In this time of social distancing caused by the COVID19 pandemic, distance education has become more common. Therefore, educational institutions, teachers, and other workplace entities have done their best to transfer lessons online. However, it’s no secret that it’s harder to pay attention to a computer screen than in-person conferences. Many distractors can cause students to lose focus from the lessons. Educators need innovative approaches that engage students. Here are a few ways.
Present Your Best Self Through Visual: If your students can see you on their screens, make sure you are presentable and in the correct position. If students can see your face during an online class, it will be 100 times more motivating because you will appear engaged and interested in what they are saying.
Use Audio To Your Advantage: Try adjusting the tone of your voice to engage attention. Practice storytelling and recite out loud. Changing the pitch of your voice can make a huge difference in encouraging your students. Make sure that any audio clips you intend to use are of good quality. Lastly, make sure you can teach your lessons online with a reliable internet connection. Nothing will divert their attention faster than a poor online session that keeps shutting down.
Set Goals: Take the time to reflect on the material and develop individual class goals. It would help if you showed students the importance of what they are learning outside of the classroom. The more students understand the reasoning behind putting each topic in their curriculum, the more likely they will become active students.
Begin Conversation: Starting a class discussion or debate is a great way to engage students and inspire them to connect with content. Involving students in the dialogue also encourages preparation: when students know they are expected to participate, they are more encouraged to come to class prepared. Greater classroom participation will also provide teachers with a way to measure student understanding. Create dynamic discussions by developing questions that generate interest and promote better understanding.
Find What Inspires Your Students: The good news is that, like in any face-to-face classroom, the real key to engaging your students online is discovering what inspires them and gives them a reason to keep busy in class. Ask students about their aspirations and modify your lesson plans to engage their attention. For instance, a teacher who knows his class well is better equipped at setting assignments for individual students.
Active Learning: Blended learning promotes the independence and personalization of each student’s learning path, which in itself can increase engagement by encouraging students to take responsibility for personal progress. This aspect depends essentially on the level of maturity of the pupils: one cannot expect a primary school pupil to be solely responsible for his own education at the same level as a high-school student. Students of different ages will inevitably need different types of guidance, but guidance, whether it is supervising a mostly independent process or metaphorically holding hands with students at every step of the process, remains the most vital aspect of teaching.