Whether you are teaching children or you are teaching adults, online learning can feel very different to classroom-based learning and it must be said that some people of all ages can struggle to adapt to online learning. With online learning and tutoring increasing exponentially it is important that you focus on your students and you focus on helping them get the most out of their online learning experience. So, how can you help your students learn online and what areas should you be focusing on?
Start With The Basics
How teachers can help students learn online depends largely on what subject is being taught and to what age group. As a teacher or tutor it is important that you focus on tailoring your resources to your audience as much as possible. Resources for online learning must be interactive and they must promote discussion. It can be very isolating learning from home, so it is vital that you engage students and keep them always feeling part of the loop. Consider how much there is going on in a classroom in each lesson and compare that to an online classroom. You may find that you have to do more talking and prompting of conversation to fill in the gaps, to ensure that interest within a subject is not lost.
Use Props And Prompts
Teaching smaller children can be hard work and keeping their attention can be even more difficult. You may find them getting distracted by goings on around the home, or you find they just wander off randomly. To keep younger children engaged it is wise that you use props. From finger puppets to pictures everything and anything that will hold and keep their attention must be used. Similarly, if you are tutoring older children and adults you will want to use prompts. Prompting discussions and prompting independent working will help students of all abilities feel engaged and feel motivated to work.
Keep It Simple And Fun
Learning must be fun and it must be engaging. If learning is tedious or too long-winded then you will find students will lose interest and they will start looking at other ways to keep themselves occupied. Making learning fun with adults can be harder to do than with children, but if you try to carve out some time at the start or end of the lesson to have genuine conversations about life experiences, then you will find you are building a relationship and rapport. When you get to know a bit about your learners and students you will get to know what makes them tick, and ultimately what makes them laugh and smile. Once you know what their triggers are, you can then begin to use these every so often to ensure that your lessons stay engaging. It is important to remember that where possible you must tailor your lessons to fit your students as much as you can – there is no one size fits all approach to online learning.