Best Practices for Online Learning
Teaching online means rethinking how to meet the individual and diverse needs of all students. Before children can be successful online learners, teachers first need to be confident and clear in their goals and expectations.
We’ve put together a quick list of strategies to get started with when preparing your students’ online learning experience. Utilizing these practices can help improve your comfort and experience with online learning, as well as your students’.
1. Develop Online Learning Strategies
Planning is key! Have goals in mind for classroom rules and participation expectations—clear communication of these practices from day one will help keep students on track for success.
Don’t know where to begin? Start with these online learning best practices:
- Explain participation and attendance expectations to your students.
- Discuss engagement expectations with them.
- Elicit feedback and questions from students.
- Follow up with helpful resources after lessons.
- Encourage parents/guardians to stay involved and help motivate their student(s).
Learn from fellow educators on Edutopia’s Teaching Strategies site, which is dedicated to teachers like you looking to discover and share best practices, improve their teaching craft, deliver instruction to students, and more. Join other educators in the conversation on Twitter!
2. Talking Tech with Students and Families
Navigating an online learning platform can be just as daunting for young learners as walking into a classroom on the first day of school. So how can you instill confidence in students and their families so they can be successful online learners?
Putting together a Student and Family Resource Guide can save you some time during the enrollment process and help you anticipate potential questions or issues. This guide could include:
- Login instructions
- Technical requirements flyer
- Support contact information, including the best ways to contact you and tech support
- Schedule templates or guides (include an example schedule for reference)
3. Keep Young Learners Engaged Online
Educators should begin with their best face-to-face teaching strategies, incorporate additional engagement resources and tools like polling and breakout rooms, and also complete necessary professional development to enhance their students’ online learning experience. Collaborate with fellow teachers in your district to share and develop activities for virtual learning, and run some test trials to receive feedback from students and teachers.
Additionally, check out Lead4ward’s Virtual Learning Adaptations Strategies Playlist, which is an online resource intended to support educators in delivering virtual instruction that promotes maximum student engagement. This list can help you take face-to-face instruction techniques you may already be using and adapt them for better use with online learning.
Supplemental activities can also support and enhance virtual learning. For example, taking advantage of Imagine Learning’s various features and tools for text, video, games, and hands-on experiences can help reach all learners. Discover additional activities, resources, and great ideas for creating a fun, engaged learning environment for your youngest learners.
Remember that successful instruction allows important skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity to develop. Start building your teacher toolkit just in time for back-to-school!