For school and program administrators, facilitating online education can be a lot easier than traditional teaching.
First, materials could be easily updated. Access to certain files can be restricted by using passwords, time and date access. Aside from that, teachers could also facilitate large classes easily and subject and course materials could be easily distributed.
It is also more flexible, since online teaching can encompass different limitations like time zones, geographic locations and physical limitations. Technology can also help in enhancing learning and knowledge among students. Technology would also allow your students to collaborate with other student. Teachers could also explore different teaching methods of presentation.
To make online teaching a great experience for both teachers and students, there are things that you can do.
• Set time frames at the beginning of the course. Use these times to respond or reply to student comments and questions. This practice would help a teacher develop discipline among students and at the same time set a routine for them. Make sure that students re well informed about the time frame you have set.
If there would be any circumstances that you should change the time frame for responses, then make sure that you students are informed of the changes. Give them adequate time to be informed of the changes.
You should also inform your students if you will be missing for any part or the duration of the semester.
• If you have assignments and discussions, then provide general feedback to the entire class. This would allow students to get exposed to other ideas and at the same time learn from each other. Give your students positive reinforcement and encouragement. Give them feedbacks that would actually help them in improving their work. Comments like “good” can never be sufficient. Give enough comments.
• Avoid over-facilitating. As a teacher, you do not have to answer all the questions. If you having online discussions, let your students answer to each other. For example, if somebody asked about a certain topic do not respond immediately. After a few days you would notice that some of your students will be giving feedbacks or answers on their own.
• To make sure that the participation or discussion is continuous, regularly post acknowledgment to student comments or post an idea that would encourage students to answer or post messages. Aside from that, avoid having long lulls in the discussion boards. There would be times when students would no be posting anything since there are nothing new to post about, so best to avoid those circumstances.
There are also tendencies that students would stray away from the topics and discuss something else. Guide your students and make sure that they would be discussing the topic. Redirect the discussion but do not appear to be harsh, use humor, jokes or graphics to redirect the discussion.
• Before you move on to a new topic, make sure to summarize or having a closing session about the topic. Make sure that students are united in understanding the concepts. This would be the time to level-off with the students so that they would not get lost in the next topic.
Online teaching has many benefits, it is flexible and technology can be explored in different ways so that you, the teacher and your students would benefit from it.