Insights / Jun 18, 2020

Should Online Teachers Use Live or Recorded Lessons?

Online Teacher

As online learning gains popularity, more teachers than ever are preparing to teach their first online class. An important question new online teachers need to ask themselves is to conduct live or prerecorded lessons. Each of these formats has its own unique advantages and challenges. Teachers should choose carefully before beginning their lesson preparation.

Essential Considerations for Live Lessons For Online EducationOnline Teacher Conducting A Live Lesson

For new online teachers, the idea of conducting live lessons may initially sound like a headache waiting to happen. You’ll need to find conference software, coordinate with your students, and have all your materials at hand throughout the entire lesson.

Fortunately, none of this is quite as overwhelming as it may seem. Web conferencing software has proliferated throughout recent years, making it easier than ever to host a live class. Although most conferencing software is marketed towards businesses, the same tools can be used for teaching without any modifications. Most major conferencing tools will allow you to lecture and call on students, share slide presentations, and even use a digital whiteboard.

See what else you will need in order to get the most out of your online lessons. Read our post Five Must-Have Computer Accessories For Online Teachers.

Teaching your lessons live also provides significant opportunities for student interaction. Through a live class, you can connect with your students just as if you were sitting in the same classroom as them. You can call on students to participate, take classroom polls, and even lead group discussions.

Since live classes keep you connected to your students, you’ll see higher levels of engagement in your virtual classroom. Your students will also have more chances to ask you questions and make sure they aren’t getting confused by the material.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Recorded Lessons For Online Education

Although live classes provide great opportunities to connect with students, recorded lessons also have a few significant advantages. One of the most apparent benefits is that they give teachers as many chances as they need to get things rights.

As a new-to-online teacher, you may be feeling nervous about the transition. It’s reassuring to know that you can simply re-record over any of your mistakes. Just like on a movie set, recorded lessons allow you to perform as many “takes” as you need Online Teacher Recording Her Lessonuntil you get your delivery perfect.

Another significant advantage of recorded lessons is that you can reuse the same material again and again. Once you’ve recorded a lesson, you can provide that same lesson to as many students as you want. The only time that you need to create a new lesson is when the material itself needs an update. This allows a much bigger return on your time and could even be a path towards passive income.

The downside of recorded lessons is that they don’t offer as many opportunities for student engagement as live lessons do. If students have questions about the material, they won’t be able to ask for clarification right away. This could lead to snowballing confusion as the lesson continues.

If you choose to use recorded lessons, you can help your students by providing them with plenty of opportunities to contact you for questions and discussions of the material.

Which Format is Right for Your Online Lessons?

Live classes and recorded lessons can each provide a great online education experience, but they aren’t always equal. If your class depends on student interaction or covers difficult material that needs much clarification, live classes are probably the best format. For classes that are traditionally lecture-based, the flexibility of a recorded lesson will likely work best.

Either way, we’re here to help! If you’re still undecided head on over to our Remote Learning Center!


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