No one becomes an expert in teaching online overnight. Yet, we must do our best to provide continuity of learning while facing the challenges of online instruction during these difficult times. But as we say, "What does not break you, makes you stronger."
In this blog post, I am going to share some of the strategies that helped me to render remote teaching more manageable and less time-consuming.
MANAGING ONLINE CLASSES
Create a routine: Greet your students and expect them to greet everyone as they are joining the class. I also require them to write Hi! in the chatroom as it helps me to take attendance more easily.
Send work in advance, so students may get ready for the activities they need to carry out during class meeting. This can be texts to read, videos to watch, taking notes, or completing activities in their activity book. If students are ready for class, you will have more time to spend on practising skills or having students work on collaborative tasks. If you want to read more about the flipped classroom approach, read my blog post here: Are You Ready to Flip Your Classroom?
Reduce teacher talking time, and incorporate activities that keep students active during class.
Offer varied activities: short presentation, video lesson, whole group activity, group work in breakout rooms, playing games such as Kahoot/Quizizz.
Use collaborative activities to make sure students do not quit on you during class.
Verify students' understanding before assigning them independent work. I personally love to give my students Kahoot games or to play a Quizizz live game. However, you may use many other tools such as assigning a Google Form or Microsoft Form quiz, using Quizlet, or completing activities on the Quills and Khan Academy websites.
Allot 10 minutes at the end of the online class to questions related to classwork, homework, and assignments. It will reassure students who might be puzzled or need more support in completing tasks.
Create a schedule indicating when you are available to answer students' emails or messages in Google Classroom or on TEAMS. You need to make sure students respect your schedule, and you respect it, too. Do not reply to students' messages at 10 pm. If you do that, they will get used to contacting you when they please. Of course, you should answer late-night emails and messages the next day. Weekends should be yours, as well.
Clearly indicate where, how and when students should turn in assignments and receive next week's work plan.
Make clear for students where, how, and when they need to submit assignments and reinforce these expectations. For instance, my learners must turn in all assignments and homework on TEAMS. I do not accept any work submitted by email. Imagine receiving third of the assignments by email and the rest on TEAMS or posted in the TEAMS chat window! If you want to keep students' submitted work organized, make sure you receive all assignments in one place, be that Google Classroom, email, or TEAMS.
Make sure you set the same deadline for assignments and homework. If you decide that homework should be submitted every other day or once a week, keep that same schedule during the entire term or year. For instance, my students must hand in assignments and homework by 4 pm each Friday, and I post the classwork for the following week at 5 pm on the same day. This routine helps students organize their time, so they can meet deadlines.
I hope these tips will help you to make remote teaching a bit less challenging for you. Do you have any strategies you would like to share? Do not hesitate to leave your tips in the comments section.