2020 made us closer to our homes and changed the way people live their lives. The pandemic challenged how people work, shop, and travel. So much of the way we live and work was turned upside down.
It also changed the way that we learn. And that has not been all bad.
Whether you are offering training as part of your business or as a school teacher or higher education lecturer, 2020 has changed teaching forever.
It became challenging for educators to conduct classes in a normal classroom set-up because of the safety risks to both teachers and students. However, thankfully, for this pandemic, we had the technology. And, during this strange year, that technology, and the way we have used it, has evolved at an amazing rate. It meant that workers on furlough were able to fill their downtime with professional development and that the academic year was able to continue despite the pandemic.
With online courses, educators have the tools and environment to do their job. It just takes a bit of time to learn the process and see the benefits.
How Does Online Teaching Works?
Online classes are a new way to provide education to anyone and everyone. Online classes are not limited to the usual school subjects like Mathematics, Language, or Science. For anyone who is determined to learn, there are plenty of online courses offered today relating to every specialism you can imagine, from astrophysics to fashion design.
The fundamentals of learning online are not that different from learning in a face-to-face setting, whether that is online learning for school children or business leaders. The technology has improved immensely and, with the right online learning environment, instructors will be able to carryout the following tasks:
- Give clear learning objectives
- Provide reading materials
- Create presentations
- Open discussion boards or consultation
- Give out exercises and assignments
- Assess students’ knowledge through quizzes and exams
Although most of the tasks are the same, the experience itself is different for teachers and students. It will be a learning curve at the beginning. But do not worry! Once you get the hang of it, you can see its perks.
Why Should You Teach Online?
Many of us were propelled into teaching online in 2020, quite simply because otherwise there would be no teaching at all. Online was better than nothing. But by the end of the year, many teachers are determined to continue to offer an online element when life goes back to normal. We have discovered that in some situations online isn’t just a last resort, but a better option.
Teaching online can seem daunting to a teacher who is used to a face-to-face environment. But there is plenty of help available. If you are thinking of creating an online course, there are great step-by-step guides available to take you through it. The online teaching platforms, like Meet and Zoom are set-up to enable teaching. Before you get started it helps to take part in a class as a student and get an idea of the environment from a student’s perspective.
Perks Of Starting An Online Class
You Are Given So Much Flexibility
Online classes give you flexibility when and where you conduct your classes. Unlike with classes in schools, online classes can be done anywhere and any time of the day and week.
As the lecturer, you can set the pace for the whole class which is beneficial not only for your learners but for you as well. This flexibility helps you manage your time, so you can also focus on yourself and your family and not just on work.
Also, you are not limited to doing classes in school. You can do it anywhere literally and virtually. No one can stop you from conducting your classes at home or in a café. Likewise, you are free to choose where and how you will handle online classes. There are lots of online platforms you can use to provide an effective online course.
You Gain New Skills
Your students are not the only ones learning in this experience. You, their mentor, are honing technical skills too. Since you will be using a lot of online platforms, this experience will be a great opportunity to gain new skills.
Skills you may have the opportunity to hone, include: how to create exciting presentations, edit videos for your lessons, open live online classes, and share files online. You are not only challenged critically but creatively as well.
These skills are vital nowadays especially since the world is moving to an era where almost everything is online. These skills will help you not only in your classes but in other situations.
You Improve Your Communication Skills
Today, communication is not only about how you speak in person. Communicating in person is already difficult, but it is on another level of difficulty when done through the internet.
It is hard to be able to convey your message without the aid of tones, facial expressions, and even body movement. Your writing skill will improve since this will be a more important way of talking online.
Your Resources Are Easily Shared with Students.
Again, communication is not just about speaking to one another. It is also about being able to provide materials that will help your students learn the course. One of the benefits of teaching online courses is that your resources are available for your learners.
In the lecture theatre, your students will not be able to rewatch a video you presented to them. Although students can take notes about your presentation, they would not be able to capture everything. If you want to give extra handouts or reading, you need to print it out.
You don’t have to worry about this in an online set-up. You can easily put all your resources in one place where your students can see and revisit anytime. It will also be easier for them to submit all of the requirements. This way it is much more efficient and organized.
You Can Teach More Students.
Lastly, one of the best benefits of teaching online courses is that you are available to more students. You are no longer constricted to teaching students just within the four corners of the room. You can teach students all over the world.
You can upload your courses on several networks to make them more accessible to everyone. You do not only provide for them but in return, your diverse class helps you broaden your cultural knowledge.
There is so much that has been negative and awful about this pandemic year. But the increased use of technology for teaching and communication is one silver lining that is set to endure. It seems nothing is indeed impossible with the internet. Not even the lack of physical contact can stop education.
Teaching online courses in 2020 benefits not only teachers but also students. It provides flexibility, skills, and freedom. No doubt it is challenging but it does make a lot of things easier especially with the world’s current condition.