How to Make Lessons Fun and Engaging When You Are Teaching Online?
Online tutors on CrunchGrade, a reputed online tutoring platform for K-12 students, keep experimenting with new ideas and innovative ways to make their lessons more fun and engaging. Here are some tips that have worked for them:
- Use a variety of tools and resources
Don’t just stick to one resource or teaching method. Incorporate different types of resources into your lessons, such as videos, articles, games, etc. Online teaching platforms these days make it incredibly easy for you to incorporate multimedia elements (like animations or 3D models) in your lecture to explain a concept more easily.
Physics lessons, for example, become much easier to understand when you can visualize the concepts with the help of simulations.
Chemical bonding can be better explained using 3D models that show how atoms are arranged in molecules.
Offering a quick quiz at the end of the class is also a great way to ensure that students have understood the concepts taught.
2. Get students involved
Make sure to get students actively involved in the lesson by asking them questions, having them solve problems, etc. This will help them stay engaged and focused on the material being taught.
In an online class, you can ask students to type their answers in the chat box or raise their virtual hand to answer a question. Or perhaps choose the correct answer to MCQs by clicking on the right option.
Some other ways to get students involved in an online class are:
- Share real-life examples: Students often relate better to concepts when they can see how they are applied in the real world. Share relevant examples from your own experience or from the news to help them understand a concept better.
- Encourage group work: You can assign students to small groups and have them discuss a topic among themselves. This is a great way to get students to think critically and also learn from each other.
- Use polls: Online teaching platforms usually have inbuilt features that allow you to create polls. Use this feature to gauge student understanding or to make your lesson more interactive. For example, you can ask students to vote on the best solution to a problem.
3. Be clear and concise
When you’re teaching online, it’s important to be clear and concise in your explanations. This will help ensure that students understand what you’re saying and don’t get lost in the material. Try to break down complex concepts into simpler ones and provide plenty of examples to illustrate your points.
For example, when you are teaching how to generate electricity from a potato, it is important to first explain what electricity is, how it works and what are its applications. You may also want to add a few lines about how electricity was first produced. Only then should you move on to explaining the experiment.
The experiment itself can be further divided into steps, each of which can be explained in detail. By breaking down the material in this way, you can ensure that students understand the concepts being taught better.
Flowcharts, diagrams, and infographics can also be very helpful in making your explanations clearer.
4. Make use of technology
You can always use screen-sharing software to show students a particular concept or website. Or you could use a digital whiteboard to write down and explain equations, chemical reactions, etc.
You could ask your students to play an online game to teach math concepts or use a virtual reality headset to take students on a virtual field trip. AI-based education programs allow you to assess your student’s learning styles and provide them with personalized lesson plans.
Online games and assessments can be designed to be interesting and fun for students, and offer a deeper insight into their understanding of the material.
5. Be flexible and adaptable
Keep in mind that not every student learns in the same way or at the same pace. So, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable in your teaching methods. Be willing to adjust your lesson plans and materials according to the needs of your students.
Some of the ways you can easily tweak a lesson to match the needs of your students are:
- Change the delivery method: If a particular delivery method isn’t working for a student, try another one. For example, if a student is having trouble understanding a concept when it’s explained verbally, try showing them a video or a diagram instead.
- Repeat and clarify: If you notice that a student is struggling to understand a concept, take the time to explain it again or provide more examples.
- Offer additional resources: If a student is having trouble understanding a concept, offer them additional resources that they can use to learn more about the topic. This could be in the form of books, articles, websites, etc.
Remember, online tutors, are often the last resource of academic support for students. So, you
must make the most of the time you have with your students and help them learn in the best way possible.
6. Encourage collaboration
Encourage students to work together in small groups to solve problems or discuss concepts. This will help them learn from each other and develop their teamwork skills.
You could also create a forum or chat room on the online teaching platform where students can ask questions, share resources, and have discussions outside of class.
7. Give instant feedback
Besides regular feedback, an instant feedback system can be beneficial for students. It can help them understand where they went wrong and how they can improve.
Many online teaching platforms have inbuilt features that allow you to give instant feedback to your students. For example, you could use the annotation tool in Google Classroom to highlight mistakes in a student’s essay and make suggestions for improvement.
Try to be specific and constructive in your feedback so that students
can use it to improve their learning.
Some of the phrases CrunchGrade experts often use while offering feedback to students are:
- “This is a great start!”
- “I like the way you thought about this problem.”
- “Let’s try approaching this problem from a different angle.”
- “That’s a great question! I’m glad you’re thinking about this.”
8. Keep things fun and interesting
The source of energy in a classroom is the ‘Teacher’. The way you stand or sit, the energy in your voice, the look in your eyes, and the overall feeling you create in the classroom all matter.
When you’re teaching online, it’s even more important to be engaging and enthusiastic so that students don’t get bored or distracted.
Add a personal touch to your lessons and make use of humour whenever appropriate. For example, you could start class with a joke or a funny story, use props or pictures to liven up a boring concept, or play games to review material in a fun way.
Students will be more likely to engage with the material if they enjoy the class.
With these tips, you can make sure that your online classes are fun, engaging, and productive for everyone involved. So go ahead and give them a try!
To make it easier for you to decide, your first session is completely FREE!