One of the most important aspects of any course is the instructor. When it comes to teaching online, instructors don’t have the benefit of being able to meet with students one-on-one. How does an instructor keep a class engaged without physically presenting students? The answer is in using instructional design techniques and leveraging traditional teaching methods.
As technology improves, educators are having new opportunities to teach in ways that their clients never thought possible just a few years ago. In the following article, we are going to cover a few ways teachers can deliver effective and engaging online learning.
01) Acknowledge that technology is not the solution
Technology is easy to get excited about; it’s exciting for both educators and students. However, it’s important to keep several things in mind when creating online courses: You don’t need fancy technology; in fact, sometimes the most basic of tools are what keeps a class engaged. In a recent study from the University of London, researchers found that students preferred face-to-face sessions over Skype chat times with their professors by a ratio of 3:1.
Sensemaking: Students are active participants in their learning, and they are greatly affected by the content presented by instructors. Extending this idea, instructors should carefully consider how best to empower students to make sense of what is being taught. By using Sensemaking, instructors can provide students with tools that help them become better learners. By applying this concept, teachers can facilitate student engagement and active participation throughout their courses.
Paradigms: Paradigms allow us to gain an understanding of how we view the world and ourselves; however, these views can be challenged when using paradigms effectively in courses. Teachers can apply paradigm shifts in order to challenge the way students think and gain a new understanding of concepts. By applying the concept of paradigms, instructors can have greater influence over students, thus allowing them to foster deeper levels of engagement.
Affective design: Students aren’t interested in learning something just because they should learn it; they want to learn something because it is personally meaningful to them. Therefore, teachers should design courses that are engaging and allow them to connect with the course material in a meaningful way. By applying effective design techniques, instructors can create courses that will resonate with students on a deep level.
02) Use active participation and group work in courses
For years, the use of group work in courses has been frowned upon due to the following reasons: Students may complete group work faster and with higher quality. Students may lose focus or motivation; therefore, teachers can increase student engagement by giving them small rewards for completing difficult tasks. Students may become less motivated to learn new things; however, by giving students an opportunity to role-play and write about different topics, instructors can make learning relevant and engaging for students as to how to sell online courses.
03) Allow students to foster creativity
The human brain is a fascinating organ; it has the ability to create and learn, and it can’t be described with words alone. It’s relatively easy to teach students how to say something, but how much harder is it for instructors to teach them how to do something? The answer is much harder; however, by using creativity in courses, instructors can help students develop skills that are beneficial not only in the classroom but in life from an early age.
04) Design courses as problems that students must solve
Students thrive when they’re presented with a challenge that they must solve. It’s better for students to create their own solutions than to copy someone else’s. Instructors can make the most of this concept by having students take the initiative and tackle problems that they must solve with the help of their peers. This technique allows instructors to not only engage students but also motivate them to try new things and expand their horizons.
05) Design with purpose: why are you doing this?
Instructors should know why they’re teaching what they’re doing; perhaps it’s because it is beneficial for society, or perhaps it is simply about spreading knowledge. Whatever the reason for offering a course, instructors should think carefully about how best to incorporate this fundamental concept into their courses.