Best Practices in Online Teaching
The popularity of online learning has skyrocketed in recent years. While some institutions have made the transition to online platforms to support online teaching and learning, others have struggled. With more and more students participating in classes online, it’s imperative that instructors become familiar with some of the best practices in online teaching to ensure a positive experience, both for themselves and their students.
Teaching online classes is undoubtedly different from teaching traditional, face-to-face courses, but learning how to navigate this new digital landscape is crucial for those working in education today. Whether you are an experienced educator or just going into your first year of teaching, you can improve the effectiveness of your digital classroom by following a few best practices in online teaching. By implementing online pedagogy best practices, you can improve your teaching strategy and make a smoother transition to digital learning.
You might also search for suggestions to improve the online teaching/learning process. There are a plethora of valuable resources that can help educators develop a solid online curriculum, and it’s worth viewing examples to see how other institutions have managed the expansion of distance learning options. For instance, you can learn how to improve your teaching presence in online learning, whether that be through better email communication, use of video, or more opportunities for digital office hours.
Of course, no two institutions are exactly alike, and so it’s important to consider your school, what your teaching style looks like, and the needs and preferences of your students. Some students may respond well to collaboration with peers online; while others might prefer to work individually. The great thing about online learning is that it provides greater flexibility to both instructors and students. You can learn wherever you want and, in many cases, whenever you want. Rather than having to meet at a certain date and time, students have the option to learn asynchronously.
To better understand best practices in teaching, you might also consider listening in on a colleague’s lecture online. This can be especially helpful for those that are just getting started with online teaching. They can take note of the things other instructors do well and what things might need to be adjusted for their own courses. As with traditional learning, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to online teaching; however, there are a few best practices that can lead to positive outcomes, no matter your teaching style.
Although making the transition to online learning isn’t easy, it can result in a number of benefits for instructors and students alike. Greater flexibility is one of the primary advantages of teaching online, and by identifying your unique teaching needs and goals, you can better determine how to structure your curriculum to serve online students. With the right tools, you can deliver course material just as effectively as you would via traditional teaching. In many cases, online teaching can be even more effective than face-to-face learning.
Effective Online Teaching Strategies
Developing effective online teaching strategies is key to achieving success with your online learning program. The article Creative and Innovative Online Teaching Strategies: Facilitation for Active Participation by Leighsa Sharoff outlines some of the best practices in the planning and design of online learning experiences. Most notably, the article emphasizes that learning should be transformational and give students the opportunity to dig deeper into their learning and reflect on concepts, just as they would be able to in a face-to-face course. Sharoff also details how to effectively integrate technology as a tool for learning rather than as a pedagogical methodology.
There are various online methods of teaching in higher education, and Sharoff’s article explores many of those. For a more robust understanding of online teaching methods and pedagogy, you can view other journals and articles on the subject, and even participate in workshops focused on how to be a more effective online teacher. Effective online teaching methods include fully familiarizing yourself with the technology you’re working with in order to leverage it to your advantage. Prepare for tech-related disruptions, such as dropped connections, and have a backup plan in place to get students the material they need should your teaching platform fail.
One of the best suggestions to improve the teaching & learning process is setting clear course expectations from the start. Open communication is critical to succeeding with an online learning program, and instructors need to let students know from the get-go how course material is going to be delivered and how assignments are to be turned in. This can help reduce confusion and set students up for success. Unlike a traditional, face-to-face class, students participating in an online course are unable to speak directly to their instructors, and so it’s important to create clear syllabi and let students know how they can contact you online, whether through email, video chat, or otherwise.
Incorporating innovative teaching methods in the new normal can improve the online learning experience for everyone involved. For example, you can create a flipped classroom in which students read or watch lectures on their own time and collaborate with peers on projects in the digital classroom. In this model, educators take a backseat and allow for greater peer-to-peer collaboration, only stepping in as needed. Blended learning is another one of the best innovative online teaching methods and facilitates both online and in-person learning. Institutions can design courses to meet on site at least part of the time, which can be beneficial for instructors and students alike.
By reading up on the best practices in teaching and learning in higher education, instructors can better equip themselves with the tools and knowledge they need to provide positive learning experiences for their students. There is a wide range of innovative online teaching strategies, so whether you’re a large institution that serves thousands of students, or a smaller institution with a few students per class, it’s important to consider how you can best meet the needs of your student population.
Best App For Online Teaching
Finding the best app for online teaching is key to creating a successful online course for students. You should choose a platform based on your preferred online teaching tools and techniques. For instance, if you want to incorporate videos in your classes, you should look for an app or platform that can easily integrate video technology. If you want to provide opportunities for student collaboration, you should look for an app that allows students to connect, whether through video or chat — or both.
The best apps for online teaching are those that can be customized to suit the needs of each user. Some platforms offer a greater range of tools and features than others, but it’s important to choose something that can evolve alongside your teaching needs. When choosing an online teaching app, you should also consider your institution’s budget. It may not make sense to invest in an expensive, advanced platform if you’re primarily teaching in-person, or will only be working with a small group of online students. On the other hand, if you are going to be teaching entirely online, it might be best to choose an app with extensive functionality.
Online teaching tools range from online whiteboards to digital quizzes. There are many ways you can utilize online tools to engage your students and promote learning, even if you aren’t teaching in a physical classroom. By incorporating effective online teaching tools and adhering to best practices in online teaching, you can create a positive, learning environment for your students. Many people erroneously believe that online learning is less effective than traditional learning, but this is not always the case. Instructors can create learning experiences just as effective, if not better than in-person learning, by leveraging the right apps and tools.
Harmonize is an online teaching app — a suite of discussion and collaboration tools — designed to improve the online teaching and learning experience. The platform makes it easy for students and instructors to collaborate and be more efficient with their time. Harmonize does away with outdated discussion boards and provides a modern solution that utilizes videos, images, polls, and more to engage students in class discussions. Harmonize is as easy to use as social media and is effective in encouraging student-to-student, student-to-content, and student-faculty interaction.
The platform’s features promote equitable learning that is inclusive of all students and learning types. Using tools such as image, audio, and video annotation along with closed captioning, Harmonize makes it easier for students of diverse abilities to take full advantage of collaborative opportunities. Instructors can also set milestones to keep students on the same page and remind them of upcoming deadlines. This helps them to stay engaged and on top of all class expectations.
Harmonize offers numerous benefits to instructors as well. The platform auto-grades student participation and checks posts for plagiarism. It also makes it easier for instructors to monitor interactions in order to see which students are struggling and may require additional support. With Harmonize, you can transform your digital teaching strategy and engage students on a whole new level of learning.