A good online setting is engaging and challenging. It captures students interest and attention and motivates them to participate and contribute.To support students’ learning, it is important that you prepare your students for your online teaching. If you are going to teach with the Hyflex / Hybrid method, read more here.
Below you will find tips to create an optimal online teaching and learning environment at your course.
1. Create clear communication
Make sure you are clear about (1) teaching form and teaching plan, (2) learning outcomes, (3) acknowledging the students’ participation, (4) how you expect students to participate and ask questions online. To communicate best about the course, it may be appropriate to have some rules that deal with both technique and etiquette. Get inspiration for online etiquette here (in Danish).
2. Use tools designed for online teaching
Use Zoom or Teams to host your teaching. Both Teams and Zoom are online collaboration platforms, where you can teach via video and chat. In both platforms you can split up students into groups in connection with e.g., groupwork or discussions.
Read more about how to use Zoom for online teaching.
Read more about how to use Teams for online teaching.
3. Prepare your students for online learning
1) Make sure to share link to Zoom or Teams in Absalon via modules, pages or announcements.
2) If your students are going to work on an assignment, write the text in Absalon prior to your teaching.
3) Make as much information as possible (e.g., slides) available on Absalon prior to the lesson.
4) Align expectations with the students.
4. Set-up Absalon for online teaching
Whether the class is scheduled online or is changed to online along the way, make sure your students know what is going to happen, where and when. Use Absalon’s modules or pages (or both) to create an easy overview and access for students. Structure is vital; therefore, it is important that you make it easy for your students to navigate and find resources and links in your course room in Absalon.
Get inspiration on how to structure your Absalon course room.
5. Make clear instructions
Make clear instructions and be sure that the students can find the assignment formulation also after they are split into breakout rooms. Be clear about what product the students will produce (e.g., answers or examples of a Padlet), how much time they have available and how the assignment will be followed up on afterwards. Online, it’s harder to ask the teacher – and as a teacher, it’s harder to see if the students look confused once you have given them a task to solve.
– For group activities use e.g., Padlet.
6. Give students the opportunity to test knowledge
It is often more difficult for students to know whether they have understood the material in an online setting. Use voting tools such as polls in zoom or other student response systems like Sendsteps.
7. Activate your students online
Put the students to work – we know from research that people must work with the material to learn the most – it is therefore important to create exercises, either individually or in groups.
It is a good idea to be explicit about the learning outcomes of an activity, some students may think that they can learn without participating in the activity.
Activating your students is a very important aspect of online teaching – a rule of thumb is every 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid long online monologues in large groups – or at least bear in mind that they can be strenuous for most participants and tend to make them rather passive.
If you teach synchronously, it’s a good idea to split your lectures into small bits (e.g., of 10-15 minutes duration) and set up group activities, questions to vote or other activities.
Asynchronous video lectures should also not be too long – better to have three short presentations than one long.
Use the TDS-model to plan your online teaching.
– The TDS-model: click here to see a concrete example of how you can plan your online teaching.
8. Vary your teaching activities
Online it is (even) harder to concentrate for a longer period of time – create variation by alternating between different types of activities: short presentations, time for questions, video clips, polls, student presentations, group work, sum breaks individually and in groups and remember short breaks.
– Find ideas for new tools you can use to vary your teaching.
9. Don’t forget the social side
The social relationships are challenged when teaching takes place online. Support more presence and create a safe learning space with time for questions by giving students the opportunity to meet each other (and maybe you) online shortly before class (use ‘join before host’) and keep your online meeting open (use ‘Leave meeting’, instead of ‘End meeting’) so students can stay and chat.
You can also encourage students to meet physically (or online) in small groups and add common coffee break (but remember the ‘right’ break too).
10. Use a checklist to manage links, content and other technical/social aspects
When you teach online, it’s a good idea to make a list with links and reminders about which technical elements you are going to include in your lesson.