Online Learning Teaching Strategies for Teachers

7 Online Learning Teaching Strategies for Teachers

Table of Contents

Online Learning or Distance Learning is going to remain an important element of Teaching and Education in a post Covid-19 world. This method of teaching however brings with it significant challenges to the student-teacher relationship, and teaching practices. Many aspects of learning that is easily executed in a physical classroom with face-to-face interactions do not translate to Online Learning.

This article covers 3 key Online Learning Teaching Strategies that Teachers, Educators and Instructors can implement with Distance Learning.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #1: Student Content Creation

It has been many years since Social Media moved from being regaled as a fad to becoming a part of everyday life. Kids are joining social media platforms at a progressively younger age, and becoming more comfortable with consuming and creating online content. This familiarity can be used to a teacher’s advantage by incorporating content creation elements into their online learning teaching strategy.

Distance Learning Teachers should assign tasks that require students to create digital content as a means of communicating what they learnt. For example, powerpoint presentations on a chosen topic, or a 2 minute video or podcast explaining a concept, book or article in their own way. Assigned as a collaborative task, students can learn to work together while still being able to express themselves individually. The added value of this online learning teaching strategy is that sometimes a student can explain a concept or idea in a way that is more easily understood by other students.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #2: Bridge the what and why disconnect

One of the biggest challenges to teaching students through distance learning is the disconnect between what they are taught and knowing why they are taught that. Distance Learning Teachers must break down learning outcomes into smaller milestones and tie them to the lessons or tasks assigned. This will allow students to track their growth and progress, giving them a sense of accomplishment. This is necessary as with teaching online, it is hard to give individual students attention and praise, which is a vital teaching strategy that helps keep students motivated. This online learning teaching strategy also gives them a learning pathway that can help them plan for upcoming work, letting them choose to focus on concepts that they may struggle with.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #3: Tie learning to current events

The advantage of teaching online or via distance learning is the ability to interlink content that can be immediately accessed. This is a useful online learning teaching tool as teachers can tie what is being taught to current events, or relevant content. For example, when learning historical events, teachers can link to videos or articles that discuss the repercussions of those actions and decisions in today’s world. For Math, teachers can link to projects or events that show the practical applications of a math formula or math theory – such as the Mars missions. This enriches study and makes distance learning more interactive and enjoyable.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #4: Tie learning to current events

This could be the biggest difference between face to face and online learning and is possibly the most challenging to compensate for. Online teachers must plan for engaging online discussions wehter they are teacher / student discussions or student / student discussions. This can happen through purpose created WhatsApp groups or through specialised Apps. The teacher’s responsibility is to create the engaging discussion topics which will entice learners to engage and to moderate these discussions with as limited interference as possible.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #5: Structuring group work online

Following on from the above point, online discussions are integral to online group work, and this is another element that is radically different from face-to-face group work but equally important. Group work online however can be extremely beneficial to shyer students who tend to be quiet during face-to-face discussions. It is worth noting here that other than professionals who are used to working online, most online learners have never collaborated online with other learners. This is why structuring group work in minute details is very important especially during the first few assigned group work exercises. This will illuminate the second guessing and presents learners with a clear plan on what and when they need to do and how.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #6: Facilitating effective online meetings

This point also follows from the previous point and is part and parcel of online collaboration. Using one of the famous online meeting platforms or a bespoke online meeting App, teachers need to facilitate the first few meetings themselves in order to demonstrate online meeting etiquettes and possibly explaining how to use the software itself and functions such as raising your hand, muting, using a white board etc… Teachers should always aim for their interference to be minimal and to eventually hand over the meeting management to the students themselves. Tip: in online meetings, designating a meeting controller is beneficial and practical. This person is usually the admin of the meeting and is able to give the “online floor” to speakers and to presenters.


Online Learning Teaching Strategies #7: Structuring group work online

Lastly, online teachers need to be vigilant and ensure that students’ well-being is of utmost priority. Cyber bullying is a very important issue to watch for and it is as present in online learning as it is in social media. Rule and regulations of the use of the learning management system “LMS” have to clearly mention that no form of cyber bullying or insulting language will be tolerated. Another issue to pay attention to is Online learning boredom. Online learners can become bored and discouraged to finish their tasks and this risk finishing their module and or degree. This is where student administrators come in. Reaching out and connecting with students via voice, chat, or email and simply asking how students are progressing will quickly give an indication of problems if any. Simple encouragement and showing examples of other who did it are have incredible positive effects on online learners. Putting learns in touch with other students who completed the same module or programme is even more powerful.


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