Online teaching is expected to be the ‘new norm’ in the future of education, even after COVID-19. Though distance learning can offer exciting opportunities, it can also open Pandora’s box if one expects it to work by bringing in the practices of real classroom teaching to it.
Teaching online requires a different set of unique skills that diverge from the traditional face-to-face teaching. In order to be successful in this climate, educators are required to learn new digital teaching skills that allow them to navigate the digital classroom. The Moodle Educator Certification was designed to equip teachers with all the educational digital competencies needed for teaching online.
The ‘Horrors’ of Student Engagement in
Engaging students can be a great challenge in the realms of online teaching. How can you ensure that your learners understand the value of the content you are teaching? How can you best motivate learners to effectively communicate through their screens? And on a specific level, how can you be sure your learners are really reading, thinking, and commenting on the materials you post? Are they really attending the live classes or are they signing in and tuning out or maybe even sleeping?
When students are actively engaged, eLearning can be a haven for educators. The question is… how can we bring students to become fully engaged behind a machine?
Here are six simple ways educators can increase engagement within their students:
Inspired by the Moodle Educator Certification program, built on the European Framework for Digital Competencies.
№1. Bring out your character
Learners need to feel a connection with the person behind the screen. They need to feel inspired, connected, and also appreciated by the course creator/educator. They will not engage in a course or program, even with the best content or in the best platform/app, if they do not feel the human factor.
Introduce them to yourself, let them know more about you, perhaps you would like to share with them your hobbies, your favorite meal, or favorite color.. These details can help form a closer connection with your learners.
Make sure to have small chats with them during live classes about certain trending topics unrelated to the course content. These conversations can bring life into the discussion while allowing the learners to relate to each other.
№2. Use Storytelling
Stories teach us about life, about ourselves and about others. Storytelling is a unique way for students to develop an understanding, respect and appreciation for the content.
It keeps us engaged with the storyteller and with the events of the story. Do use storytelling techniques with your learners, it will not open their eyes and ears to you but also make them love the rest of your course (even the parts that does not include stories).
№3. Use Incentives and Gamification
Educators love when motivation is intrinsic but sometimes capitalizing on the extrinsic motivation of your learners can make learning a pleasing experience for them. Gamification is one approach to increase the engagement of learners.
Awarding badges to students when they successfully complete a specific skill or course topic can help boost self-confidence within your learners. This will give them the feeling of accomplishment, and the ability to celebrate their progress and talents.
№4. Win over learners fear and provide a safe zone for all
Many learners might want to participate in topic discussions, provide peer support, and come up with ideas but are fearful of how they might look in front of their peers and how will you react to their possibly ‘wrong’ answers.
Provide a safe space for all students to participate by reinforcing learners’ participation through positive feedback. Try to refrain from using the words such as ‘No’, ‘You are wrong’ and other similar phrases which might trigger negative emotions in your learner.
№5. Build a sense of belonging in the classroom community
One of the reasons why we love our jobs, our studies or even going to the gym is partly because of the entourage. While it is easy for learners in face-2-face classes to form friendships and a sense of belonging with their peers; the elearning environment is different. Teachers play a big role in making their course idle or bringing a sense of community to it.
Make a space for learners to introduce themselves, their background, hobbies and experiences with each other. It will help humanize the learning environment you are teaching in while allowing your students to build personal connections.
By assigning group projects and tasks such as having learners co-work together on a presentation or on a math problem does facilitate an opportunity for them to get to know each other, form a connection, and also feel a sense of shared accomplishment.
№6. Get Certified for teaching online
The above ways are just some of the methods discussed in the MEC program.
Teachers have the knowledge, skills, and probably the certification in teaching however, teaching with learning management systems requires a different approach and different competences.
Thus make sure to update your skills, acquire new competences. One great program for that is the Moodle Educator Certification program that Eummena provides. This certificate enhances your reputation and puts you on the right track to advance your career with credentials that prove your capacity for online learning and digital skills.
To register your interest in it, please click on: eummena.org/service/mec
Eummena, Premium Moodle Partner for the Middle East and Africa, is offering a one-time amazing Moodle Educator Certification deal, only for attendees of the Elearning Success Summit 2.021: Cracking the Code on Learner Engagement. Learn more and enhance your digital teaching competencies here.