4 Ideas On How To Improve eLearning With Student Teaching
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How To Improve eLearning With Student Teaching

Flipping roles in the classroom increase student engagement, info retention, and understanding. Participants are forced to create their own connections with the course material. By using creative ways to have students teach each other the material, they will realize questions they didn't have before and more likely remember what they were taught.

This is easy enough in a traditional classroom, but eLearning puts miles between the instructor and students. With technology, this is less of a problem than ever before. The ease of modern tools makes it possible to build relationships and foster better learning environments. Use the tips from this article to develop your own eLearning strategy for student teaching.

1. Online Class Presentations

Class presentations are easy with a local classroom but have their challenges online. First, have your students separate into groups and each research a suggested topic. Next, they will compile their research and find a creative way to share it. They can use a collage maker or design a presentation. You can choose to review them yourself or have their peers review them.

This is especially useful for developing creative skills while teaching your course material. It means they will also spend more time with the information while compiling and designing the material. You can even build your own online science fair with a scientific poster template. Then students can look at each poster and post responses as comments. These group projects foster communication and learning in creative ways.

2. Passion Projects

Let students teach what they want to teach for once. Perhaps this is a good 'getting to know you' exercise. Perhaps this is a way to teach students how to use peer collaboration technology. Either way you use it, students will be motivated and proud to become part of the learning experience. If you find students are reluctant to play the role of the teacher in other cases, try this to help alleviate tension.

You could create your own list of relevant topics and let students choose from that list. There is a number of topics that may interest students. Use your own discretion to decide what makes sense for your curriculum. These passion projects could even end up teaching you something new!

3. Socratic Questioning

If you find your students are losing attention after listening to you speak for a while, try starting a discussion. Good questions will probe further thinking and development from the students. Answers they have will teach other students and take learning deeper. This is not as direct as putting students in a spotlight but still encourages them to teach in their own way. Older and more advanced students may learn better through this method, rather than being asked to absorb long lectures.

Here are some example questions:

  • What are examples of this?
  • Why is this issue important?
  • Who benefits from this? Who loses?
  • How can we prove that this is true?

The best questions in this approach are often open-ended. They should probe for deeper understanding and inspire discussion. There may not even be a right or wrong answer always, but discussions will encourage introspection. A little research on Socratic questioning can go a long way in helping any teachers who struggle to start discussions.

Just one more tip on this: Become comfortable with silence. Wait for students to answer your question. They may just need time to think. If it's been a while, you can try rephrasing the question for clarity, but do not give in. Answering your own questions trains students to think that you will likely do so in the future. Creating that pattern is destructive to student engagement in the learning process.

4. Flipped Classroom Materials

If you are using a flipped classroom approach in your teaching, you may have found it difficult to create all of the after-class learning materials. Have your students each take a turn at preparing a day's course content. They can create a video or a presentation for their peers to go through. Another teaching opportunity for the students and less of a workload for you! You should definitely review each student's materials thought to make sure they are appropriate and properly cover the course content. Anything missed in the course content can be shortly covered the next day, but be sensitive to not embarrassing your students for their efforts.

Final Thoughts

The goal of reversing roles is to increase student engagement with your lesson material. Decide what works best with your curriculum. It doesn't make sense to do passion projects every week usually. Deciding the balance of group work and individual work will be important for keeping students accountable for their own learning and growth. Each of these methods is useful while not overused or underused. Finding that balance in your curriculum scheduling is what makes them valuable.

Best of luck to your student teaching endeavors! Please comment below with other methods or experiences that you have for student teaching.

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