We are in an age where technology is dominant in every aspect of our lives. You name the field, and technology has its fingers wrapped around it. And one such field is education, where technology is so interspersed with the curriculum that it is almost like its second skin. Though the advancement of technology in this field was already at an accelerated rate, the onslaught of coronavirus led to a sudden spike in the course of edtech’s setup itself. Pre-pandemic itself showed significant growth in the global edtech investments that reached up to 18.66 billion dollars(year-2019), and now it is projected to reach 350 billion dollars by 2025.
Given that over 1.2 billion children across 186 countries were getting affected by the worldwide closure of schools and colleges, the sudden jump of the course from physical classes to virtual classes was imperative. This sudden enforcement has thrown teachers, management, and the students frail as there was literally no time for either of them to prepare and have some transition time to adjust to the new teaching and learning methods. Like every other method, this virtual classroom setup also has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s take a glance at the positives first-
- Flexible schedule
- More personalized learning experience
and many more.
Time to look at negatives as well-
- Loss of concentration
- Tech issues
- Increased screen time
- Sense of isolation etc
More than the students, teachers face issues due to the sudden change in the method they have been training. Some of you might also feel uncomfortable in front of the camera as you might not be used to going online or virtually live. Getting used to a certain way of teaching needs time to adapt to. There are a few things that you can also try that will help you decrease your camera anxiety.
- Try and rehearsing it in front of the mirror before you go online
- Writing a thorough script always helps
- You can always pre-record your classes, edit them and upload it
There are multiple ways in which you can implement your classes also-
- Synchronous tutoring: A method where students and teachers connect at the same time. Basically, teaching virtually live
- Asynchronous tutoring: A method where a tutor can record and mail it or upload it at a later time for the students to access at their own time
- Combination tutoring: The combination of the above two methods
Based on your goals and curriculum, you can decide which method suits you and your students the best and carry on with it.
Even with all the preparations, it is a real task to keep the students engaged in this virtual classroom setup. And especially when your physical presence is not there, it gets much harder than it already is. So here are a few simple strategies that will help you attract and retain your students’ attention and increase their participation rate.
- Develop a precise curriculum:
Given the missing personal touch that all are used to date, the attention span reduces even more among the student community. Hence build a curriculum that keeps them engrossed and builds on their attention span simultaneously. Once you decide your niche, devise your curriculum in a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) manner. Break them down into sizable modules, but always have a connecting link between all the modules, else the whole purpose of creating modules is defeated.
- Organize group activities:
Given that your virtual students are handling classes on their own and have no peers surrounding them like they are used to, they are definitely going to face a sense of loneliness and isolation. Hence, to keep up the class’s spirit and inculcate the values of teamwork, include as many team assignments or projects as possible. By this, they will be engaged and feel inclusive and learn the value of team spirit, which will help them in their future endeavors.
- Reward their efforts:
Rewards are always a source of joyous accomplishment, which is one way to boost the morale of the students. Either small or big, an incentive is always what a student looks up to. So, you could implement simple incentivized curriculums.
You can conduct surprise tests or quizzes and announce that the highest scorer will receive an incentive. This will keep your students on their toes and will increase the anticipation quotient, which will, in turn, increase student’s enthusiasm.
- Stay connected:
A teacher-student relationship is beyond the pages of the books. You need to invest your time building a rapport and maintaining a bond with them even after the teaching hours. This way, they will also know that you are reachable, leading to better understanding and interaction during your virtual classes.
Create chat groups and keep a strong admin hold so that the very purpose of the chat and messengers are not beat.
- Ask feedback:
Though you might have planned and prepared well and thought that you had covered all your bases, there might still be something or the other that you might have missed. And this small thing will make a huge impact on the students. Take an extra step and ask for solicited feedback from your students. Given this virtual class setup is new to both of you, you need to help each other out so that both of you can bear the fruits of your labor. And students will also get the sense that you are listening to them and respecting their thoughts and ideas. There is always room to learn. This will go a long way in boosting the morale of the whole class, in general too.
These are just a few off-the-head tips that will definitely help you in retaining your class strength. Many more ways will help you to improve the participation rate of your virtual classroom. If you require any assistance or technical help, do reach out to us. We can also help you market your online tutorials. Do leave us a message or call. And last but not least, please comment with your feedback and let us know your thoughts about this article.
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