Effective learning in today’s rapidly changing world requires the evolution of strategies for online teaching.
This practice has gained significant momentum since the year 2020 as masses all around the world transitioned towards online means of learning.
But how big was the transition?
Over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries transitioned to online means of learning, and the numbers kept rising even after that.
All of this means that teaching learners online is inevitable, and it is clearly evident from all the virtual schools that have been sprouting up for the past couple of years.
However, teaching online is substantially different from teaching in a traditional classroom.
This makes it extremely important for teachers to revamp their online teaching strategies and make materials more effective and engaging for the learners.
Not to forget that teachers also have to be reasonably comfortable with computers and the internet.
But for teachers who are new to online learning, it can be a little difficult to know which online teaching strategies work best or even know where to begin with.
This is why we have created this comprehensive blog covering some of the best online teaching strategies along with ample resources to help you with the process.
But before we do that, let’s take a look at what teaching strategy is.
What Are Teaching Strategies?
Teaching strategies, also known as instructional strategies, are the methods that teachers use to deliver course material to help students stay engaged and allow them to practice different skill sets.
Usually, teachers deploy many different types of instructional strategies to achieve online teaching and learning goals and support different kinds of students.
A teacher can select a bunch of different strategies depending on the unit topic, grade level, class size, and available resources.
For instance, teachers can use a set of communication strategies to help English-language learners, while problem-solving strategies would be best for teaching mathematics to students.
Teachers may also choose to deploy classroom activities as per the instructional methods, such as the tic-tac-toe strategy or think-tac-toe strategy for differentiated instructions.
Activities that promote thinking and discussion in small groups are great for cooperative learning, while activities that require students to do things outside of class are great for an active learning framework.
Now that we know what teaching strategies are, let’s understand why teachers need to implement different strategies for online teaching.
Why Do Teachers Need to Implement Different Teaching Strategies?
Online classrooms today deploy a variety of teaching strategies to ensure that every student succeeds in their endeavors.
When teachers use a set of different strategies for online teaching to support the learning process, student engagement and achievement are both quite evident. Every teaching strategy can easily be integrated into classroom instructions at any grade level or any subject or content area.
Teaching strategies have caught up with the education system, and there’s no doubt about it.
In fact, many elementary schools all across the globe have established themselves as PBL (Project-based learning) schools or EL (Experiential learning) schools to support the learning of all students.
At the end of the day, a monotonous teaching process will always feel worn out and provide little to no value to the students. However, an effective teaching strategy will provide differentiation and personalized instructions to meet the students’ individual needs.
But that’s not all because there are a few prerequisites to fulfill to implement teaching strategies for remote learning effectively. Let’s take a look at some of them.
3 Keys to Effective Online Teaching
Online teaching offers an entirely different approach and experience when compared to classroom teaching. However, by keeping some important pointers in mind, your teaching can be as effective as it gets.
Here are three keys to effective online teaching:
1. Clear Communication
Communication is one of the most important aspects of teaching online, and as a teacher, you can’t lack in this area.
Share your expectations regarding behavior and online classroom culture as early and often as possible. Always keep an open line of communication and use a set of different communication tools like email, phone calls, text messages, and class message boards.
Weekly newsletters are also very effective for providing information and building a community of trust.
2. Variation in Lessons
Take up the lessons you’ve already created for students, and adapt them to the online environment using different online teaching platforms.
Use a mix of asynchronous and synchronous activities to engage your students and cater to different learner needs. Some of the best practices for online teaching also include community-building activities like allotting time for free chat and informal conversations between students to foster stronger relationships.
There are tons of resources available out there that you can use and convert to suit your online teaching. You can even make use of online assessments that are ready-to-use to gauge the outcome of the process at the very end.
3. Choosing the Right Tool
Choosing the right online teaching software is as important as any other factor for teaching students online. The right tool will help you effectively identify students who need more attention and areas in your remote teaching strategies that need improvement.
The right online teaching software should ideally have features like:
- User management: To maintain student records, academic history, and other essential student information.
- Tracking and monitoring performance: To track student performance, produce tables, create reports, and review students’ academic, social and emotional growth across time.
- Manage and export data: To collect and manage students’ data all in one place and export it in multiple formats to analyze and process it for further use.
- Virtual classroom support: To help you create an online classroom space that can easily be used for teaching, assessing, and carrying out activities with the students.
- Real-time reporting: To monitor individual students’ performance and progress in the classroom and without any time lag.
ProProfs Quiz Maker for teachers is one of the most popular online teaching platforms that caters to all the online teaching needs in one place. Teachers and trainers can create multiple virtual classrooms & learner groups and easily assign courses or carry out activities with the students.
You can even assess students’ learning by creating unlimited quizzes and assessments either from scratch or by using 100+ built-in assessment templates. All the assessments are auto-graded and score answers in advance to save time and effort.
The results are also displayed instantly, along with performance reports to monitor individual students’ performance with ease. Also, you can randomize questions and shuffle answers to prevent cheating and ensure fairness.
Now that we have gone through all the essential details about online teaching strategies let’s take a look at 15 strategies for effective online teaching.
15 Strategies for Effective Online Teaching
From promoting a collaborative environment and rewarding students for their performance to creating virtual classrooms, there are tons of different strategies for online teaching that can help your learners progress quickly and retain knowledge better.
Whether it is creative teaching strategies for remote learning or offline learning, engagement is a key factor that you need to keep in mind.
To help you with this, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 most effective online teaching strategies that you can use to engage your learners and set them up for success.
1.Classroom Management Strategy
Research conducted in 2019 indicated that teachers overwhelmingly request professional development support through traditional formats (e.g. online modules, print materials) to improve their classroom management strategies.
Lack of classroom management often makes students confused and teachers frustrated.
When teachers clearly let students know about their expectations and implement ground rules, students are more likely to be focused and engaged with the teachers.
This level of clarity and structure can help build a positive environment. A few more online teaching tips for building a positive environment include:
- Model ideal behavior: Clearly explain the expected behavior and follow up with it.
- Encourage initiative: Encourage all students to take active participation in the online teaching and learning process.
- Avoid collective punishment: Always call out disruptive behavior on an individual level instead of collective.
2. Promote a Collaborative Learning Environment
As an online teacher, you get a great opportunity to create a collaborative learning community for your learners.
As stated by Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Innovation, collaborating learning effectively helps develop a higher level of thinking, self-management, verbal communication, and leadership skills.
The ideal way of doing this is by encouraging both teacher-to-student and student-to-student interaction.
Creating a collaborative learning environment is a simple 3-step procedure that teachers can easily implement in their classrooms. These steps are as follows:
- Input factors: Here, the objectives of collaborative learning, role of learners, role of teachers and the design of learning will be defined.
- Process: This component consists of initiating collaborative learning through active participation, creative problem solving, and feedback in a controlled environment.
- Output: In the final step, learners will effectively demonstrate their creative thinking and collaboration skills.
Also, to ensure that you carry out these steps effectively, here are some online teaching methods that work best for implementing collaborative learning:
- Introduce: At the very beginning of the course, get the ball rolling with a personal introduction and encourage learners to contribute by telling a little bit about themselves.
- Assist: Create a discussion board where learners can post their queries to request help and assistance from peers and teachers.
- Mentor: Create small groups of students for supportive and collaborative mentoring.
These strategies will prove to be effective in encouraging learners to work collaboratively as an active learning community.
3. Provide a Variety of Multimedia Resources
Digital videos have gained enormous popularity in the past few years, and incorporating them into your online teaching method can bring a versatile flare to education.
This is the reason why videos or any multimedia resources should never be overlooked, as they prove to be great assets for teachers, students, and educational institutions.
There are several other benefits of multimedia resources as well that include:
- Engaging sensory experience: Through multimedia resources, learners are able to see and hear the concepts that are being taught to them, which will help them process the information in a much better way.
- Go-to resources: Multimedia resources are one of the easiest go-to resources because they can be easily viewed anytime and anywhere. This also makes the learning process much more simple.
- Improves digital proficiency: When students adapt to multimedia resources for online learning, they improve their digital proficiency, which happens to be one of the most important skills of the 21st century.
4. Formative Assessments
Formative assessments are exactly the opposite of summative assessments, and they take place during the teaching process.
- Occur through chapter or unit
- Improve students’ learning
- Monitor students’ performance
- Cover small content areas
- Focus more on the process of learning
Formative assessments are great for reducing students’ stress around testing, and they also give teachers an opportunity to correct students midway through the course.
These assessments need a bit more one-on-one time, but the level of attention that can be given to students is unparalleled,
Some examples of formative assessments are:
- Formative quizzes and trivia
- Entry and exit tickets
Related Read – What Are Educational Quizzes and How Can You Build One?
5. Add Discussions to Increase Comprehension
Discussion is an unbeatable way for asynchronous learning, and it can take place in many different ways.
As we talked about multimedia resources in the point above, they can also be integrated into formulating active discussions.
For instance: Students can record themselves when posing questions, and in return, other students can also post their recorded videos answering those questions. This is a great way of boosting engagement online and promoting active learning.
For written discussions, teachers can post assignments and questions on the discussion board, and students can take up those questions and carry out discussions with their peers.
For synchronous discussions, you can allow students to message back and forth in real-time and solve problems on the spot.
6. Find Positive Reinforcements
Students love getting small candies or little stars in their notebooks as rewards, but that is something that is only limited to traditional classroom teaching.
However, it is still important to reward your students for good behavior, and you should do it on a regular basis for positive reinforcements.
Some of the ways to do that include:
- Public shoutouts: Provide recognition to star students through emails to the class, during lessons, or by posting them on a public board.
- Provide certificates: Another incredible benefit of assessing students online is that you can reward them with custom certificates and recognize them for their excellent contributions in the classroom. These online certificates can be generated instantly, and they open up avenues for positive reinforcements in an online learning environment.
- Student decision making: Allowing students to make decisions is a great way to reinforce them positively. Let your students choose themes of the class, provide their own learning resources or choose fun images for their Zoom background.
7. Create Multiple Virtual Classrooms
Virtual classrooms offer real-time digital collaboration opportunities that hold promise for large groups of learners.
Multiple virtual classrooms in modern-day training and assessment tools provide a teaching and learning environment where participants can interact, communicate, collaborate and engage with learning resources while working in an online setting.
A Learning Management System like ProProfs is a prime example of one of the best online teaching platforms that connect teachers with students, parents, and the community through multiple virtual classrooms.
Here are some of the benefits that virtual classroom tools like ProProfs offer:
- Easily teach and track the progress of a large group of learners
- Centrally assign courses, quizzes, and assignments to save time
- Send friendly reminders to learners to motivate them
- Allow accessing quizzes and assessments with just a single link
- Protect your courses and quizzes with secure rights of access
- Centralized portal to help learners self-access their learning
- Send email notifications to groups and users instantly
8. Be Clear With Your Expectations
Make your expectations clear with your learners from the get-go, especially during live discussions.
Every student can act up and be bold during an online class, which is not so great for the class morale if things get off-topic or inappropriate.
This is why you should take some time out from your first class and discuss with your students how you expect them to present themselves during an online class. Create a list of around 8-10 classroom norms, including specific rules like “staying on topic,” “being respectful,” “raising a hand before speaking,” and others.
This will allow you to keep the combined class behavior in check, and any minor disturbance from an outlier will be easily detected.
9. Promote Student Content Creation
Learning aims to have students engaged in the content for as long as possible, and you can do this by creating an opportunity for it to happen.
Students can show their level of understanding and engagement with the rich instructional materials by creating similarly rich products. This is a great opportunity for the students to express themselves individually.
- Students can create digital stories using tools like Photo Story or PowerPoint after choosing a topic of their choice that can be related to the course content.
- Students can also read articles and text and create a short presentation or podcast.
- Students can also have a debate talking about the benefits and drawbacks of course topics, which can be synchronous (through Zoom or any video conferencing platform) or asynchronous (using a discussion board).
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10. Implement Brainstorming Sessions
When brainstorming sessions are conducted in a traditional classroom setting, small groups of students are rotated around the room to answer prompts and add to each group’s responses.
To conduct this online, teachers can divide their students into small groups and share a Google doc or a series of slides for the prompt questions.
Each student can then leave their thoughts under the questions and assign dates, followed by commenting on other groups’ responses a few days later to add more value.
This strategy will allow students to maintain a sense of classroom community in a virtual space.
11. Universal Design for Learning
Universal design for learning (UDL) is an educational framework that primarily ensures that every student is given equal access to education.
Teachers can use this method in the classroom to give unique students a flexible way to learn and become more goal-oriented.
Some popular UDL practices include:
- Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of students
- Adapt information for multilingual students
- Provide flexible classrooms
UDL provides an extremely impactful learning experience for students and also helps teachers focus on students who need them the most.
12. Provide Ongoing Feedback
Feedback is one of the essential components of all effective learning environments and processes.
As an online teacher, your feedback will prove to be crucial in creating an experience that is engaging, informative, and motivational for the learner.
Your feedback should be continuous during the elearning process and offer constructive feedback to the learners as soon as possible. This will help them clearly identify the skills and behavior that needs to be improved.
You can also encourage feedback through online assessment tools like ProProfs Quiz Maker, which can help students learn and retain information as they attempt the assessment with the help of instant feedback.
13. Implement Gamification
Classroom gamification is one of the most effective ways of taking a student’s interest in playing and integrating it with the learning process.
Research shows that gamification helps students focus and build essential skills while keeping them motivated and engaged in the classroom.
To implement gamification effectively, you need to consider what your students like, what their learning needs are, and if there are any notable learning issues?
Some online teaching tips for effective gamification are:
- Structure problems clearly: Gamification will work best when you structure the problems with a clear set of rules and instructions.
- Ensure visible progress: Students need to be able to see how far they have progressed to set continuous goals.
- Create a manual: Make a brief manual for students that explains the games, rules, and the scoring system.
14. Convergent and Divergent Thinking
Convergent thinking is one of the popular teaching strategies online, which involves how to use separate pieces of information to reach one solution. It can be used to answer questions that require a limited range of skills and knowledge.
Divergent thinking, on the other hand, requires students to start with one prompt and then diverge towards different answers.
Convergent thinking is an important part of building fluency in coursework, and divergent thinking is important in teaching students basic concepts underlying their work.
Both convergent and divergent thinking are essential skills for all subjects, and by understanding the difference, you can incorporate both into your virtual classroom.
15. Cater to Different Learning Styles
Every student has a way in which they learn best. Odds are, that every student in your class has a unique learning style, and this can reduce the effectiveness of your teaching.
However, adopting various methods of teaching and incorporating them all together can help you cater to the majority of your students.
There are primarily four different learning types:
The variety of activities that are available today online makes it increasingly possible to create different learning environments for students.
The best online teachers use a mix of both synchronous and asynchronous activities, which helps them create a blend of traditional online learning styles but with newer and better collaborative audio and visual tools.
Implementing a mix of activities makes the course content much more interesting and exciting, making it one of the best teaching strategies online.
Related Read– How to Create a Learning Style Quiz
Pick the Right Strategies, Teach With Effectiveness
Every teacher, student, and classroom is unique, so why shouldn’t your teaching strategies be that way too?
Anyhow, taking your classroom material and simply putting it up online is not going to cut it. You need a set of effective online teaching strategies to impart knowledge in the best possible manner.
In addition to that, pairing your teaching strategies with the right online quiz maker or an LMS tool will help you easily create online courses, train learners anytime and anywhere, and assess them seamlessly.
Now the floor is yours, implement these teaching strategies and impact learning with effectiveness.
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