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Online learning is the norm in modern education. Students and teachers welcome the option to conduct some percentage of the year’s classes online. However, expert educators opine that online classes’ attention spans and engagement levels are lower than in traditional classrooms. Human contact in a conventional lecture hall adds immense value to the learning experience. And it isn’t easy to replicate such an experience online.

Effective online learning calls for an innovative approach. Teachers should strive to include online discussions, hands-on learning techniques, and collaborative projects in online lessons to find the most engaging pedagogical approach.

Here is a look at some pro tips from experienced teachers for conducting interesting and compelling online classes –

1.     Plan for the Academic Year and Beyond Planning for the entire academic year may sound intimidating, but drafting a roadmap before you begin can make a significant difference in your online course. It will give you a bird’s eye view of the academic expectations from the system, following which you can compare your approach with similar programs worldwide and set the proper benchmarks. Secondly, planning enables teachers to seek the appropriate digital classroom solutions to make the course interactive and engaging for students. It can also allow you to revise the curriculum for online learning if needed, including revamping the grading system.

2.     Learn to Utilise Technology – Work with co-teachers and peers to gain expertise using smart class apps and digital aids, essential skills for incorporating educational technology (edtech) effectively. Teachers must be familiar with learning management systems and online teaching tools. It will help you run the online class smoothly and maximise your institution’s technological investments. Online learning tools are designed to enhance the interaction between teachers and learners. Leveraging them can help you retain the attention and interest of your learners for the duration of the lecture. Digital learning aids can also help you conduct user experience surveys among your students. It will give you valuable insights into the utility and functionality of the platforms used in your class.

3.     Personalize Learning Experience – Customise your class materials to suit the diverse learning needs of your students. Various online teaching techniques allow teachers to focus on each student’s competencies. They can then create course material that appropriately challenges learners while reinforcing course content. It is also a great way to monitor your students’ progress and offer help whenever the course gets too overwhelming or complicated. Effective online teaching experts advise new teachers to spend time building a connection with the students. Spending a few minutes daily talking about topics that interest them helps build a rapport and improves the teacher-student dynamic.

4.     Engage Passive Students – A few students may remain disengaged in every classroom and feel unincluded. The teacher is responsible for drawing them into class conversations and preventing domination by just a few voices. Online teaching tools like polls and quizzes allow teachers to motivate all students to discuss and interact. Creating break rooms in the online class wherein the least engaged students may work with others and find their voice helps keep all students active in the class. Teachers should find opportunities to interact personally with these students to engage with them.

5.     Reflect and Gather Feedback – Technology keeps evolving and offering new options for online education. But instead of jumping on new online tutoring bandwagons every few weeks, getting your learners’ opinions before adopting new tools is best. Collate their views to understand their reception of the mode of instruction and your performance as an online educator. Researching your audience’s preferences can help you improve your online teaching techniques to suit their learning needs.

Teachers must develop adaptability and responsiveness when moving to online teaching platforms from traditional classrooms. By introducing new learning methods and building a close rapport with your students, teachers can create enriching online learning experiences for students. If you are new to online teaching, you should get accustomed to the tools and smart class apps before you conduct a class. It will help you gain confidence as an online pedagogue.

It is also essential to continuously evolve your teaching approach by gathering feedback and striving to offer the maximum value to your students in the given time. As digital classroom solutions evolve, teachers are creating innovative ways for student engagement and participation. Include the tips mentioned above to make your online classes more effective and engaging for your learners.

Keeping students engaged online can be tough. Extramarks solves this with fun features like pop-up questions, interactive quizzes within videos, and even games that turn passive watching into active learning. This caters to different learning styles, keeping students motivated and focused. Teachers can also personalize the experience with practice exercises tailored to each student’s needs, ensuring a deeper understanding of the material. Overall, Extramarks makes online learning both effective and engaging.

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Principal partner - BaseKamp Rahul has over 18 years of business & operations experience in the education domain. He is committed to bringing positive change to the education ecosystem merging improved learning with financial viability for all stakeholders. Rahul has been responsible for setting up K - 12 schools as well as vocational learning centres for premier education institutions like Aptech, EuroKids, iDiscoveri & Sesame Street. He has built a sustainable franchisee network and robust channel management. As a principal partner of Basekamp he brings entrepreneurial zeal & hands-on experience of building and raising projects successfully right from scratch. Rahul is a post-graduate in Business Management and certified in Business Environment & Strategic Management from IIT Delhi.

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