Managing a class can be intimidating sometimes and when it comes to virtual classrooms, it can be a disaster! The shift to online teaching is new and it comes with its set of challenges. In traditional classes, a teacher can physically be around his students and look at every individual and tell them to focus, give useful notes by reading out loud or give students printouts of the notes, but in online classes, this is certainly not possible. Now that does not, in any way, convey that classroom management is not necessary for virtual classes. It is an important aspect of the effective teaching process. This article aims to provide you with tips for effective online classroom management.
1. Share classroom guidelines: Set up the standard of communication between teachers and students. Communicate with the students and let them know what you want in your class, whether you want everyone to turn on their cameras throughout the class or only when you speak to them directly. Make sure your voice is clear and audible, background noises are minimal. Also, consider asking the students about what expectations are more beneficial.
2. Make your online classroom look like a traditional classroom: Your online classroom should not be any different from a traditional classroom. Ask your students to put distractions away, be it pets or siblings or babies. The same applies to you. Now, it is very much understandable that this is not possible all the time. So make sure you clear this out to your students so that it develops mutual trust and understanding.
3. Scatter to the needs of the students: Take your time, understand each student’s interest, problems and strengths and, teach accordingly. This will ensure effective learning as all the students will be interested in your class.
4. Establish routines and share notes: Establishing a routine will help you meet the essentials. You can ask for feedback from the class through feedback forms, collect assignments, give notes, routinely. Also, If you are consistent with giving notes and assignments to your students, it will be easy for them to create a routine for themselves in their homes as well.
5. Give original notes and content: While it is fair to use other teachers notes or other material that are available online, it is always good to ensure that those notes or material fulfil your purpose of teaching. Try to avoid plagiarism and ask the students to do the same. This will boost the thinking capacity of the students and give better results. Also, inform them that detecting plagiarism is as easy as browsing the required answer, copying and pasting it.
6. Acknowledge and praise your students for their achievements: Your students put a lot of effort into their studies and hence giving them recognition is a nice gesture. You cannot pat their backs like in offline classroom learning but you can address the class about who the best performer of the week is. This motivates the students further.
7. Use good technology: There are many platforms available that make online learning easy. One such platform is Teachmint which provides a seamless teaching experience. Keep a record of your students’ progress, test scores etc.
8. Create engagement: You might make small groups and assign group projects just like in traditional classrooms, take quizzes once a week and even make your students play interesting games once in a while. This will not make your online classes boring.
Some other short yet important tips are:
● Think that you are speaking to a person while speaking in front of the webcam.
● Dress properly while taking the class just like you do when you go for an offline class.
● Make your class interesting by inserting visual cues.
An effective online learning environment is affected by the way the online classroom is managed. Use the tips provided in this article to create the best environment for online teaching.