In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, faculty around the world are moving to digital classrooms. The team over at our sister product, EF Languages Abroad, has used their experience in online teaching to come up with a list of their top tips for faculty navigating this new normal for the first time.
Don’t be afraid of teaching online
In addition to convenience and easier access for students, you will also have the power of the internet, should you need additional resources during class.
Give thought to your workspace
Your teaching environment is just as important as some of the more obvious things you might think about, like your dress code. Try using the following checklist to ensure you are set up for success:
- Make sure you have proper lighting
- Position yourself so you are centered in the camera
- Try sitting at a proper table
- Face a neutral background
- Step away from the snacks – if you can avoid it, try setting up in a place where your distractions from others will be limited.
- Go ergonomic – try placing your computer screen at eye level, position your keyboard so that your forearms can rest parallel to the floor, and adjust your chair so your feet can rest firmly on the ground.
Have the right equipment
Set aside some time before you get started to check things like your internet connection (you can double-check your internet strength on sites like this one), your webcam, and your audio. If possible, try and find a headset with a microphone as it will help filter any noise around you.
The last-minute scramble right before you plan to jump on a call is never fun. Try arriving a few minutes early to do a quick technical check and confirm things like your mic and camera are working properly before you need to start.
Encourage student participation
It may feel basic, but try to greet each student by name as they join your call and use their names throughout your lesson to keep them engaged. Positive facial expressions and body language like gesturing can also help make sure your learners feel comfortable and energized.
For more tips to help make sure your online teaching experience is positive, check out the full slideshow below created by EF Languages Abroad. And remember, online teaching takes time to master, so have empathy for yourself as you adjust!