Effective Online Teaching: Obstacles And Practices

Obstacles And Practices For Effective Online Teaching 

The modern world tends to change so rapidly that we barely have the chance to analyze what we have to change in order to adapt. Today we’re facing a new era in education… a new reality that will soon change the face of learning for good. Welcome to the newest educational trend: Online learning (or eLearning). If you are reading this article, you’re most likely a traditional face-to-face educator that seeks advice on how to shift from traditional tearning to eLearning. You won’t be surprised to hear that online teaching and learning is quickly taking over, and that you really need to adapt if you want to transition to this new(ish) trend.

There are several good reasons for which students all across the world decide that it’s best for them to dump the normal classes and start eLearning courses and faculties in order to get their degrees. If you were wondering why… here’s why:

  • Students find it more affordable to start their education online.
  • It’s way more flexible. Students would rather choose the time they’ll attend online course than following a strict schedule imposed by a college/university.
  • Better variety. In traditional education, most of the time, the disciplines you’re being thought are limited.

Because of this massive shift, teachers now need to turn their attention towards this new trend. Unfortunately, online teaching is different in so many ways. Traditional teachers now have to learn new ways of approaching their teaching methodologies, and also learn new practices in order to be successful at what they do.

In this article you will discover few great insights on how to better yourself when you want to step up into this “new game”.

You Must Acquire New Skills

If you want to teach other people, you must first teach yourself. Maybe you are content with your teaching abilities, but that’s not enough if you want to be a good online teacher. In order to improve your teaching performance and successfully adapt to eLearning, you should decide to attend some courses and web-seminars.

Here are some good resources that you want to check out:

  1. Online Learning Consortium, former Sloan Consortium is one of the oldest and most efficient online teaching programs.  This training program offers a great variety of choices for beginner online educators, and it’s considered to be the most qualitative service on the market. A great benefit you’ll get by attending it – you receive an recognized certificate, which will help you big time in the future. Prices range from $149 to $599.
  2. University of Wisconsin-Stout: Also offers an online teaching certificate that can be gained by following four courses, each 8 weeks long. The final exam is an practicum, accompanied by future career mentoring and job placement help.
  3. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is a non-profit organization meant to help online teachers expand their horizons – and it all comes cheap. They offer four types of webinars, which are completely free for paying members.

In addition, acquiring technology skills is a must. Learning how to use new online tools and software can significantly increase your productivity and the way you evaluate your students. E-lecta.com for example is an online teaching and training software that lets you conduct live online classes and web meetings anywhere, and at any time.

Online Education: New Mindset And Teaching Methods

The differences between traditional teaching and online teaching are quite revealing. It’s one thing to look at your student’s face and communicate with him using your body language and tonality, and another to communicate by just typing letters on your keyboard, or seeing him on a webcam. That is why a new eLearning teacher needs to adapt to this new environment.

  • No more bossy attitudes.
    Sometimes teachers want full command over their classroom, they want to be idolized and respected just because they detain the ‘teacher” position. In the online environment, students have a choice: They can attend your online courses, or choose an alternative. If you want to keep them by your side and earn a living, you’d better respect them.
  • Leave the ego out of the equation.
    If you want to do this job right, you need to be emotionally stable. You need to be confident and secure on your actions, and minimize your expectations. You won’t see children smiles or appreciation quite often, and that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to do your job.
  • Be available.
    Students appreciate an online educator that is available for most of the times they need him. Sometimes they may need some help with some task you gave them, and sometimes they just need someone to talk too. Students also have strong communication needs, and the more you’re there for them, the more they’ll appreciate you.
  • Give constant feedback.
    This is critical if you want to exceed in online teaching. Your feedback should be continuous during the eLearning process. Most of the times, students crave for appreciation and recognition. Your comments should be always productive and thoughtful.

 Get To Know Each Of Your Students

When you are teaching online, you’ll come across different nationalities and cultures. This toughens the teaching process because every student is different in his own way, and follows different principles in life. Before communicating and teaching online, your main concern should be who you’re teaching, and how you can improve your way of teaching according to the differences that exist between your students.

You need to be aware that some cultures value things differently, see certain actions differently, and overall perceive the world differently. If you want to be efficient for all of your students, no matter their nationality or culture, you must speak to each of them in private. Get to know them, understand their biggest problems and concerns, and strive to offer them a solution.  You also can see what every student needs, looking for their help resources portals, like scholaradvisor.com.

This is a common issue that many online teachers ignore, and they wonder why their results aren’t as promising as they expect. Each student is different…In a classroom, you can notice them, observe their problems, and guide them immediately. On the internet…not so easy. Do not ignore this tip, and make sure to connect with each of your students.

Conclusion

As you’ve noticed, the face of education is quickly changing. And with it, we educators must also change our ways of thinking and teaching in order to adapt. The first, and the most important step, is to realize that there are significant differences between traditional learning and eLearning. Second, we must realize and become aware of that in order to efficiently teach online, we must work on ourselves.

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