Below are three things I’ve learnt so far this year while working and learning with other online teachers. I know it’s not really anything new, but it’s been a good reminder to me.
- If it’s not working – let it go. Don’t drag out a discussion or a task that students haven’t engaged in. Give them a couple of reminders and if there is still no engagement, then end it. Reflect on it and move on. Take what you’ve learnt and apply it later on to improve the learning experience.
- Focus. Don’t make a discussion too big by asking lots of (even related) questions. Keep it simple.
- Let students take the reins. Giving students control over the learning process can be very effective. I don’t necessarily mean letting them choose what they learn, but appointing someone to lead an activity. I recently observed a great synchronous online session where a student was given control over the first 15 minutes or so, welcoming everyone into the session and then running a grammar lesson with them (incorporating Google Docs as well). It was very successful and ALL students were engaged.