A virtual classroom has created a new environment in which students interact with the learning content, teachers, and peers. Although traditional practices for classroom management are still relevant, there’s a need to reimagine our approach, considering the new possibilities and challenges of online learning.
To ensure students enjoy a rich and rewarding experience while studying from home, we need to pay attention to key elements of effective online classroom management. These are:
Read on to explore five strategies that will help you enhance classroom management and create a cohesive learning community online.
1. Prioritize Engagement
With the flexibility of online learning, it’s become so much easier to maintain student engagement. The content of classes can be tailored to the needs of students. To take engagement to the next level:
- Get to know the interests of your students. By building classes around things they’re passionate about, you’ll be more likely to encourage them to participate. Let students choose when and how they learn. An online format allows flexibility in content and activities.
- Connect the content of classes to real life. When planning your classes, think about what the routine and daily life of students look like. By referring to familiar experiences, you can stress the relevance of learning materials.
- Prioritize meaningful real-time interaction. You can use digital tools to streamline mundane tasks. Technology can handle attendance, accepting assignments, and grading tests. Students can use online resources to study asynchronously and make an essay for me by DoMyEssay. This optimizes time spent in the actual virtual classroom so you can use it for higher-level tasks like problem-solving and critical thinking activities.
- Leverage gamification tools. There are a lot of learning games online. They help students practice vocabulary, learn geography, prepare for tests using flashcards, and build literacy skills.
2. Establish a Virtual Classroom Routine
Consistency is key to effective learning in both traditional and virtual environments. A familiar routine makes students feel more confident and safe. They know what to expect from classes and how to prepare. Aside from making the classroom more organized, a consistent routine boosts productivity and allows both teachers and students to use their time with the highest efficiency.
A successful routine involves scheduling and planning. Set a specific time for:
- Class meetings;
- Publication of new assignments;
- Checking in;
- Deadlines for learning milestones and written assignments.
Fostering routines is especially important when students are learning from home. This helps them to stay organized.
Make sure that you give students enough time to familiarize themselves with the routines. You should walk students through the objectives of the course and your expectations. Setting a routine usually takes time. Give students the first few days or weeks to settle in.
3. Encourage Participation
Every classroom has more active students who tend to dominate discussions and those who struggle to participate. The level of one’s involvement might have various explanations—from a student’s personality traits to their mood and relationships with peers.
Despite providing some extra tools for socialization, a virtual learning environment makes synchronous communication challenging. Students find it harder to read body language or even know when to talk. Here are a few ways to keep communication flowing:
- Flip the classroom. By teaching theory asynchronously, you can use the online time for active discussions. Encourage students to summarize the learned information and reflect on their takeaways. This doesn’t only stimulate them to speak but also allows a teacher to monitor student progress and address struggles and problem areas in a timely manner.
- Leverage the benefits of blogs and forums. Writing posts with responses to readings and discussion prompts keeps dialogue alive. Students can share their findings and respond to reflections shared by their peers. To submit impressive posts, you can ask professional essay writers for help. To find reliable writers and services they work for, start by checking out DoMyEssay reviews. Writers will inspire you to engage in discussions and connect with peers.
4. Facilitate Communication
Communication is key to effective classroom management. In the absence of face-to-face interactions, you should use all available tools for socialization online. There are plenty of them:
- Google Classroom;
- Remind 101;
- Social media;
Plan the preferred methods of communication for different needs. They should be accessible to all students and easy to use. How should students work in groups? Ask questions in class? Contact a teacher or each other when learning asynchronously? Establishing a clear channel for communication minimizes confusion and misunderstandings.
How you communicate matters as well. Don’t ignore the dress code and etiquette in video calls. Treat a camera as your audience. This helps to connect with students and create a sense of presence. You’ll find it easier to establish contact with learners and reduce behavior issues.
5. Build a Learning Community
To create an active and supportive classroom environment, build a learning community. When students don’t interact face-to-face, it becomes challenging for them to get to know each other. Create more opportunities for learners to work in groups and socialize. You can use forums, video conferencing, and group projects to let students introduce themselves and find out more about the interests of their classmates.
Community building should be part of a learning routine. Taking time to answer students’ questions and listen to their ideas pays off as it builds positive relationships. This makes each student feel that their opinion is heard and valued.
Be present to manage and encourage classroom discussions. Offer students ideas to reflect on and make sure nobody feels isolated. When students are more connected, they’re also more likely to be cooperative and friendly to each other. This helps to maintain a healthy emotional atmosphere in the classroom, which saves students from unnecessary stress associated with learning and helps them grow academically.
Virtual learning becomes more rewarding when properly managed. Both teachers and students benefit from organizing and maintaining a structured environment with clear norms for every participant. This organizes classes and prevents issues like confusion and miscommunication. Try out our strategies when managing your next virtual class to keep students more engaged and connected.