Best Students Engaging Activities in Online Learning
The world around us has seen a major change and perhaps this change is going to be irreversible and lead to a few changes which will forever create an impression on how the world goes into the decade and the years thereafter. One of the most impactful changes in the world has been on the education sector which has made the inevitable shift into the online learning where distance learning has become the new normal. However, a major challenge that has been faced by the teachers has been the ways to engage the students in online learning. Here we offer a few suggestions on how to make the online classes more engaging and fun for the students.
Giving Priority to The Student Needs
For making sure that students are actively involved in the online lectures, it is imperative that the teachers and educators make it a point to prioritize the needs of the students over their own needs and that is where the foundations of teaching would have to be modified. While in a physical class, the students are coming to the location of where the teacher is, here the teacher is virtually entering the premise of the student.
This calls for an approach where the needs of the students are analyzed and the content that is prepared is prepared accordingly. The teachers will have to be creative with their content and make sure that each and every member of the class gets to be a part of the online session.
The teacher must avoid one-way communication and make it a point that the students who are becoming a part of the class may well belong to different backgrounds and may be viewing it from different spaces and might not be having a chance to clarify their doubts if any arise. They must ensure that there are enough gaps given to them and they do not keep moving forward without clarifying all the doubts
Extending A Comforting Hand
The world has been going through times that haven't been seen before and mental health is something that has been discussed at length and students are in no way unaffected by the stress that has been caused by the pandemic and it is therefore an important part of teaching to make sure that the change to the new form of teaching is subtle and the transition is made smoothly with children being made comfortable with the concepts of online teaching. It is also important that the teachers are a little more lenient when it comes to the way students respond in the class as a lot of them might not be comfortable with the idea of the online classes.
Students need to look up to their teachers and be free and open with them while sharing their issues regarding the online sessions and once these initial questions are clarified, they will be able to manage the online classes and grasp whatever is being taught in a more convenient manner. They will need the teachers to hold their hand and smoothly transition them into this new phase of online learning and how the two-way communication takes place in the current world.
Simplifying The Lessons by Breaking Them Down
The students might find it difficult to adjust to the lessons if they are very long and monotonous and the teachers will have to make it a point to break these lessons down to smaller and more doable lessons which is going to reduce the enormity of the lesson and make the student more confident of being able to complete this lesson without any difficulty. The smaller lessons reduce the workload on both the teachers and the students which makes it more attainable and also focused on the topic which is due to be covered in that particular lesson.
The attention span of the students, particularly the younger students is often very less and that usually means that the students find it difficult to hold to a concept for very long without taking a break. This would often mean that the students miss out on the important concepts when the videos are bigger and demand continuous attention therefore a smaller video would be more effective in the transferring of knowledge to the students. Therefore, creating a shorter video and simplifying the lessons by breaking them into the smaller components would mean that the videos are more effective than the longer and monotonous videos.
A physical class often allows the people to think about and ponder upon the lesson which they are reading however the same is not the case with an online class and continuously moving longer text videos are difficult to interpret and internalize as a student because it is more of a task to stay attentive towards a text rather than grasp a demonstration or an illustration that comes on the screen. The teachers must most definitely make it a point to include as many illustrations in their work as possible.
Illustrations offer a means of visual memory which is not only retainable but offer a simpler way to explain the concept to the students who would otherwise find it difficult to interpret the longer text related concepts. Charts particular offer a simpler and more appropriate understanding of how a particular concept is to be understood and hence every teacher should try and include these charts in their online classes. The online classes are a tool where more and more students access information hence these illustrations should be free of any jargon and be understandable to most people without any bias and difficulties. This makes the online class a lot more engaging.
Setting Goals for Students
The students find it easier to work with and schedule a plan when they have a goal in front of them. Tests and examinations over the years have been the prime examples of having such goals where a bigger syllabus is broken down into smaller units and the information is then tested for the students by the way of taking periodic examinations. When they have an examination to give, the students would also focus a lot more on the syllabus that is being taught The teachers must make sure that these goals are attainable and do not pressurize the students too much considering the fact that they are already going through the anxiety of living in the times of the pandemic.
The teachers also need to guide the students on how the goals that have been set would have to be attained effectively without having to take too much pressure by the students and how their study pattern should be structured accordingly. This is the easiest way to keep the students involved in the teaching process and monitor their progress continuously and also ensure that they do not have to stress too much in order to complete the course and achieve their goals.
Interaction would at times have to be a voluntary effort taken up by the teacher which would mean that the teacher is genuinely trying to involve the students into the session and making their session interactive. While teaching online, teachers often make the mistake of continuously speaking without giving the students an opportunity to get involved and the students since they are new to the concept of online learning find it a little difficult to interrupt the teacher and do feel this inertia. However, if the teacher takes that extra steps and makes the students interact and participate in the activities in the class, it will really go a long way in creating an atmosphere which would involve the students a lot more in the discussion.
This could include asking questions or making students share their life experiences on the topics like they would do in the physical class. The students will feel a lot more involved in this way and another effective way to do this could be to organize online group activities which would make them get involved in the most effective manner and become a part of the discussions that are going on. Communication should be kept both ways all the time.
The teacher should make sure that he or she here is a kind of a service provider and treat students like the receiver of this service and this would mean that they would have to continuously follow the process of taking feedback. Feedback here just doesn't mean asking students whether they understand what is being taught the class or not but a continuous process of making sure whether they are continuously being able to comprehend what is happening and responding accordingly too. This is a process which involves a lot of self-analysis too and also the process of asking the pertinent questions which might at times be difficult to ask yourself.
The educator must not take his or her position lightly and make sure that they keep learning this new form of education continuously as well and also innovating as much as possible. This is where they would have to keep evaluating themselves on the basis of the success rate of their students and they would have to continuously be responsible for the actions of the students particularly the ones who are not performing too well. They would have to ask themselves why such a situation has arisen where each student isn't performing equally well.
Making Lessons Fun and Introducing Gaming
Students learn most when the learning process is fun and the fun that they have in the learning process often is critical to how much they have learned. A happy student often is the one person who is enjoying his classes and learning and this would make him want to tune into the classes and be interested in the class rather than being a forced action which he is doing out of compulsion. The need for making the lessons fun becomes even more when the classes are online and the teacher does not have a chance to monitor everything that is going on in the class.
This makes it even more important for the teacher to engage in activities like games and other aspects which would be interesting for the students and make them a lot more interested in the lessons which are going on in the class and not want to divert the attention. This makes the teachers gain a different kind of attention and respect from the students and they begin to listen a lot more to the teacher as well as obey their orders making this one of the most important techniques of making classes interesting.
Being Presentable and Energetic
A teacher who is looking good and also speaking with a lot of energy makes the students focus their attention on what the teacher is saying in addition to the concepts of that the teacher is saying. It is important that the teacher uses his voice to modulate between different topics and come up with as many concepts in the most interesting fashion as well. The teacher must be extremely high on energy and keep creating the interest of the students by stressing on the important aspects and also gaining attention as and when necessary which would make the students take notice of everything that is going on in the class.
An unenergetic teacher makes the entire class lose interest in the class and in an online class once the student loses interest, it becomes very difficult to get it back and making the student get back to study. The teachers must be at their very best at all times and that would involve them to take care of their voice and other aspects of their teaching in order to be on top of their game. This anyway being a new teaching experience involves an extra bit of energy. This is one answer to the question which many people have been asking about how do you engage students in online learning which will be most significant.
Handling The Students with Care
As we have already mentioned, this is a new format for teaching and learning and therefore some students might take a little longer than the others to adjust to the concepts of online learning and therefore the teachers must also stay very patient while being in the class. The students would have to be treated with a lot of humanity and cared for while they adjust to the new form of classes. The teacher will be faltering in tier duties if they expect too much too soon from the students and therefore it is very important for them to encourage them to learn at their own very speed and trust that they will eventually catch up.
There are no students who do not want to do well and this attempt at being engaging by teachers makes a difference to the psychology of the students and gets them involved in the class while they are trying to get into the mold of the online classes. It would only take some care which would go a long way in developing the students in a way that makes them better students even in the format of online classes. This small step is one which should be taken by the educators.