Managing students in online classes

Last Updated 14 October 2020, 14:21 IST

The tectonic shift in the education sector from the traditional form of teaching to online teaching has left not just students and parents but also teachers in dire straits. Teachers were suddenly forced to adopt a whole new way of teaching, practically overnight.

As the teachers jumped up to the new teaching challenge, the much-assumed difficulty was lack of technical knowledge to manage an online class. However, the bigger challenge was to manage the class itself. From distracted students who sleep in the classes to hyperactive students’ intent on showcasing their shenanigans, managing virtual classrooms with paramount parental expectations has been no less than a nightmare for teachers.

Here are a few tips to ensure the smooth management of an online class and to make the online learning experience come close to the ‘in-school’ learning experience for both students and teachers.

Be well prepared:

Teachers might be prepared with good content but online learning demands more to engage the students as they are easily distracted in the e-class. Audio-visual aids and online polls and quizzes are some examples of the “extras” teachers can use to keep students engaged. These require focussed planning and preparation. Use the available features of the platform you are using such as chat, polls, whiteboard, etc. to engage your students. After every class session, conduct a fun online quiz to analyse the understanding of the lesson. Focus on practical aspects and real-time learning.

Go for up-skilling:

While students are adapting to e-learning, teachers, as their guides, should know all the nuances of the technology being used so that you can stay one step ahead of your students. Explore how to make the classes more engaging and lively. In order to get equipped for this, they can sign up for upskilling courses.

If a course feels like too much of a time commitment, there are numerous free and paid webinars to enrich yourself with such as the free training courses provided by CBSE.

Controlling an online class

Every class has a mix of children with varying temperaments, dispositions and attitudes. Needless to say, managing children who are tech-savvier than teachers is very stressful! Here are some steps teachers can take to minimise unruly behaviour by students:

Work with the management to set disciplined and behaviour guidelines and protocols for online classrooms.

Set expectations on day one with your students - Outline the behaviours that are acceptable and not acceptable and the consequences for unacceptable behaviour.

Outline the expectations, rules, and protocols with the parents as well so that they can support the enforcement of rules and expectations with their children.

Include a co-teacher in every online session to monitor students.

As digitisation in education is evolving, educators are striving to find new effective technological means every day to make the learning experience impactful. While the new paradigm shift to digitisation in education has made things challenging, it also has unlocked multiple opportunities for both teachers and students. Harnessing this power of technology and understanding its nuances to apply in the education arena will only empower you to become a better educator.

(Published 12 October 2020, 15:48 IST)

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