4 Tips on Improving Online Teaching in Higher Education

Are you teaching students online due to the coronavirus? 

While online teaching can help stop the spread of coronavirus, it doesn’t offer the best learning environment for your students. Many students need that in-person interaction to stay focused, absorb information, and fully participate. 

Luckily, there are some tips you can employ that will help you improve your online teaching skills. Check out this guide to discover the top tips on improving online teaching in higher education. 

  1. Establish Rules and Guidelines 

Most students thrive on normalcy, which is why online learning can be very difficult for some. While online learning will never replace in-person learning, establishing rules and guidelines can help create a sense of normalcy during your lectures.

The exact rules and guidelines are up to you, but here are some things you may want to discuss with your students:

  • When to mute/unmute
  • Rules regarding attire and tardiness
  • When to raise your hand
  • When to use chat
  • What to do when classes are being recorded
  • What backgrounds to use

Also, take a look at your teaching calendar and block out time each day for teaching specific lessons. Let your students know that during this time, the only thing they should be working on is the lesson you’re teaching. You can then set aside time for other questions that your students may have so you don’t get sidetracked. 

  1. Automate Your Content 

Automating your content can help your students get a jumpstart on your lesson and come to class already prepared with questions. Plus, automating content makes it so students can review your lectures in a quick and convenient manner. 

Take time to prepare readings, video content, assignments, and discussion questions ahead of time so you can save class time for actually teaching and answering questions. 

  1. Strengthen Your Student-Teacher Relationships 

Developing meaningful relationships with your students is very important if you want to create a comfortable learning environment. But, it can be very hard to feel connected to your students when you’re online teaching. 

Here are some ways you can strengthen your relationships with your students:

  • Make a short, personal video to get to know each student
  • Have fun with GIFs and emojis
  • Set aside time each week for students to connect and chat
  • Figure out ways to show appreciation for a job well done. For example, you can set up a system where students can unmute so they can clap at the end of a presentation

You can also ask your students for ideas on how to get to know them better. 

  1. Encourage Lively Interaction 

Online lectures can be very tedious and boring if you’re the one doing all of the talking. Luckily, there are ways you can liven up your online classroom, such as:

  • Adding funny content to encourage laughter and fun
  • Creating polling questions and comparing responses
  • Setting up breakout rooms so students have a chance to discuss in small groups
  • Start class a little early so students have a chance to socialize
  • Include visual aids in your lessons, such as the math visual aids from edbee.com

You can also ask students to respond to how they’re feeling about the information they just learned with emojis. 

Improving Online Teaching: Time to Step Up Your Game 

Now that you have these tips for improving online teaching, it’s time for you to step up your game. With these tips, your students will get way more out of your lectures. 

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more online teaching tips and tricks. 

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