How to make online classes more interesting? Online learning comes with its own set of difficulties. Students who study online must be self-motivated and disciplined enough to work alone. Because there is no face-to-face accountability, it is simpler for an online student to drop out without being noticed. This article will give you an overview of how to make online classes more interesting. Keep reading.
In today’s competitive lifelong learning market, an online course that just gives knowledge is no better than any other. Your organization must set itself apart by providing students with online courses that engage, connect, and alter them.
When classes are held in person, there is a natural sequence from the moment the first student walks into the room until the professor formally begins the session. The subtle rustling of children settling into their seats, pulling out their notebooks, and chatting with their friend’s sets in motion a chain of actions that prepares young brains for learning.
We’ve had to adjust to a new approach to getting classes started now that practically all of them are taking place online. The uncomfortable moments that occur in Zoom or other remote learning platforms may sometimes slow down the flow of the class, causing young minds to wander as they open new tabs on their smartphones while waiting for things to start. Fortunately, teachers may employ a few strategies to shorten the time it takes for students to join their virtual sessions.
How to make online classes more interesting
Here are 13 ideas on how to make online classes more interesting
1. Prepare your students for a new adventure
Students who are accustomed to learning in a classroom or meeting room may find it difficult to shift to online learning. Give them an overview of online learning, your association’s learning management system (LMS), and their online course to assist them to succeed in this new environment.
Require all students to complete an online learning introduction the first time they enroll in one of your online educational programs. Describe how online learning differs from traditional classroom learning. Give time management, goal-setting, and job planning and prioritization advice.
2. To begin, create a splash screen.
It’s not always apparent what students should do first when they join a Zoom class. There may be a period of stillness while they wait for their teacher or classmates to connect while staring at a dark screen. Consider having one at the beginning of each zoom session, just as it is a great practice in face-to-face seminars.
This splash screen can be as basic as a greeting to the class or as complex as an auto-advancing slideshow containing announcements, an agenda, or a collection of bright but relevant images to retain their interest. While students are waiting for class to begin, display a thought-provoking quotation or poetry to encourage them to look beyond the course topics.
3. Review learning outcomes regularly
The instructor’s opening video should include going over the course’s learning objectives. These learning goals should be listed in the course description so that students know what to anticipate and whether or not the course is appropriate for them.
Students are looking for effect rather than knowledge. Tell them what they’ll be able to accomplish once they’ve completed the course, not what material is contained in the curriculum. Throughout the course, remind students of the benefits they might expect if they persist with it.
Instructors should explain the aim of each course activity and how it relates to the course’s learning objectives. Students are more likely to involve themselves in activity and complete it if they understand why they’re doing it and how it will affect them.
4. Provide well-organized and easy-to-understand the content
Students must be able to discover their course materials, conversations, evaluations, and records with ease in your LMS. Everything they require should be precisely where they expect to find it.
Instructors, too, have a role to perform. To avoid student misunderstanding, course materials should be arranged and labeled consistently. Students may use checklists for each lesson or module to see how far they’ve progressed and how far they still have to go, giving them a sense of accomplishment.
5. Prevent isolation by the presence
Students should get the impression that the lecturer is standing beside them. It shouldn’t feel like the route is on auto-pilot. Students feel more connected to teachers who speak to them directly via instructional videos, as though in a one-on-one chat. Another way to interact with the audience is through videos, which provide a feel of an instructor’s personality.
Instructors should contact students who haven’t signed into the course in a while to see what’s up. The pupil may require assistance or encouragement. Students will feel less alone as a result of these touchpoints, and they will be less inclined to drop out of the course.
6. Pose some questions to them
Starting the meeting with a poll, with or without a splash screen, maybe a fantastic method to interest students in the first 5 minutes of class. While Zoom’s polling function is a bit clumsy, services like Squarecap provide a simple method for students to join that consumes very little data.
Questions concerning topic knowledge might help you figure out what your pupils are getting and where they might need further help.
Adding a few questions to the beginning of class on the prescribed reading will encourage students to arrive at class prepared and hold them accountable if they do not do the assignment.
7. Create a community of learners
Students were five times more engaged and 16 times more likely to complete an online course with an online community component, according to researchers. When students feel like they ‘belong’ and are ‘part of something with like-minded people, their engagement rises.
Incorporate social learning possibilities into the design of an online course.
The social environment in which we learn is typically what provides relevance—an important aspect of adult learning, or andragogy—and it is through grappling with ideas and information in a social context that we make sense of, change, and personalize them.
Students have more opportunities to communicate with instructors and fellow students, debate courses, support one another through challenges, exchange ideas, and, most importantly, become more involved when an online course encourages community engagement.
8. Use music to lighten the mood
Whether you open the class with a splash screen or a poll, consider playing music for the first few minutes as students arrive. This method keeps you from trying to “fill the space” by talking to a half-full classroom room, and it may also help you establish the tone for your pupils.
You may use music to express your passions with your pupils, or you can take requests to help them feel at ease in your environment. Use music that is related to your lesson if your class is studying history or society, so you can go back to it afterward.
9. Deliver learning in bite-sized chunks
Deliver course information in bite-sized bits to make it easier to swallow and remember. The science that backs up the chunking concept, according to Jeff Hurt, is as follows:
“Our attention span is 10 minutes, according to neuroscience.” After then, our focus begins to weaken. The greatest technique to learn is to break knowledge down into ten-minute chunks and then give learners 10 minutes to process it.”
By spreading out content, pupils will be able to recall and review it, therefore committing it to their long-term memory. Deliver material in a variety of formats, including videos, voice-over slides, audio, text, and panel discussions, to keep their minds engaged.
10. To draw, use a shared annotation screen.
You can enable your students to “doodle” on a shared annotation screen if you trust them to utilize it correctly. You may use it for utterly unrelated activities like “tic tac toe,” or you can use it for something more content-related.
Begin the class by giving them a difficult problem to solve together or a list of vocabulary words to match. Show students an image of a popular meme, such as the one below, and ask them to circle the one with which they identify. With a tool like this, the possibilities are unlimited, and it can simply be utilized to connect students in the initial few minutes before class begins.
11. Regularly provide feedback
Feedback gives kids a sense of accomplishment and saves them from feeling isolated. On all assignments, instructors, TAs, or peers should offer feedback with ideas for improvement and congratulations for outstanding work. Instructors should use video to offer feedback every now and then to express a personal feeling of connection.
Remind instructors and TAs that their actions in online community conversations are being watched by everyone. They should act as role models for the kinds of replies and comments they want students to provide one another.
Encourage pupils to participate in conversations. Ask them to expand on what they’ve learned, elaborate, or consider the issue from a different perspective—anything that will help them remember what they’ve learned.
12. Assign your learners
While some professors like to keep students in the waiting area until the lesson begins, you can create a habit of starting the session a few minutes early.
This may be used as a moment for students to ask questions that might otherwise clutter your inbox, or you can use the break-out room option if your zoom version supports it. As students join the Zoom conference, place them in rooms with their peers so they may converse as if they were in a real classroom.
Teenagers and young adults, who are quarantined at home, require opportunities to mingle and connect with other humans their age, and giving these opportunities can help students feel included in your class.
You may either offer the pupils a topic to discuss or let them come up with their own. These brief exchanges would naturally occur in a face-to-face classroom, and allowing them to occur in Zoom can be an important aspect of thinking creatively.
13. Make time for pleasure
Learning is a serious business—in certain cases, it’s a life-or-death situation. However, you can make it a fun event that your pupils will remember and share with others.
Your association’s online courses must provide a unique and engaging experience to compete in the crowded online learning field against Coursera and EdX, schools and institutions, LinkedIn and Lynda.com, and hundreds of other for-profit firms entering your industry. You’ll build a learning experience that stands out in the marketplace if you include these engagement factors in your online learning programs.
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