The pandemic changed reality. “Online virtual classroom” is the most uttered word by people in the education industry. Their primary concern is to engage the students.
Why online engagement is most important than online participation?
Teachers may force students to be online with their camera and mic turned on. But what happens when a student attending the online virtual classroom is daydreaming?
What if the student doesn’t grasp the concept properly?
Everything leads to the loss of effectiveness. So engaging student is the only way to grab their concentration towards the session.
Now, If engagement is the most important factor, how can a teacher improve the online virtual classroom engagement?
With the recent experiences of various teachers and their results, they recommended 4 important factors that drive engagement in the online classroom.
Let us explore the factors below.
Aim oriented activities in an online virtual classroom.
The major mental block which affects the engagement in the online virtual classroom is, we continue the usual teaching process.
But how to change the process when we are teaching the same syllabus?
Here comes the goals. In the online classroom, we always plan according to the time.
“I have 30 minutes. So, I will complete this part of the unit within this time.”
Most of us plan our online sessions like this. But this does not work while teaching online.
For an online session, first determine the overall aim of the subject. And split it up into smaller tasks. Now delegate the responsibility to the students.
Yes. By delegating the activities to the students, they become responsible and their engagement rate will increase with affecting the overall aim of the subject.
By this way, a student can learn the subject without compromising with reasons and a teacher can complete the syllabus with satisfaction.
Finally, a win-win method for student and teacher in terms of engagement and value delivery.
Attention and commitment based online virtual classroom
How to make a student committed to the classroom?
This question is not only for an online virtual classroom. Even from the ancient days, teachers have this question and struggling to make students committed towards the subject.
What if I say I have an answer to this?
Yes. A simple but an effective method to make students committed towards the subject is “Project based Learning”.
This is not an innovative method. But the effectiveness of this method depends on how effectively we use this.
Let us proceed with an example. If it is English class, and our goal is to teach the students about essay writing. We can ask the student to select any person they know and interview them about their achievements, strengths and weakness.
Now, we can ask the student to write about the person as an article and can send us through our online learning platform.
We can also make their writings public, so they will get extra motivation, which results in “student’s commitment retention” .
This method plays a biggest role in engagement, but we cannot load a student with projects beyond their limits. One subject at a time results in best engagement.
Customized Assessment models
“Hey students, its time for the half-yearly exam. Please start preparing.”
Oh my god. These words bring some nostalgic moments before me.
Jokes apart. This is a usual exam model to assess the student. But with this traditional model, the online virtual classroom cannot be successful.
Because they design these exam patterns in such a way to write in a silent environment with no distractions and highest level of commitment.
But can these environments be possible in an online exam?
Absolutely No. So, what can be the best solution?
To make the online assessment more engaging, we have to consider customizing.
We must decide the pattern and timings based on,
- The subject
- Student engagement level
- Expected outcomes and
- The syllabus.
We cannot plan a project based exams for mathematics while we can easily plan a project based examination for science.
So, depending on the above mentioned 4 factors, we have to customize the examination, that will definitely help to make students more engaged towards the examination.
Give importance to screen time.
” We planned classes for 4 hours in a row for the morning session.”
Is this possible in an online virtual classroom?
If so, we can see 0 percent engagement at the fourth session.
As per the research conducted in the USA, a student below 10 years of age has to give rest to his eyes, after every 20 minutes online session. And a student below 18 years has to give rest to his eyes, after every 2 hours.
This is not only for health benefits, but also for the student’s active participation and engagement.
In terms of online session, a shorter session will be more effective than a longer one.
On a whole, always allow students to interact with the teachers and within themselves. Allow them to argue about topics. Confuse them with a question and allow them debate.
To increase engagement in the online virtual classroom, the above techniques will do justice than any other expensive options.
But for all this, your online learning platform has to be responsive and hassle-free.
Happy engaging with your students and please post your views about this on the comment box.