Online classrooms are becoming more and more popular in education, offering a flexible way for students to learn without being restricted by the physical location of a school. But just as in-person classes need some form of classroom management, so too do online classes.
Sometimes called class management or online teaching, the job of an online teacher is to manage the class, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and that the students are getting the most out of the experience. This often involves providing feedback, answering questions, and giving direction when needed.
Online classroom management is the process of keeping students on track and task when they are learning online. Online classroom management is crucial for delivering quality education in the online learning environment. It’s about creating a positive learning environment for students, where they can feel comfortable and confident and where they can focus on learning. It’s about making sure students are on track to achieve their goals and that they’re getting the most out of their education.
How to Manage Online Classes?
Online classroom management is important for several reasons. First of all, as online learning has become more and more common, so too has the problem of students not turning in assignments, not doing their homework, and other forms of academic misconduct. This is often because students can get away with things in an in-person classroom that they wouldn’t be able to get away with online. Online classroom management helps to combat this problem by providing a way for teachers to keep tabs on their students’ progress, no matter where they are.
Thus, below are some of the tips to manage online classrooms.
- Put Distractions Away– Distractions can take many forms in an online classroom, from Facebook notifications to the buzzing of a cell phone. Because you can’t see or hear your students, it’s easy to get caught up in these distractions. But as an online teacher, it’s important to remember to put your distractions away when you’re teaching. This means turning off alerts, turning off your phone, and turning off any other notifications that could take you away from your students.
- Address Discipline Issues Fast– If a student is not following directions or is otherwise causing a disruption, a teacher can quickly address the problem using online classroom management. First of all, the teacher should address the student, asking them politely to stop what they’re doing. If this doesn’t work, the teacher can use classroom management tools to provide instant feedback to the class as a whole or a specific student. Either way, the goal is to have the student stop what they’re doing and respond to the teacher as quickly as possible so that the disruption stops as quickly as possible.
- Teach Lessons That Privilege Text– One of the biggest challenges that teachers face in online classrooms is ensuring that all students are being given the same opportunity to learn. This is especially challenging in online classes where students can’t see one another and where the teacher can’t see their body language. For this reason, teachers need to make sure that the lessons that they’re providing privilege the use of text over other mediums, like video or audio. This ensures that all students are being provided with the opportunity to learn from the same content, rather than some being distracted by other mediums and others being hindered by the lack of text.
- Add Visual Cues to Your Lessons– Online classroom management is all about providing students with the opportunity to learn at their own pace while also allowing them to get the most out of their education. This means that sometimes, the teacher needs to adjust the way that they teach to better accommodate the learning style of their students. One way to do this is to add visual cues to your lessons, like hand gestures or emojis. This provides students with a way to understand what’s being taught without being limited by the words on the page and gives teachers a way to provide additional feedback or additional direction without having to use a lot of words.
- Test the Technology Beforehand– One of the best ways to ensure that your online classroom management strategy is a success is to test it beforehand. This means that before you’ve even implemented the strategy, you should set up a small test group of students. Have these students complete the same assignments and perform the same tasks that the rest of the students are doing. This will allow you to see which of your strategies are working, which are not working, and which ones need to be tweaked before you move them to the larger group.
- Emphasise Engagement– One of the key responsibilities of an online teacher is to keep the students engaged. This can mean a lot of things, but it essentially comes down to providing the students with clear goals to work towards, clear feedback when they are doing well, and maybe even a fun assignment or two. By keeping the students engaged, you not only help to keep them on task, but you also build a sense of community. This helps to foster a sense of belonging and helps to keep the students coming back to class next week.
- Involve Students in Establishing Norms– One of the most important parts of online classroom management is to involve the students in establishing the norms for the class. Online classes are sometimes a little different from in-person classes in that they tend to have a slightly different culture. This is especially true in online courses with large numbers of students, where the culture of the class starts to take on a life of its own. Involving the students in setting the norms for the class is a great way to build community and have them feel a sense of ownership over the class.
Online Class Management: Use it Effectively
The key to successfully implementing an effective online class management strategy is to keep it simple. There are a lot of strategies that can be used when it comes to classroom management, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The strategies that work best for one class might not work as well for another, and the strategies that work best for one teacher might not work as well for another. The key is to test, iterate, and improve until you find something that works.