With Covid 19 taking the world by storm, the world was forced to abandon traditional learning methods. It was time to turn a new page and welcome a new season in the history of learning – E-Learning.
Teachers have been thrown in the deep end, having to find new ways to educate learners while trying to connect with them online – most definitely not an easy feat. Building valuable relationships with students is one of the greatest obstacles in a virtual classroom.
It can be difficult to adapt to a new online environment, which means building trust between educators and students is essential. Fostering a connection between students and teachers without face-to-face interaction isn’t easy, but it can be done. It just takes the right tools and some creativity. Below we recommend a few ways to nurture an effective online teaching environment:
It is crucial to add videos to your online content, not only to keep the learners attentive and the lessons engaging but also to effectively explain the work better. Incorporating voice and video can help establish trust by allowing non-verbal cues like facial expression, body language, and tone of voice to convey intent and put participants at ease.
You don’t have to limit videos to formal content either – creating informal videos such as announcements or personalized messages can assist with helping students feel less isolated and alone. Taking the time and effort to interact with students above and beyond the lessons and class work helps to maintain stronger relationships with them.
Pulling a student aside or asking them to stay behind after class in order to check on their well-being isn’t that easy anymore. The best alternative in an online environment is to simply pick up your phone and give your students a call. The conversation doesn’t need to be long; a short call merely provides support and space for them to share concerns.
Sometimes the best way to find out what makes a student tick is by going straight to the source. Why not ask them how they feel, what they prefer, or what they would do in a certain situation. Including them in the decision-making process demonstrates that you value their opinions and are making a concentrated effort to ask for their involvement.
When you deal with online classes and students, it is crucial to put some time aside in order to offer extra assistance to students that struggle to adapt to online learning. One-on-one sessions with students to answer questions directly can help those students who may be struggling with understanding the work or feel disconnected from the class. Another option is hosting/arranging smaller study groups, nursing more interaction between class members.
Actively provide feedback to students, reminding them that you value their work and input and care about their performance. Research has found audio or video feedback can have a more profound impact on students than written feedback, so consider adding a short clip of encouragement or praise on an assignment.
The concept of online teaching is likely to become even more popular, as the current pandemic continues to be unpredictable, resulting in an uncertain future when it comes to learning. As we’ve seen, distance learning is not without its challenges, but with the right tools, it’s possible to build extremely successful online learning communities.