When you conduct online classes, you need to deal with the lack of face-to-face interaction, distractions, technical issues, and the uncertainty of a pandemic. Here are the tips for encouraging student participation during an online class.
Home-based learning is experiencing a surge in popularity as most countries go on lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Whether your school plans to do this long term or simply as a stop-gap measure, you now need to figure out how to teach effectively and completely in a remote setup.
Teaching online involves more than having the right resources and a good internet connection. You have to take the lead and help your students adjust to the new normal. After all, it is quite a contrast to the classroom environment that you and your students are used to.
When you conduct online classes, you need to consider the challenges and possibilities of a virtual class. You and your students have access to an amazing set of resources and participation modes on the combined NUADU platform and MS Teams. At the same time, you need to deal with the lack of face-to-face interaction, distractions, technical issues, and the uncertainty of a pandemic.
Good thing we have these tips for encouraging student participation during an online class.
1. Clarify Your Purpose
Students tend to participate more if they know that there is a point to what they are doing. They need to know that they will learn something useful and relevant. So, whenever you ask them to do an activity or lead them into a discussion, clarify your objectives and how they lead to the main learning outcomes of the course.
2. Set Clear Guidelines
Setting clear guidelines and expectations about commitment, time, work, and effort helps give students a structure to their learning. This would give a more concrete direction to the course and a more tangible gauge to student progress.
Phrase these guidelines as suggestions, not hard and fast rules. Invite your students’ input about what seems realistic given their individual contexts. When you agree on the guidelines, students are more likely to follow them as they feel that their needs and contributions are valued. These are extraordinary times, so provide a bit of flexibility and extend grace if these guidelines are not followed perfectly.
3. Ask Engaging Questions
What kind of questions are boost participation in an online class? The same type that makes classroom discussions come alive:
- Open-ended – Answerable by more than yes/no, these questions move students to elaborate and explain.
- Elicits higher thinking and reflection – Good questions also move students to analyse, assess, dig deeper, and explore possibilities.
- Requires the students to use the course content to build their answers – Good questions build upon the course’s content, giving students a progressing view of the subject matter as each topic is connected to what was discussed before.
4. Provide Diverse Activities
Classes shouldn’t always be just question-and-answer sessions. Create suitable activities like problem-solving, case studies, and others. But make sure these activities achieve the learning objectives, not just busywork.
5. Give Valuable Feedback
As your students progress through the course, give each of them feedback that would help them assess and see where they are — what they are doing good, and what they need to improve. Use NUADU’s assessment tools to help you make proper assessments and recommend exercises and activities for each student.
Interested in a home-based learning tool that you can set up in a day? Ask about NUADU’s Online Class, a distance learning solution in partnership with Microsoft.