E-learning has never been more relevant till 2020. As we all struggle with the pandemic, we’re also doing our best to retain a sense of normalcy. Adults still have to make a living, and students still have to attend classes. Most education institutions around the world have adopted some kind of online learning in an attempt to carry on, but sometimes it doesn’t work out well. Granted, everyone is new to online classes and online learning, so here are some tips to make online learning interesting!
Most teachers are used to a live classroom setting; the traditional way. Different times call for different measures, and teachers should do their best to adapt to current times. We’ve seen and heard students saying that online classes aren’t really helpful, and that could be because traditional teaching methods don’t translate well online. To facilitate better learning, maybe you can try these tips!
1) Be More Interactive
In other words, try not to just share your screen of teaching material, and read aloud. Students can actually read on their own, and they will feel like it’s a waste of time if you do this. Instead, encourage interaction. Slip in some educational games with a reward system, have students do presentations, or do Q&A sessions. Students are bored enough sitting in front of a screen, so the trick here is to break the monotony.
2) Present Information Differently
This would work well with the above item! You probably already know to make your slides fun, but you can also mix and match your teaching material. Why not watch a video, and then discuss immediately? Have you ever thought about preparing content that your students can relate to, while still enabling them to learn? You can also reorganise your lessons so it isn’t an hours-long class, but rather a learning experience where there could be mini-lectures, discussions, and other different activities rolled into one.
3) Know Your Students
If you know your students well, half the battle is won. Take some time to learn what they’re interested in, and try to incorporate their interests into lessons. Not only will they be more eager to engage, but they’ll also be able to make better connections. Also, this will endear you more to them, making future lessons more successful!
4) Set Interesting Tasks/Homework
Sure, maybe they’ll still need to complete their coursework and workbooks, but you can also incorporate different tasks from time to time. Now’s the time to capitalise on their exploring, editing and creative skills, so set them tasks that can incorporate those skills. TikTok’s all the rage now, so perhaps a video task, best done in a group? Go with the flow, and piggyback on current trends — that would be most helpful!
5) Share Useful Resources
Learning isn’t just done during your Zoom (or other online) classes. Besides “in the classroom”, you can also share helpful resources as supplementary material. You can use this as a base for the next lesson, or maybe even some tasks or homework. Students exposed to more information of the same topic will also have better power of recall.
Learning is teamwork, so try not to put all the blame on your teacher(s). Everyone’s new to this, and they didn’t have much time to figure it out. Still, there are ways you could make online learning interesting on your part too!
1) “Go In” With An Open Mind
We’re pretty much living in unprecedented times now, so try not to expect everything to be like it would be the same as before. Online learning is definitely a step back from live classroom learning, but we don’t really have much choice now. The fact that you’re still able to learn is a good thing, so keep your mind open to new learning methods.
2) Make Suggestions
If the class isn’t doing anything for you, try to speak with your teacher. Perhaps he/she hasn’t fully gotten the hang of online teaching, and just couldn’t figure out ways to make lessons interesting. If you have ideas, voice out to your teacher. Whether or not your suggestions get implemented, at least you’ve tried.
Chances are, your teacher would have come up with group activities, or held a Q&A session. Especially during the Q&A sessions, try your best to participate, so you’re actively engaging in the lesson. The more active you are, the more likely you are to learn and retain information. Even for homework and tasks that are a little out of the classroom norm, perform them the best you can. That’s one way to keep your learning spirit up!
4) Read Up
The thing about online learning is that everything is literally at your fingertips. Whether or not your teacher gives you extra material, it doesn’t hurt to pull up a text or two on your own. You can also opt for videos, infographics or other material that appeals to you. The next lesson, you won’t be going in blank, and you’ll end up with a better understanding.
5) Share Useful Resources
Sharing resources isn’t just limited to the teacher! It’s actually not that different from sharing a meme with your friends! You find something, you share it. The whole point of learning is to swap and gain information anyway, so you’d be doing everyone a favour. And who knows, maybe you’ll even surprise your teacher with something he/she previously didn’t know!