Tough Times – The 4 Biggest Challenges Of Teaching Online (And How To Overcome Them)
Teaching in a brick-and-mortar classroom is hard enough, but distance teaching has its own challenges as well. In fact, it’s a totally different environment. Teaching and tutoring online are both more personalized. Online classes are more flexible, accessible, and they even allow for easier communication.
So, what obstacles can you expect on your online tutoring or teaching journey? What could sabotage your classes and what can you do to get rid of those obstacles? Keep reading to find out.
1. Enthusiasm Issues
It’s easy to lose interest in something if you don’t know where it’s going or where it will take you. Not only is it important for you to track student progress, but you also need to make sure that each task has a deadline, results you can gauge, and accountability.
Try to make the learning experience as exciting as possible but not so much that it takes away the significance of the subjects at hand. Create a light-hearted atmosphere of competitiveness, making exercises almost seem like games. Use music and art to liven up your presentations. Anything that combines hobbies with learning is great.
Got some slides you’re going to want to go over? The animations on Powerpoint might not cut it. Instead, use creative presentation apps to get students really engaging with your content.
2. Supporting Teamwork
It doesn’t matter what you’re teaching, your students need to collaborate. Discussion and communication skills are necessary for understanding and tasks can be broken down more easily when students play an active role.
The question is, how do you get students to work together effectively when they’re miles apart? One thing you can do is to have your students grade each other and then ask them to justify their grading decisions. You can also look into the countless apps out there designed to facilitate teamwork. Get your students to make use of the ones you recommend so they can stay productive and connected.
Education requires one to delve into different perspectives, and this is a fantastic way to do that. Just because they can’t huddle up in teams, doesn’t mean your students can’t benefit from each other as peers.
3. Feeling Out Of Touch
When it comes to online tutoring, you cannot afford to just be a figurehead. The learning process is a nurturing one; it requires time and attention. So, write to your students to make sure they’re on the same page. Get a chat room, mood board, or discussion board going. Don’t just be a name on the screen, let them see your face and hear your voice.
Your students need to be seen and heard if they’re going to get the best out of the learning arrangement. It’s just as important that you engage too and allow your personality to shine through. How can you expect anyone to learn from a disconnected teacher on a screen?
4. Receiving Feedback
As you go about eliminating all these challenges in your teaching quest, don’t forget that you’re still a student too. Take every suggestion and every bit of feedback seriously. Stay up-to-date, and make an effort to see things from your students’ point of view. The more relatable you are, the more responsive and engaged your students will be.
Shopping around for education has never been easier for students and their families. As a teacher or tutor, this means you’re up against a lot of competition. To set yourself apart, make use of digital tools and educational technology. Be accessible to your students and enjoy yourself because if you don’t, then your students won’t either. Now teach away!