Tips for Teaching Online during COVID-19, from Educators Like You

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Apr 21, 2020 11:07:08 PM

Strengthen your online teaching abilities by learning from other educators! Lisa Shaw and Julie Stavropoulos share tips for teaching online during COVID-19 below. Lisa is currently Texas OnCourse’s implementation coordinator and formerly a CTE educator. Julie is currently Texas OnCourse’s curriculum and instruction writer and formerly an English teacher. 

1. Use an online delivery system.

Using a system like Google Classroom, Moodle, Schoology, or Edmodo will give you a dashboard to stay organized. Before choosing an online delivery system, speak with the campus technology department to determine what is compatible with your subject area, students, and campus. Both Lisa and Julie have used Google Classroom for years and appreciate how easy it is to set up and teach students how to use it. Look out for our new blog on practical tips for using Google Classroom.

2. Have a diverse online presence.

Students need to know that you’re there. They’re accustomed to seeing you every day in the classroom when they walk through your door. You might consider recording your voice over a slideshow using Screencastify or Zoom, hosting video calls on Zoom or Google Hangouts, and writing weekly posts to check in.

3. But don’t overwhelm yourself.

There are millions of online tools to use, and a lot of them serve a similar purpose. It can be overwhelming to try and use multiple tools at once. It can also be intimidating and confusing for students to learn more than one interface at a time. Find a set of tools that you feel comfortable with and stick with it.

4. Try out all digital tools before sending them out to students.

Try out the dashboards and tools you are using as if you were a student before sending to students or asking them to use the tools. This can help you answer any questions that they may have and avoid any unforeseen situations.

5. Create a routine.

Set up a schedule for students to complete assignments, ask questions, participate in discussions, and receive teacher feedback throughout the week. Try being available at a fixed time during the day or week. Think about hosting regular, scheduled office hours. Consider posting once a day with information on classroom activities, additional resources, live instruction, office hours, and the best ways to get in touch with you throughout the week.

6. Aim for clarity and conciseness.

Keep everything short and sweet! Students are already inundated with communication from all their classes; try to be explicit and straightforward. Bullet points are super helpful. It’s also helpful to include a visual such as slides or a video in these posts to increase engagement.

7. Pace yourself and stay balanced.

Distance learning does not mean you are available 24/7. Create a schedule that works with your personal life, your professional life, and your students' lives, and stick to it. Collaborate and connect with your colleagues as well. Try to find moments throughout the week to check in. Lastly, pace yourself. Pinpoint essential content and work from there.

Teachers all around the world are facing similar challenges, and we’re lucky to have access to robust educational resources during COVID-19 and a strong online community of support. Good luck!

Topics: Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning