With advanced digital technologies, you can deliver excellent teaching services online. Distance learning is offered in higher education (e.g. Lerna Australia) as well as vocational ed and informal courses. Beyond online learning in universities and colleges, some freelance tutors offer online lessons (Career Lancer).
As an online teacher, you will need to have specific strategies and disciplines to guide you in your practice. Here are tips for effective online unit teaching.
1. Be available and reliable
You need to be online at the specific course time for live sessions. Students will normally be online waiting for the lesson to kick off. That means that you should be there at the designated time. Do not log into the viewer more than thirty minutes after the specific lesson time.
As an online teacher, you must be dedicated to offering the appropriate help to the students. Some students will be busy (such as with work) during the day and study late at night. Here, they might need your help. Therefore, you should be willing to get online whenever your students need you.
2. Know your students
One great way of making the entire teaching process easy is by understanding your students. When you know who you are teaching, it will make the communication easier. Some students will take long to comprehend a topic. Others will follow the teachings easily and understand without much difficulty. For that, know the student, and avoid misjudging them.
3. Communicate regularly and be responsive
Students appreciate a teacher that communicates regularly. Also, they expect timely feedback on their learning progress.
Online teachers have a duty to communicate with their students as often as possible. Students are anxious to know what they got in their recent exams. Make sure that you deliver the results and progress report promptly.
Ideally, if you are online, even if it is not the official lesson time, inform your students. They might find it to be friendly and helpful. Some teachers also do podcasts or regular online updates to keep the class informed and engaged.
4. Be professional and presentable
Some online teaching entails text chatting, while others will entail video chatting. These are modern digital literacy tasks. If you are to offer online teaching from your home through video, you will need to make the environment professional enough. Ensure that the room is clean and quiet and that you are presentable. Some students can be extra judgmental, so you should ensure that you don’t give them a wrong impression.
5. Create self-regulation resources
It can be easy for the student to miss a deadline if they are not reminded constantly. Since you as a teacher can also forget about the deadline, you will need to use a reliable source. Some resources, like the Google Calendar, help to notify the student on the reading deadlines, course deadlines, among others. You can subscribe to any suitable reminder. Such reminders will notify the student via text messages or emails. This way, it can be easier for them to beat the deadline.
6. Encourage interaction
You should treat your students as your team. Here, the best thing to do is to create discussion posts that will invite discussions, questions, responses, and reflections. Create an open question-answer forum for every student to contribute and give their ideas. This is also a way of encouraging online teaching among the students.