3 Approaches to Preparing For a Virtual Class
With virtual classes becoming the norm for the time being, it’s important for educators to be well-versed with the latest online learning platforms and tools in the market today. Teachers are compelled to gain expertise with a particular platform and create a conducive learning environment outside the four walls of a physical classroom.
Effectively delivering these virtual classes will require both tried-and-tested learning pedagogies and the proper online tools, and one cannot be without the other. That’s why teachers must be prepared for their online classes beforehand and ensure it seamlessly recreates the learning environment of a classroom.
While there are many techniques and approaches to class preparation, these can often be broken down into three parts: standard, technical, and back-up.
Standard: Mastering the Material
This approach is no different from preparing for a class in a physical classroom, as it simply entails familiarizing with the learning content and choosing a method of lesson delivery. Whether the method is to read through the material or to memorize it, teachers must be able to confidently deliver the course in a clear manner.
Apart from familiarization with the materials, the standard approach also involves familiarization with the audience. By knowing the learners and their own learning goals, teachers can adjust their course accordingly.
These questions can help in revealing more about the learners:
- Who are they? (This should include all the relevant demographic information.)
- Do they know each other?
- Why are they taking the class?
- How far along are they in terms of familiarity with the topic or subject?
- What type of questions or concerns will they have with the material?
Technical: Understanding the Tools
Newer and better learning tools are being introduced in the market today, all of which have user-friendly features and interfaces that help streamline the process of holding a virtual class. With these tools at hand, there’s no reason to be intimidated with all the menus and icons, and teachers can conduct a class seamlessly.
It helps if teachers are adept with all the features of their chosen learning platform. This can be done by exploring it and finding more about the function of each button and feature. It also pays to learn more about the platform by attending webinars offered by the vendor or reading relevant resources online.
Back-up: Planning for Challenges
Most learning tools and platforms are equipped with features that can facilitate each virtual class in an efficient and seamless manner. Still, it’s best to prepare for any unforeseen challenges in the part of both the teacher and the student.
Unforeseen circumstances, such as disconnections or hardware issues, should be considered when planning for virtual classes. The chances of these actually happening might be low, but having a contingency plan at hand will make sure the class goes on without any hitch and no one will get left behind in the lesson.
Here are some examples of back-up plans for a virtual class:
- Using a back-up internet connection device
- Knowing the nearest public internet connection
- Having a co-facilitator to continue with the lesson
With these approaches in planning for a virtual class, teachers can maximize the online learning platforms to its full potential and deliver learning effectively.
ADEC Innovations Knowledge Management combines tried-and-tested learning principles and innovative tools in creating learning solutions. We are relentless learning architects capable of developing capacity-building programs responsive to the digital age.
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