Crossing the confines of a traditional classroom and geographical barriers, the online learning platforms have taken education to a whole new level. There are many educators who have adopted the online learning methodology. In addition to allowing the online instructors to earn money online, the other benefits of online teaching include easier access, convenience, flexible time and location, student engagement, teaching opportunities and better organization.
So, if you have not yet adopted the online learning methodology, it is the time for you to reap benefits from it. You can create online courses on almost all professional domains – there are almost 10k plus subjects and topics available that you can choose to teach from. Said this, if you have just started to teach online, the resources required for it are diverse which can leave any person confused.
So, there arises a need for creating a strategy to use the available resources in the best possible way while teaching in an online classroom. Let’s take a look at some useful tips that will help you become a better online instructor:
Set your Goals
Setting the goals is the first and foremost step! What do you want from online teaching? Do you want to reach to larger audiences? Alternatively, you want to save time and cost? This step includes creating a plan with components for effective time management. The goal-setting step also helps an online instructor to create tutorials and prepare teaching material. Alternatively, this step also highlights the potential challenges that may arise when delivering the class.
Decide Target Audience
Once you know the purpose of your online class, the next step to decide the target audience. Notably, people from all age groups and professional domains can join the online classes. So, it is important to determine the target audience before conducting an online class. This step would help in reaching a broader and diverse audience.
Demographics play a crucial role in this step – the learners and trainees may belong to different schooling system. And this will also help you know how to approach them and give assurance of the effective knowledge transfer.
Having the right resources and knowledge of aptly using them is one among the other major pre-requisites of administering an online class. It is important to understand here that the resources used for traditional classes are absolutely different from that used for online classes. The resources required for the online classes include script (including the topics to be covered and the sample assignment).
Then there is a requirement for instructional design – it is highly useful in online classes. In addition to it, an online instructor can also arrange for the medium of visual communication (images, videos, infographics, flowcharts, etc.). This will help in effective communication and interpretation and learning.
Running a test of all the resources would ensure that they all are running as per the expectations. A test-run in advance will also aid in smooth functioning of all the tools and highlight disparities (if any).
In addition, the success of the first class leads to online learners joining your next class. It also is important to carefully plan the next class after learning from the first class.
Provide an X-factor
The topics taught in schools are usually extensively researched. All of this information is also available online. So, your online class must be inclusive of all the information. Although incorporating all the information is not possible but including the relevant one is important for your students will not have to look for other means to comprehend the subject matter more deeply.
An online instructor can short-list resources from educational forums and incorporate them in the course.
Review and Reorganize
The most important thing is to review the strengths and weaknesses when starting a new venture. This helps in evaluating the situation and be ready with tools available at disposal. After reviewing, it is important to reorganize self to be able to make the best use of available resources which will help in achieving desired results.
The Bottom Line
Conducting an online class is an intimidating task, especially for instructors who have been teaching in traditional classrooms. Extensive knowledge, good teaching skills, and some good techniques make it easier to conduct an online class for the first-timers. It is important to have a clear vision and execute the resources in the right and a well-planned manner. So, if properly planned and executed in the desired way, you can certainly become a good online instructor.