Online Learning: Best Practices in Online Teaching- ORCHIDS School

Online Learning: Best Practices in Online Teaching

Online Learning: Best Practices in Online Teaching

An account of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have been shut down since March 2020. The school stakeholders are showing their concerns regarding this academic year, i.e., 2020 – 21. Observing the severity of the pandemics and considering the timeline, CBSE has declared to cut down 30% syllabus for 9th to 12th standards. It would reduce the academic burden for students. However, schools are emphasized in online learning. Though, never before in the past, such a mode of learning online is witnessed either by teachers or by students. None is habitual and might be comfortable with this model. This has to be admitted that schools, along with children and parents, are making matchless efforts. In imbibing online learning, it takes more effort in terms of managing students, holding children’s attention for so long, observing children, or performing any activity or experiment. But our teachers are managing the mode of online learning in an appreciating manner. Being on the same series here depicted some online teaching strategies and other relevant/contributing factors that would certainly be helpful in making the efforts with this online learning process.

Ensure Participation In Online Learning

The very first essential thing in online learning is to ensure student’s participation regularly. Like in offline or regular mode of teaching, schools show theirs insist on attendance likewise here in this mode as well teachers need to ensure children’s participation first. Other than this, convenience in terms of logistics and timing can be taken under consideration. Teachers can also organize some interesting activities to engage students on a regular basis while online teaching.

Auditory To Visual Mode Of The Teaching-Learning Process

 Schools stakeholders need to admit that, considering the pandemic situation, the teaching-learning process mode has been shifted drastically to more visual than that of auditory mode. Now in accordance with the shift, a teacher needs to facilitate her teaching and lesson plan. The teaching plan or online workshop now essentially needs to be more visual, keeping all the pedagogical aspects in mind.

Short And Simple Presentation During Online Teaching

The content which is to be facilitated or presented to students should be short and crisp. The slides which are covered almost by the content may not seek children’s attention. This would be fair enough and would seek children’s attention if the slide covers only the bullet points. Bullet points further need to be elaborated by the teacher.

Context setting

Before commencing any topic/content, it is always meaningful strategically to seek children’s attention and build their interest pertaining to the respective content. Context setting also contributes to engaging children with the content and the teaching-learning process. Context setting could be among the stellar online teaching strategies and can be done quickly either through a short story or through questioning that ignites curiosity in children. Examples from the real world can also be stated in setting the relevant context.

Talk to children

In online learning, children are present to you virtually, not physically. So it becomes a little harder to make a deep connection with them. It becomes quite vital to have casual talks or talk regarding what is all happening around them? How are they feeling? Is there something they want to share? Likewise, some words can be exchanged in a general manner with students. But this general or casual talk would have an extreme impact on children’s consciousness. This simple talk with them would connect more, make them more attentive, and feel comfortable. Also, having a chat could be one of those activities to engage students in the process of teaching and learning with more enthusiasm.

 Activity-Based Teaching

The recent studies in the field of education state some paradigm shifts like from teacher-centric to child-centric paradigm. Likewise, studies based on education also draw the conclusion that activity-based teaching, in contrast to lecture-based teaching, is more impacting and fruitful. Following the educational findings, then it becomes more important that the teaching-learning process should include a set of activities in facilitation. In the online learning process, educators must incorporate an applicable set of activities. There are various activities that can be incorporated in the facilitation to make the teaching-learning process more praiseworthy. Some activities can be as follows –

  1. Forming groups: – depending upon the strength of the students or as per mutual convenience, children can be divided into multiple groups. Again, groups can also be formed through a justified activity. In forming groups, a teacher needs to take care of the kinds of learners of her class. Not everyone learns at the same pace. So a teacher needs to be careful enough in forming the respective groups. Once the groups are formed, then activities can be facilitated. For group activities such as group assignment, group discussion, group presentation, online workshop debates among groups, and many more activities can be rolled out in an attention-grabbing manner.
  2. Role-Play:- depending upon the nature of the content, students can be assigned specific roles to perform. It could be the play, could be characters enacting the dialogues. Role-play activity can be materialized in various manners in a decadent manner in the process of teaching and learning.
  3. Citing real-life examples: – associating concepts with real-life examples naturally ignites interest and curiosity in children’s consciousness. A facilitator needs to facilitate the concept with its practical implications. This would not only be contributing to engaging children with great interest but also be contributing to conceptual understanding.
  4. Read aloud: – In the online teaching mode, this becomes solely fundamental that a facilitator should read the content aloud. This would lessen other students’ efforts and would be convenient for them to concentrate on the ongoing topic. 
  5. Designing activities: – in accordance with the concept, activities can be designed pedagogically. Designing activities largely depends on the nature of the content and discipline. A facilitator can design activities as per the nature of the content and her discipline.

Nature of Assignment & Assessment In Online Teaching

An assignment where a child makes efforts after a concept is facilitated is crucial for the child as well as for the teacher. This is an assessment of both. So the nature of the assignment should be conceptual rather than factual. The assignment should be of child context, which means she should be of her world where she could relate the concept with herself and assess the practical implications of that very concept. This practice would lead to greater conceptual understanding.

Discussion/Feedback With Children During Online Learning

In designing a classroom, specifically in online mode, it becomes equally important to incorporate children’s concerns and suggestions. Asking for and incorporating feedback is a sign of a healthy and democratic process. In designing classrooms, if there is a space for children’s concerns and feedback, then it could be a model classroom. This would undoubtedly enhance children’s participation and engagement in attending online classes.

Something Beyond The Textbooks 

To make children’s interest, curiosity, participation, and inclination consistent, a teacher needs to go beyond the textbooks. Saying ‘beyond the textbooks’ simply meant that in the span of a presentation, something should be there other than curriculum material. This could be about life skills, could be about how to handle our emotions? It could be about the ongoing trend running in the country, could be a general questioning and sharing so on and so forth. This would contribute to building a good rapport with children, contributing to understanding the children to the next level, and contributing to shaping pedagogical strategies.

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