Better Online Teaching: Tips And Guidelines


Basic Guidelines To Better Online Teaching

Hey there,
I’ve gathered a bunch of tricks that you need to get better at what you do. I’ve seen things from the other side now and we need to talk. I have been teaching for ten years now. I’ve switched on the other side of the screen lately, as I’ve taken ten MBA online classes as a student in the last year. This is a letter to myself the professor, by myself the student, about basic guidelines to lead me to sharpen up as an online teacher.

Basic Guidelines You Truly Need To Respect At All Times When Teaching Online

If You Go Live, Make Sure It’s Worth It

Being available live is key when feedback or interaction is necessary. Part of the advantages of e-classes is flexibility and efficiency. When you ask us to be there at a specific time every week, there needs to be a better reason attached to it than listening to you read your PowerPoint. When there is no added value to a live event, negative comments always emerge from my peers. I would have to say that I am having a fairly busy life myself; I tend to agree.

Some went with a focus group-style discussion, with arguments between students and insights from a professor. This can be tricky, but it was appreciated. The theory was all pre-recorded.

Others had all pre-recorded material and were very reactive to answer questions on the forum by email, and even adding quick clips to the already existing material when a question was frequently asked. A Facebook group was also used to add conviviality to it all. Using mainstream platforms is pretty well perceived in general—so far anyways.

One of my teachers requested that we use the Google platform for our teamwork: sheets, docs, slides. It all made sense when he and his assistant started to comment in real time about our work, using the share and comment function. They took a couple of minutes a week per team to guide us in the right direction when appropriate and to also congratulate us when something was of exceptional quality. The unsolicited feedback was very well perceived. Not delivering a live performance every week allowed them to free time up in their schedule for feedback. Thumbs up!

Be Clear

Make sure, right from the start and consistently throughout a semester, to get rid of anxiety emails, questions on the forum linked to logistics, dates, exams, team mandates, articles to write, noted texts we need to publish on forums, and all other irritants that should not come in the way of our learning process.

Please always start your presentation with a checklist of what had to be done by us the previous week, a list of what has to be done this week, and a follow-up on where term papers and team projects should be at. Then, do your thing.

When you are done, come back to what has to be done this week and take a minute to quickly talk about the resources, articles, videos, and books you ask us to watch and read. This helps to know what you have in mind when you feel something is important enough to be part of your class. We don’t get to interact very much, so if your expectations about your material are clear, everything will run a little more smoothly. Keep in mind that when you request excellence in a class to give an A+, you should deliver material that allows your students to get there.

Recording Videos In Online Classes

Once you are at the recording stage, whether it is live or not, here are some of the best practices for me and some irritants to avoid.

Screen

Some platforms don’t allow you to leave the screen and multitask while listening to a video. Whether you like it or not, we are multitasking and it is more efficient for us this way. You need to know something: Any serious student watches your class more than once. It is ok if we miss two slides of your PowerPoint while we take notes. Take a minute to stretch or we have to pause while you talk because we’re at home and life happens at the wrong time, once in a while.

Speed

It helps to be able to play with the speed of a video. Whether it is to slow it down or speed it up, being able to adjust the speed to our state of mind and level of comprehension is an appreciated feature. Remember, we watch it often. The fourth time I hear your presentation, I feel it is still respectful to do it at 1.5x the normal speed, as I will have learned it pretty much by heart by then.

Offline Availability

Most tools work great 95% of the time. The other 5% is often when there is traffic on a platform, right before an exam. To avoid panic attacks and to keep your email box clean, make sure there is a way to download your presentations or make them available offline in a way.

Conclusion

I am pretty confident that if you take care of what has been listed here for every class you teach, you will be alright in the eLearning jungle.

Kind Regards,
Mike


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