek feedback and suggestions from your students, as well as their predictions for what will happen next. The classes will be more interactive and entertaining as a result.
3. Encourage student participation
There are many students who know the answer when asked a question in class but doesn’t answer due to shyness or reservation. All that students need is a little prodding to overcome their worries and self-doubt. You can identify these students and ask them to explain a concept or give a presentation of a topic taught. This will not only improve their knowledge of the subject but will also act as a confidence-building activity. This will aid them in overcoming their fear of public speaking or stage fright while also allowing them to have a thorough understanding of their subjects.
4. Assigning group activities
It gets challenging to keep the class engaging as a teacher since students can easily get bored of listening to lectures. Therefore, it’s important to frequently conduct a fun-filled activity that adds a fun and exciting element to your class. One such activity is a group activity. This will enable students to learn from each other as well as have fun in the process. It also boosts student motivation and enhances their engagement in learning. Within a group, students will be more active and engaged. These group activities could be in the form of a discussion, solving problems or even debates. These activities will lift your students’ moods, help them increase their productivity and reduce procrastination.
5. Ask questions
Ask student questions but such that there is no right or wrong answer. This will encourage students to participate and respond to the question. This will automatically increase engagement. If the question is open-ended or has many possible answers, then it will promote effective communication and make them apply their knowledge. This will help you assess how much they understood of what is taught and participate in class interaction.
6. Other teaching technique
Staring at a screen or just listening one way can make students lose attention. A teacher can use other strategies to explain the topic. This can include playing a topic related video or showing a presentation or other visuals like pictorial representation, graphs etc. This will increase student attention and engagement.
7. Topic discussion
You can conduct an end or beginning of the topic discussion in the classroom to make it more engaging. These discussions will help students brainstorm, think about the topic in-depth, think of its applications and come out with more questions sessions. With discussion, you will come to know how much your students know or understand about the topic and which part needs to be revised. Revision too encourages student participation and engagement.
An important quality to successfully teach online is increasing and maintaining student engagement. Identifying and implementing your students’ requirements is an extremely effective way to maintain an active learning environment. Some of the great ways to keep your students engaged are by encouraging student participation, assigning group projects and having an interesting discussion of the taught topics. Conducting engaging online sessions is not challenging when the teachers follow the right techniques. By following the tips as mentioned earlier, you will not only teach online successfully but also make your class highly engaging.