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It goes without saying that online learning has gained significant momentum within the last few years for some very practical reasons – it eliminates the time wasted in commuting, increases flexibility and also gives you the chance to catch up in case you miss something in real-time classes. And since March this year, online classes have become the only medium of learning anything. The containment and the vaccine for the virus still seem to be far away from reality. That’s why; both the students and the teachers need to work on their adjustability with this new normal.

But to be honest, the teachers are the ones who need to bear the brunt since they are responsible for doing the actual work that matters most. And as a teacher myself, I believe it is our responsibility to structure our online teaching in such a way that the students can be benefited most. That’s why I am sharing my best 5 tips with you for teaching powerful online classes.

1. Make Your Presence Meaningful – Before & After The Online Classes:

While teaching in person, teachers engage themselves in discussing, explaining, answering queries, clearing critical topics more than once etc. And then there are preparation times for the actual classes, checking homework, grading exam papers etc. All these activities take a substantial amount of time. For making online classes not only powerful but also fruitful for the participants, plan to spend the same amount of time for the students.

Before the commencement of the actual session, you can post an announcement highlighting the topic that is going to be discussed. You can also do a recap of the previous week’s class, again reminding a few of the intricacies of the topic that was discussed. You can ask for questions from the participating students and also reply to the queries regarding your previous work in a forum designated for questions and answers. In normal workdays, teachers spend a certain amount of time in the campus whether they have classes or not. You can apply a similar principle here by contributing a fixed amount of time in a predetermined time-schedule making yourself available online, and the schedule can be announced beforehand. This will enable the students to contact you as they normally would have done on campus. Also you can take part in a group online discussion after you have completed taking classes and explain a few nook and crannies about the topic discussed.

All of those will make your presence known to all the participating students and strengthen your performance when the actual online class takes place.

2. Make The Study Materials Easy To Find:

Before you organize the course materials, put yourself in a newcomer’s shoes. In other words, stride for an organization based on decipherable and visceral common sense. You need to make sure that students can move through the contents seamlessly during an online class, because if the students fumble or struggle finding something that is necessary for the ongoing class, they will simply lose attention.  

So, to prevent the students from losing mental energy and keeping their focus undivided, your course material must be organized in the best possible way, always synchronizing with the chronological order of the online lecture. For making the organization more tributary, get help from a colleague who is techno-savvy. And most importantly, when you review your arrangement, think from the perspective of a student who knows nothing about the topic and also never used the technology either. This mindset will give you the best idea to store study material for your online students.

3. Plan Ahead:

It’s more like the age old cliché – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So to make sure your online teaching gets the intended outcome, plan carefully about how you are going to conduct the session beforehand. Make sure that you have a clear and conscious idea about the syllabus, the portion that you are going to discuss, what examples are best suited to amplify your critical points, what question the students can think of asking regarding your lectures etc. When you can sort out these different angles of the subject-matter, you can be rest assured that your online teaching is going to a powerful medium to get the point across.

4. Master The Use Of Technology:

You don’t need to be a software engineer to take online classes but you can’t be a slacker as well in respect of the technology that is being used. First off, make sure that proper care is taken by the authority in setting up the adequate software and hardware. A reliable computer and suitable platform makes the job much easier to complete the session with finesse. There are many online platforms available, pick one that is hustle and bustle free and most of the students have access to it.You can find research papers online for study.

A noise free headphone with a standard and clear sound-producing microphone is a great enabler in performing a strong online teaching. And finally, make sure you have a fast and reliable internet connection at your disposal without which, every other thing mentioned will become redundant.

5. Ask For Objective Assessment and Rectify Accordingly For the Future:

The best assessment can be provided by your students. It’s a given that your students are already familiar with online classes and have the basic ideas about technicalities, duration of the classes, difficulties in explaining analytic topics, interpretative characteristics of a lecturer, bottlenecks causing them to lose their attention etc. So, it’s obvious that you can get a constructive assessment about the problems that cause an online teaching unsuccessful from the students. And when you can straighten out these hindrances, your online performance is going to be a powerful one.

The 5 tips I just mentioned above about taking powerful online classes aren’t groundbreaking – by any means. Rather they are more like fine-tuning your common sense and make them applicable in a virtual arena. 

If you like my ideas please let others know about them. And if you think my ideas aren’t worth sharing, please do me a favor and let me know how I can correct myself.