Tips and Ideas / Jun 18, 2020

10 Simple Ways to Make the Virtual Classroom More Engaging

Student Using A Virtual Classroom

Virtual classrooms have grown in usage because of the pandemic. As a result, classes that once took place face to face are now held on Zoom and other video sharing platforms. While some children thrive in this more flexible learning environment, there are others that find themselves falling behind as school districts move in their traditional classrooms for e-learning scenarios.

Long time teachers in virtual classrooms know that it is not always easy to keep the attention of their students. They know that it is all too easy for students to lose focus, and incredibly difficult to get it back. They also know that there are things they can do to increase engagement and improve effectiveness in their virtual classrooms. In order to help, here are 10 timely tips for busy teachers and overwhelmed parents.

1. Create content with e-learning in mind for your virtual classroom.

Not every form of instruction is conducive to the virtual classroom model. Think about how well, or poorly, your lesson plans fit with the new online environment.

2. Encourage independent research.

Student Learning OnlineOne of the beauties of the e-learning model is its flexibility. Teachers can set a spark in their students, then encourage them to do further research on their own.

3. Short and simple should be the watchwords of e-learning.

The virtual classroom is not the place for endless lectures and boring PowerPoint presentations. Keep the lessons short, simple, and to the point.

4. Aim for interactivity in your virtual classroom.

Virtual classrooms should be interactive and engaging, with questions and comments actively encouraged. Technology tools like Zoom make interaction easy with their ease of use and extensive functionality. Jazz up your virtual classroom with some free virtual backgrounds from our friends over at Teach Starter!

Image Elearning

If you are looking for the right tools for teaching online, be sure to read Five Must-Have Computer Accessories For Online Teachers.

5. Provide one-on-one follow-up sessions.

Even in a virtual classroom, some students may feel reluctant about speaking up. Building one-on-one time into the e-learning day can help those shyer students get the most from their e-learning experience.

6. Virtual classrooms should focus on the visuals.

Humans are visual learners, especially in the virtual classroom setting. Because of this, be sure to spice up boring lesson plans with visual content is a great way to make it more engaging and accessible.

7. Keep the text readable.

When you do include textual content in your lesson plans make sure to choose your fonts carefully. By doing this places emphasis on the readability of the text to make it easier for students to absorb the content.

8. Tell a compelling story.

Successful teaching is all about storytelling, and the more compelling those stories are the better off the students will be. A great teacher can turn even the most boring facts and figures into an engaging and compelling story.

9. Allow e-learning on the go.

Modern students on their smartphones do not have to be a bad thing. Allowing, or even encouraging, mobile e-learning is a great way to keep those digital natives engaged. Virtual classrooms should be adaptable for both teachers and students. If you need help getting your remote classroom set up head on over to our Remote Learning Center!

10. Use assessments to gauge progress.

Pop quizzes can lose its effectiveness. As students are able to look up the answers online. This makes pop quizzes a less than ideal manner of measuring lessons absorption. Even so, there are still ways you can assess progress and keep track of progress. Create a dashboard to track progress with Teach Starter’s Free online Learning Tool for teachers: Assess.

From kindergarten to college, the virtual classroom is here to stay. As technology improves and high-speed internet becomes more available and affordable, interest in distance learning is only expected to increase.

Given the coming ubiquity of the virtual classroom, teachers, students, and parents all have a vested interest in creating an engaging and effective e-learning experience. With the right approach, your classroom can be brought online without any significant losses. Follow the tips outlined above to get the most out of your virtual classroom.

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