Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, most education providers are forced to conduct lessons online, to comply to social distancing rules. To ensure a more productive and engaging session, it is crucial that proper set up is done before each lesson. Here are four tips that you can use when conducting an online class.
1. Choose the Right Platform
The market is now saturated with platforms that can be used to conduct online classes. Among the most popular are Zoom and Google Meet. While these two software serve a similar function, which is to facilitate online meetings; they are mainly designed for corporate meetings and webinars rather than a classroom setting. Therefore, there are certain features that are not optimized for conducting interactive lessons.
Here we would like to suggest an alternative to the mainstream platforms – AOneSchools Online Classroom powered by HeyHi! HeyHi was designed especially for interactive real-time tutoring. It boasts a powerful yet easy-to-use interface for both teachers and students. Some of the features include: using your mobile phone as a tracking pad for the whiteboard, sending PDF files, and making annotation on documents!
By selecting the right platform, you can conduct classes more effectively by streamlining your log-in and teaching processes.
2. Proper Audio and Video Setup
When classes started to shift online, most teachers had to make do with the equipment that they have. For many, this means a mediocre built-in webcam and microphone on their laptops. While this is sufficient to conduct a class, it does not warrant a conducive environment for both educators and learners. Poor lighting may result in dark visual appearances, and background noises like barking dogs or passing cars can be heard as a lesson is going on.
While this may not directly affect the teaching of a class; it can still serve as a distraction to students. Here is why – different students have varying learning styles, which can be categorized into three major components: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic.
For visual learners, a clear video feed with good lighting will provide a more conducive environment. As for those who learn better by hearing, the absence of background noise can help minimize distraction and facilitate learning. Hence, we strongly suggest investing in a proper webcam and microphone, especially if you will be doing this in the long run. You can easily find these equipment at affordable prices on Lazada or Shopee.
Want to know how you can have a professional setup? Watch the video below!
3. Encourage Personal Engagement
As mentioned in the previous point, every student learns differently. Hence, it is important to cater to each learning type adequately. For example, some students might be a little shy or timid when it comes to answering questions in a big group, and can risk being outshone by their classmates. In this case, teachers can give equal opportunities to all students to engage, by calling out individual names during their online sessions. By doing so, these students will appreciate the fact that their presence is acknowledged and valued, even though there is no face-to-face interaction.
Furthermore, teachers can also take the liberty to get to know their students better before starting each session. They can inquire about their day, ask what they had for lunch, or what they have learned in their previous classes. As a result, students will be able to build a good rapport with their teacher, which ultimately leads to a more productive online class.
4. Use a Variety of Teaching Tools
At this point, we all know how boring some classes can get. It is undeniable that certain topics can be a little dry, even in an actual school setting. This is where teachers would normally introduce different learning tools or activities to make the session more fun. For instance, in physical classrooms, teachers can get students to form discussion groups, or create games that require student to work together and come up with answers.
If you’re wondering how to incorporate more excitement into online lessons, take a look below at some suggested activities that you can do:
- Watch YouTube videos – If you are teaching Science, you can play a video of an awesome Science Experiment that is done on a large scale!
- Have a quiz – Traditional QnA quizzes are a thing of a past! Go for something more fun and engaging! There are many free platforms you can try out with pre-set questions or you can even customized your own questions such as Kahoot and Quizziz! Your entire class will definitely be on the edge of their seats to win!
- Show the Camera your answer – Get your students to write out the answers on a blank sheet of paper and show it to the camera! Fastest one wins!
- Post-session QnA – Class is over? Instead of giving students homework out of the workbook to do, you can have pre-recorded videos to summarise the topic and have a few questions for students to answer!