Recent advancements in technology and the ongoing pandemic have left the education systems to fall short of alternatives. The only possible way to carry on the teaching-learning process is to adapt to online teaching.
However, it is much easier said than done. In a country like India where the internet penetration rate is nearly around 45%, poses a great difficulty to switch towards technology-enabled learning. Apart from the technological constraints our human resources also majorly lack the needed expertise or experience to take up online teaching. The online teaching process is way different from the traditional teaching process. The latter involves two-way communication wherein the teacher can constantly gauge the student’s interaction levels. Whereas online teaching is highly dominated by one-way communication wherein the information flow is in one direction only from the sender to the receiver.
Teaching online requires different types of interactions with the students. The aim should be to enable higher interaction and engagement in the online teaching model.
The following points can come in handy for anyone who takes up online teaching and is serious about learner engagement.
1. Be technology friendly
Online teaching does not require one to be tech-savvy. But a person must become familiar with the technology. A good practice can be to spend around one hour to make oneself comfortable with the technology before taking an online session.
If the need is, a person can also enrol in online training programs for the same.
2. Streamline the process for grievances
When working in the online world technical glitches are bound to happen. Be very clear to your students about where they should go for technical support. Make the contact information readily available, and be prepared to direct your students there if they come to you.
3. Maintain a strong presence
To overcome the lack of interaction in online teaching one must ensure constant interaction with the students. For instance, make use of a video message as opposed to a text message to welcome your students to online learning.
Encourage students to talk by beginning discussions in the discussion board and open responses to questions.
4. Make efficient use of non-verbal communication
Non-verbal communication in the online domain is highly characterized by the use of emojis. The lack of physical presence can be overcome to a great extent by using emojis while interacting with the students.
5. Reduce uncertainties
Online teaching is a new experience not only for the teachers but for the students too. One must make clear to the students the parameters on which their grades will be determined.
Another way to make students comfortable is by telling them that their queries will be addressed within a specified time such as one business day.
6. Develop a community of learners
Encourage students to personalize their homepage and spend time discussing the content posted by them. Make effective use of instant messaging, vlogs, web cameras, and blogs. Develop a community of students characterized by elicit rich discussions.
7. Request regular feedback
A great way to monitor your progress is by understanding what your user has to say about you. Contact your students individually or through surveys to know how things are going. It can help one to assess the workload, attitudes, and challenges. If required do take the necessary corrective actions.
8. Constantly update your resources
Regularly check all the links, modules, and resources. Help students access the pool of your online resources. Also, keep updating your content so as to keep the students engaged.
The above stated are a few ways by which an organization can make an impact in the online teaching domain. The online GLA university management system has already implemented learner engagement strategies and has been bearing fruitful results. There is no doubt that EdTech is our future. The faster we adapt to it the brighter our future will be.