Are your students ready for online learning?

There has been made an inevitable shift from face-to-face to online teaching. I think our learners need to be aware what it may mean and we, in turn, have to meet their expectations. I’m writing this post to share a set of actions that are likely to facilitate the transition.

  1. Run a tutorial on how to use the online platform that you are planning to use. For example, if you are going to use Zoom, show the students how to open the conference, where to find the control panel, the chat box or annotation tools etc.
  2. Inform the students how you are planning to share course materials. I usually prefer sending my slides and homework at the end of the conference in the chat box.
  3. Make sure the students know how to get in touch with you between the lessons. It seems obvious as they need to send you some assignments for marking, which can be done using a WhatsApp chat or email.
  4. Students may benefit from creating a group chat so that they can discuss assignments and learn from each other. That may be done on the same platforms or LMS that you are using for creating the learning content.
  5. Discuss the deadlines and tell the students how quickly you may respond to their queries. It is important to stay in touch so that students feel you are always there to help them.
  6. Decide and raise the students’ awareness of the assessment tools and how often they can receive progress reports from you.
  7. There might be some time allocated for one-to-one tutorials or Q&A sessions to make sure you are on the same page.
  8. Help your students enjoy this mode of study by engaging them with a variety of activities and helping them develop study skills.
Developing a skill of taking notes, working with lexis and creating a list of synonyms/opposites

I know that teaching online can seem daunting for those who got used to giving face-to-face lessons. You need to build up a range of new skills, anticipate myriad problems and be ready to tweak your content to meet your students’ needs and to keep them engaged. To be honest, it is a matter of attitude. You can enjoy that if you are open to new things. The more you enjoy it yourself, the more your learners will do. Good luck with that!