Do you have a passion to teach and share your knowledge outside the classroom? Or, maybe you are not a certified teacher but still want to teach your skills to others so that they can benefit in their lives? Both aspects can be achieved by means of online teaching.
Online teaching has become an essential part of our education system now due to the worldwide threat posed by COVID-19. But even before the pandemic, there were high demands in education technology as the education system is always focusing on making the learning more effective and accessible to the students.
What is online teaching?
Online teaching enfolds the terms “e-learning” and “distance learning”, as it takes place in a virtual platform rather than in a traditional classroom. Generally, it’s an educational approach where all the course materials are delivered online to distant learners.
Today, the ever-advancing technology, internet and tools have made it possible for the global online education market to reach an estimate of USD 100 billion. And it’s forecast to each USD 85 billion by the year 2027 according to edureach.
You can teach the way you want, including creating course materials in multiple languages to reach out to more native learners and aspire more students such as video calls, webinars or pre-recorded lessons.
Why should you teach online?
It’s accessible to so many people because anyone with an internet connection can attend Livestream college lectures or learn a language via video-call or even coach others by sharing their skills and knowledge.
What does it take to teach online?
Remind yourself what got you into teaching in the first place? Maybe it’s the passion that brought you there. But passion doesn’t just extinguish because now you’re online. You don’t need to exert so much effort to create and design materials for your online classes. You just have to work harder and smarter.
20 tips to Teach Online
The online education market has grown exponentially in the last few years. There are zillions of courses online that people can take to enhance their life skills. And you can also contribute to the betterment of people all around the world by sharing your skills and teaching online. You just have to follow these 20 tips.
1. Be comfortable with computers and the internet
This is one of the most important tips to teach online as your primary methods of interactions with the students will be emails and video calls. You may also need to create digital resources such as PowerPoint presentations, audio lectures, videos, PDFs etc. Therefore, understanding the terms of online education is a prerequisite for becoming a successful online teacher.
As an online teacher, you should be familiar with these tools and have a clear understanding of the uses of each system for course designing, delivery, assessment and grading system.
You should have the ability to use all sorts of multimedia properly so that you can invest in the right hardware and software.
2. Design Instructional materials and course content
You should provide the learners with the best e-learning course. Creating lesson plans, curriculum, presentations and all the other materials for your course will improve its quality.
Providing instructional video of any process with the course content can enrich the overall quality of your content. Remember to keep your course up-to-date. You’ll also need to re-check or change courses in accordance with the learner’s needs.
You should have the ability to use all sorts of multimedia properly so that you can invest in the right hardware and software.
3. Engage the learners
Add visuals, videos and audio to PowerPoint slides to make your course more engaging. Communicating with your learners in multiple formats such as course email and discussion forums can add more interest to your lesson.
It’s important to interact with your students with a positive attitude and a friendly gesture. Make your content useable on mobile devices as well. Don’t overcomplicate your course with too much layout and designs. However, you can convey information about a complicated process by using visual formats.
4. Understand basic student needs
Once you’ve set your goals, you need to have some idea of your learner’s goals too.
It’s important to know their strengths and weaknesses to ensure better interactions between you and your learners. You also need to know whether your learners can access your course materials or not.
5. Make relevant and targeted content
If you want to ensure the best online learning experiences for your learners, you need to know what your learners need and what they need.
You can make a tutorial video for the elders using the preferred words for this age group. Whereas, you can make the same content for kids but using a different language than you would for teaching the elders. If you know and select your audience first, it’ll be easier for you to attract more learners.
6. Use CMS tools and LMS
One of the most important skills that make the online teaching process easy to handle is the effective use of the CMS tool. The content management system or CMS will enable you to create and manage all the teaching materials and resources for online courses. It can also serve as an archive for all the resources for both teachers and learners.
On the other hand, the learning management system, also known as LMS, is a platform that can be accessed from anywhere by students and teachers. You can conduct your online classes here, assign work, post grades and important announcements. Due to its ease of use, LMS ensures a flexible teaching, learning and training environment.
7. Set up a reliable working environment
You need a place to conduct online classes where you will be able to stay focused on your work and keep your materials well-organized. Setting up a suitable place for yourself completely clutter-free and comfortable will allow you to work more effectively.
Setting up a simple space in your home (just the background) to look like a classroom will be helpful. Try to emulate the traditional classroom as much as possible, but nothing too extravagant.
8. Encourage collaboration
It’s more effective when students work in groups on an assignment rather than working separately. But how can you support students to work together when you’re teaching online and your students are from across the globe? Quite simply actually, by using programs like Google Docs, Google Drive, HyperDocs etc. Make sure that your learners are familiar with it.
9. Promote a flexible learning experience
When it comes to learning online, not every student has the same advantages and not everyone will get the same massage. You have to ensure that your learners have alternative ways to contact you in case of any technical difficulties during an online class.
Poor internet connection, difficulty to understand format and use required tools can often make the learners lose their interest in the course. Therefore, you should add descriptive lectures along with audio or video lessons.
10. Avoid Redundancy
Remember that the way you present information directly impacts the process of learning. You should get rid of the information that isn’t necessary. Don’t overwhelm your learners by over-explaining anything.
11. Devise a plan to maintain the content standards
This is another key teaching skill you need for effective online teaching. Firstly, you should select which standards are most relevant to the course design and deliver content as per demand.
Keep in mind that your learners can have disabilities too. In that case, you should include proper text descriptions with videos, audio and infographics so that they don’t miss out any important information.
12. Stimulate discussions
Create an open environment where your learners can express their ideas and thoughts. Fostering student-to-student discussion or teacher-student discussion can help you with the monitoring process. This will let you know how your students feel about your class.
Kicking off a discussion board so that each student can respond to any assigned task regarding any problems or learning management issues will help you improve your online teaching methods. It can also engage students in talking to each other to solve problems themselves. Discussions can significantly improve your:
13. Motivate your learners
Motivation is a big part of the learning process. And not every student will learn in the same way. You should find ways to help your students get the most out of your class. Furthermore, you can include giving extra points for optional assignments or online discussion.
Motivating your learners will help them stay focused and continue throughout the entire course. It’s one of the key components of success.
If your students ace in the online assessment, be sure to praise them in front of the rest of the class. A simple announcement can help build self-esteem in your students.
Apart from thinking about how you can help your learners focus better, you also need to think about how you can focus better as a teacher. One of the most distracting things for online teachers is noises.
Try to minimize noises in your classroom and your home in general. Make sure the people you live with know when you’re teaching and don’t barge in.
15. Give the opportunity of Asynchronous learning
If you take live classes, make sure to include pre-recorded lectures as well. Pre-recorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks can be really helpful for the learners as they get the chance to complete them at their own pace.
If your learners miss your online class or live session, pre-recorded video content or self-guided lesson will help them later to finish their assignments. You can also provide lecture notes in downloadable formats. This will ensure that not any of your learners fall behind or miss any key information.
16. Maintain a schedule
Though you have the freedom to manage your time for online class based on your preferences, it’s important to maintain consistency. Keeping enough time for yourself so that you can prepare ahead before class is as important as ensuring that your learners attend your classes.
So, plan your weekly schedule or monthly schedule if you can. It’ll help you maintain a healthy lifestyle as you’ll be able to spend time with your friends and family, even do some routine exercises. And it’s very much needed to make sure that you don’t overstress yourself trying to produce quality contents.
17. Lights and angles
Lighting is important because it highlights you as the teacher. It doesn’t matter how great your background is if your students can see neither you nor your background. The best lighting you can ever have is natural light.
But you need to supplement the lighting in some way. Think about bouncing the light. If you only have light upon your face, you’ll look like you’re telling a ghost story. If it’s just straight at your head, you might look like a deer in the headlights. So you need to bounce light from different directions and test it out until you figure out what works the best for you. Once you’ve got your lighting right, you should get rid of any glare from the surfaces of your background.
18. Appearance and eye contact
Appearance helps to engage your students more if you want to catch their attention. Try to maintain a fairly formal and modest appearance balancing with your comfort because you’re teaching from home after all.
Wearing a solid colour shirt might be less distracting for your students. If you wear something with polka dots or floral or stripes, your webcam will have a hard time focusing, and it will kind of go in and out of focus on you.
Try to look at our webcam or your students. Those who are new to online teaching may find themselves having no clue where to look
19. Trial and Error
It takes a lot of time and effort to make quality content as you’ll need to keep evaluating your work to see if it fulfilled your goals. By continuous assessment of your work, you can identify issues with your work and correct them to improve your professional development.
It’s recommended that you share your course content with someone who already has experience in online tutoring and get feedback from them before launching your materials online
Tools and resources you need to teach online
Coordinating online technologies into your teaching can be difficult if you don’t know how to approach your students effectively.
To develop your understanding of effective online teaching strategies, you should first get yourself acquainted with the different technologies you can use. Better use of these technologies will help you progress your design, assessment and learning activities as well.
Whether you are teaching online face-to-face or in a group, the first thing you need to ensure is the better connectivity.
What qualifications do you need to teach online?
Even if you’re a good teacher in the physical classroom, you may find it difficult to successfully teach online. Most of the teachers who teaches in schools, colleges or universities, have certain degrees and accredited qualifications. The same goes for online teaching, but it’s less limiting than traditional teaching.
It’ll be beneficial for you if you have qualifications on the subjects you will be teaching online. However, without a formal education, having skills and life experiences you can teach online too. It’s a competitive industry where you may need to possess valid work experiences.
What can you teach online?
Usually, you should focus on the topics that you’re passionate about and have experience with so that you can show your skills.
If you are a tutor, you should have a clear understanding of how to use educational technology better to encourage learning and development in students. Planning a lesson in advance with key strategies and principles will ensure the maximum student engagement.
You can take your teaching career to the next level by organizing and designing your lessons with the necessary tools and technology to make your lessons more dynamic and interactive. This is considered one of the most important skills in online teaching if you’re looking forward to earning money as an online teacher.
Analyse learner’s needs and design contents that suits best to express your knowledge and skills. Developing lesson plans and implementing the course using different technologies, will attract more learners to your online class.
Skills can you share online to make money
With the advancement of the modern era where technology stacks are so complicated and specialized, sharing our knowledge skills have become critical. Sharing your skills with others not only helps your career but also contributes to society. Here are some skills that you can share with others by teaching online and make money.
And the list can go on because there’s no limit to knowledge and skills.
Things that you can do as an online teacher
When you teach online, it gives you loads of opportunities and new possibilities to reach build your career. Online teaching differs vary from traditional teaching methods. You can share your knowledge, skills and innovative ideas with the learners and earn a decent amount of revenue in return if you can balance your life and online teaching.
You can also teach remotely from the comfort of your home in case you need to reach out to your students on holidays. Here are the two major benefits that you can get by being an online teacher.
Curb your limitations
Teaching online will allow you to reach beyond the limitations of a traditional classroom. For instance, there’ll be no limit to the number of students who can attend your class. You can reach out to students from all over the world.
Besides reaching out to thousands of students, you can actually deliver quality education from the comfort of your home. Imagine you are on a holiday with your friends and family, and you’re still able to manage an hour to work on your online teaching materials or even conduct a short class; all you have to do is set up your arrangements, and you’re ready to go.
Ease of connectivity
There are so many tutors out there with excellent skills and knowledge to share but are not able to do so, maybe because of their busy schedules or travelling inconveniences. However, teaching online can mitigate these limitations and open new doors of opportunities for you. This is so convenient that it will save you a great deal of time, money, and hassles of travelling.
Online teaching can be a great endeavour as it leads your career to new possibilities. Thanks to the technological advancements of the 21st century that distance is no longer a barrier to your goals, it’s just a click away.
Regardless of whether you make online teaching your full-time career or part-time earning source, you can always reach out to thousands of learners to fulfil their needs. And by doing so you’re making a difference in your life as well as the learners’.