Online teachers can have one of the most difficult or most interesting jobs ever. They way they deliver their lectures and classes has less than half the impact on the overall performance of the students.
They need to be mentally present, motivate students to learn, constantly engage with them, and discuss and review content with them regularly, among other things. They have to give feedback and establish communities for better learning. They even have to administer timely tests that they can prepare using a test creator or a quiz maker.
Some useful tactics and practices can come in handy in the process. The following practices may help the teachers be more effective in teaching online courses.
1. Set Clear Expectations
When starting with your course, tell your students very frankly in the course outline about your expectations in the duration of the course. Make the students aware of the quality of research that you need them to do in order to pass the course and take something home with them. If you need full attendance from students, make sure that you let them know beforehand, during the initial sessions and in the course outline. Define what they can expect to gain out of the course, i.e., the objective. For example, if they follow through with a marketing course rigorously, they will be able to gain insights into the current trends in marketing and apply the concepts they learnt in the course in practical real life scenarios etc.
2. Be an active part of discussion and review forums
The teacher should be able to set a precedent for the students to follow. Stay consistent with and follow up with the students regularly on discussion forums regarding the problems they are facing in the content of the course. Sometimes students don’t effectively manage their own time and attempt to give the tests, quizzes and assignments that you made by a using a test creator, all at once. This can prove to be a burden to you and to them so make sure to follow up with assignments and quizzes after you complete one unit of the online course. Use the discussion and review forums to inform of any upcoming quizzes. These quizzes are generally prepared by using a quiz maker.
3. Be Efficient Time Managers
Ask students about the methodology they will be using to submit their tests and assignments. The teachers should ask how they will manage coursework and whether any hindrances or distracting activities will cause the student to miss deadlines. Let students know about your timeline of grading specific papers and when you will be available for counseling (“office hours”) etc. This will help you schedule and manage your time effectively during the timeline of the online course.
4. Give constructive feedback
Emailing, Skyping and many countless other forms of communication are available. Online course faculty can provide one-on-one counseling and constructive feedback to students on performance. It allows students to gain an insight into their effective strengths and brush off their weakness.
Specific target areas cannot be discussed over email and nether can problems be shown. Live video chat such as Skype can be a more pertinent and effective platform to help out individual students in their specific areas of need.