Regardless of one’s religious affiliation or online classrooms, the Ten Commandments are considered a good guide to a happy and successful life. This got us thinking…
Are there any must-follow rules to teaching in an online classroom that will lead to a more cohesive teaching environment ?
1) Thou Shall Always Provide Technological Guidelines To Students
It is essential to provide students with guidelines about the minimum technological requirements needed for the course for hardware as well as technical expertise. Clarifying computer skills before the start of the course, will ensure that your students are prepared well in advance and avoid them being surprised about the requirements halfway through the course.
2) Thou Shall Always Be Prepared
Being prepared is one of the most important tenets of teaching and advance planning is essential in an online classroom environment. Before teaching an online class, ensure that you have your syllabus and materials laid out clearly before class starts. “Just winging it” will cut it in a traditional classroom, but in a virtual classroom planning is important to make the sessions meaningful and to stay on schedule.
3) Thou Shall Always Provide Timely Feedback
When teaching an online class, one should always be accessible to the students and ensure that you provide timely feedback. Online learners are usually on a strict schedule hence timely instructor feedback is especially important to them. The lack of which may deter them from making progress on their course. For any reason, if you are unable to provide a detailed response within one business day, it is good practice to write back to the student within one business day to let them know when you will provide them with a more detailed feedback.
4) Thou Shall Work On Thy Writing Skills
When communicating with students, teachers should do a spell and grammar check before sending any correspondence to a student. As a teacher, always reread the information sent to students to avoid making silly and appearing unprofessional. Additionally, all instructions should be written in a clear and concise way so that a student could understand it and not get confused by any instruction provided.
5) Thou Will Never Say Never
Just because an online classroom methodology or teaching tool does not sound like something you want to use, don’t discount it right away. As a new age instructor, one must always open their mind to new classroom tools that can be used in innovative ways You never know – that app you initially disliked could become a classroom favorite! Hence, online trainers must take the time and effort to investigate how new tools of technology could enhance learning for students.
6) Thou Shall Engage With Thy Students
Learning is an online classroom can often make the students can feel disconnected from the instructor and other students if the instructor does not plan for good communication. In order to make up for the lack of face to face communication, the instructor must endeavor to use various discussion tools to help the students connect and engage with one another as well as with the instructor