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5 Tips for an effective virtual classroom

by Akshaya Sathya Narayanan
Effective virtual classroom

What is the new normal you know other than wearing a mask? The very first thing that comes to my mind, is Virtual classes. Due to this pandemic, from toddlers to college students, I see them attending classes virtually with or without their parents to their side at the ease of sitting in their rooms.

This COVID-19 pandemic has constrained school shut down for the undetermined time period. So in the world of teaching, many institutes have moved from a face-to-face physical classroom to a web and technology-based virtual classroom.

It’s a well-known fact that powerful teaching is vital to viable learning in the classroom, and on account of the online classrooms, the training standards and strategies to be used are considerably more significant.

In this article, I’m putting myself in the place of a parent and going to give 5 tips for the teachers for making their virtual classroom more cool and effective.

#1 – Build a rapport at the beginning.

Effective virtual classroom

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”

— Aristotle

In a ‘real’ classroom the teachers get time to converse with the students then and there during the school times apart from taking classes. But that’s not the thing in ‘virtual’ classrooms. So building a proper rapport is very important even for a pro-teacher to make the students comfortable.

Building a good rapport before hitting up with the lectures is vital as it will help the students to be more expressive. Hence, it will help in the better transaction. In addition, it would help students to connect emotionally with the teacher.

As soon as a teacher and the students enter a virtual classroom, the teacher can conduct an ice-breaking session. It will facilitate the students to comfortably interact and open up with each other and with the teacher.

This will help in creating trust and meaningful session. Also, it will encourage teamwork which helps in doing activities during the virtual class.

#2 – Have a checklist and a flowchart.

Many teachers who have accustomed to a physical classroom may not be familiar with the tools and technical requirements that are needed for a virtual classroom. They may have strong content knowledge, but not tech knowledge. So a flowchart or a mind map will be very useful for the teacher to go with a flow.

Effective virtual classroom

For any teacher to ensure that they are ready for a virtual session, they should have a checklist. Run a trial class before the actual online class to make sure that you go as per the checklist prepared.

You can also make any changes if needed. The checklist will help you set the seal on for a smooth virtual classroom. This will help the teacher decide and prioritize the content need to be covered during the class.

The teacher can take the class in order creating no confusion among the students with the aid of the checklist and the flowchart. Handling a virtual classroom may be daunting, but it basically requires various strategies and arrangements contrasted with face-to-face classes. At that time, the checklist is a savior.

#3 – Be simple and regular.

Effective virtual classroom

Set up a time slot for the online class for every month or week. By doing this, the student can be ready with no confusions because there may be students who may not have their own laptops, mobile phones. Such students may get their virtual classroom setup at that scheduled time.

It can prepare the students for the class in advance. Teachers, just imagine yourself as a student. What will you do if you don’t have a clear idea about the class timings? What will you do if your virtual classes are scheduled at random timings?

So for developing an effective virtual classroom, plan accordingly teachers and try to do be regular. Set timings for assigning and submitting assessments, assignments. If you are going to take class virtually for an hour, decide split-up timing.

For example, first 5-10 minutes for introduction, then 5 minutes for a quick recap of last class, then 40 minutes for content delivery, and last 5 minutes for winding up with a concise summary.

Always be simple in your language. Ask for the student’s language preference before you begin your virtual class. Don’t show your vocabulary skills while teaching as it may affect the student’s understanding.

Only if the teachers use simple, clear student-friendly language, the student will concentrate. Only if the students concentrate, they will feel free to interact and approach us for doubts.

Being simple assists the children with creating self-restraint and face the challenges that are important for learning. That too for a virtual being straightforward in content delivery plays a vital role.

#4 – Engage with the students.

            “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”   

                                                                                                            — Benjamin Franklin                  

Be it a physical classroom or a virtual classroom, the teacher should not keep on dumping the students with the lesson content.

Effective virtual classroom

Do you know how long can anyone stay focused during a session? According to few psychologists, a common student’s ability to focus is around 10 to 15 minutes. So its very important for a teacher to grab the student’s attention by making the class engaging.

How can you make the class engaging? Find what will motivate your students. Conduct Q&A sessions, quick quiz in between the class to know the students’ understanding. Make your students feel valued by allowing them to take part and speak out their ideas.

If your students are at the primary level, then teaching by storytelling would be a splendid idea for making the students connect easily. This also helps in the development of creative thinking. With a virtual classroom, it would be more easier to access different colors, images and visualize the content.

Allow the students to question and speak out their ideas. Don’t tell them that they are wrong as the student may keep mum after that. Instead, ask them to try out the other way or ask them if there is a better viable solution.

Usage of props to show to the student during the video adds value. Have a regular feedback session as these sessions are significant to make the virtual class more engaging. Such methods can facilitate to interact easily and make virtual learning fun.

#5 – Give a proper closure.

Effective virtual classroom

            Anything and everything should have a proper ending. We can’t end just like that. That too while handling a class, it’s very vital. Giving a proper ending may be difficult due to inadequacy of time. But still, the teacher must wind up the class appropriately.

After a lot of time building up a feeling of solace in the virtual classroom, ending the class abruptly may give a bad impact.

Teachers should be wide awake while ending the class. No new content should be included.  A summary should emphasize the gist of the whole session. Even if the student hasn’t concentrated for the whole session they will get a basic idea of what happened in the period.

A proper ending also gives an emotional connection between the students and the teachers. Instead of asking the students to wait till the next session, tell them the upcoming topic and tell them to explore that. This will kindle their curiosity.

Check for students understanding and correct the misconception. You can also ask any random student to consolidate the happenings of the online session. By doing this the other student may listen for any correction or to add points.

One of the most basic yet important thing is the procedure of leaving the meeting. As it is a virtual classroom, make sure that every student has left the meeting before you as a teacher leave the meeting instead of you end the meeting at first.

So, if you are an online teacher who wants to make your virtual classroom more interesting, fun loaded, and effective the above ideas may be useful to you.

“Talk to students. Connect with them. Make the virtual classroom sound like it’s a conversation between people. REAL people, not  ROBOTS”

— Cammy Bean

On a whole, the student ought to get that ’real’ classroom feel notwithstanding that it is a virtual classroom. Incorporating these principles into your virtual teaching methods won’t solely guarantee an uplifting community for your students, however, can build your job ultimately easier too. As online learning remains in its building stages in comparison to other methods of teaching, the foremost effective principles can still grow and adapt to the new world of digital classrooms.

Hope these tips will definitely be a scaffolding. To read more articles on various category click here.

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2 comments

Ram May 10, 2021 - 2:32 pm

Good content..

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Barath Kumar S May 11, 2021 - 6:17 pm

That was too useful.. Looking forward for contents like these..

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