Tips to Keep Students Engaged When Starting a New Academic Year Online
The start of the new academic year is on the horizon. Teachers across India are now likely to start the year with online learning. This can be a bit of a challenge for teachers who are used to traditional classrooms. What makes the start of the year even more daunting is the fact that students and teachers may come together for the first time online. They will have to introduce themselves online instead of in person. Teachers will also have to adapt their classroom learning material for online learning. If you’re a teacher struggling with this transition, we’re here to help.
Here’s a look at a few tips that will help you keep your students engaged as you start a new academic year online:
Keep It Simple
When you’re moving your classes online, you need to remember to keep your sessions as short as possible. Shorter sessions make it easier for your students to pay attention. You should also ensure that the reference material you provide is easy to understand. You should highlight the important points and provide bulleted lists for quick reading. Using PDFs instead of textbooks and keeping your sessions down to 20 or 30 minutes will help you make a great start.
Give Students an Overview
Your first two classes must be dedicated to letting your students know what they can expect. You can outline the objectives you hope to achieve and a timeline for the same. This will help keep your students motivated. It will also give students a chance to prepare in advance or catch up later if they happen to miss a session or two.
Make Yourself Available to Your Students
In traditional school settings, it is easy for students to look for you to clear their doubts face-to-face. But with online learning, it isn’t always possible for students to approach you. You can remedy this by creating office hours. You can set aside an hour per day or 3 hours per week during which you will be available to students online. You can create an online calendar in which students can request to make an appointment with you.
Set Assignments with Care
When you’re teaching online, you should assign your students a mix of long research-based assignments and group projects. These will serve two purposes. Firstly, it will give students a chance to get familiar with the topic at their own pace. Secondly, group projects will help students come together to share their ideas. Longer assignments will give you more insight into what your students have understood. This makes it easy for you to correct any misunderstandings. At the end of the term, you can even share an ideal study schedule to help your students prepare for upcoming exams.
With these small but helpful tips, you can welcome the new academic year with ease. Making the shift from a traditional classroom to an online one doesn’t have to be daunting. It can be fun, interesting and good for you and your students.