10 ways to improve the online class experience

Coronavirus restrictions have well and truly returned this month. Last Monday morning schools, colleges and universities were preparing for mass testing and return of their students. By Monday evening, they were dusting off the remote teaching manual and yet again making plans to deliver lessons online.

We know that so many of our teachers and lecturers are constantly upskilling their knowledge and digital skills to provide engaging lessons.

Here are a few of our top tips for providing the very best experience for you and your students:

  1. Consider recording your sessions rather than a live stream. This means that you can upload the recording and send to students who are absent from your class.
  2. Show your face. Being human and taking a moment to ask how students are feeling can make everyone feel more at ease and more likely to engage in the lesson.
  3. Repetition. Most of us are still new to many of the remote learning platforms’ features and tools. Keep tasks simple and repeat the same routine every lesson with students. Hopefully, this will result in more students being on task and able to focus on the learning rather than the technology.
  4. Schedule your lessons. Try to provide students with as much structure and support as possible. By creating calendar invites for lessons, students will have a digital timetable and a greater sense of organisation.
  5. Provide feedback. Tools such as word online allow for multiple users to edit one document. This means you can track students work and offer feedback. Live feedback will undoubtedly improve student engagement in your lesson. Voice notes to students can also be used after the lesson to offer personalised feedback to every student.
  6. Include an interactive element. Keep students engaged by adding elements of interactivity throughout the lesson. There are many tools out there, so pick the ones you like and try to incorporate at least one into every lesson.
  7. Student privacy. Understand that students may not want their camera on due to their home school environment.
  8. Take control. Consider setting specific presenters to avoid students’ accidents (screen sharing or ending the meeting) and mute all participants to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
  9. Use the Spotlight feature to set your camera as the main video. You want to have the attention of all your students.
  10. Make it fun! Use emojis and stickers to react to chat messages. Ask students to use the emojis to show they have completed an activity. They love being creative.

We are conscious that many ideas are circulating, and there is a risk of information overload. If you would like more help or guidance with remote teaching challenges or have some more ideas to add to this list, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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