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  • Writer's pictureNastassia Acevedo

Factors to Avoid When Teaching Online

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

It is inevitable to have mishaps; however, let's make our mistakes into teachable moments. These helpful tips will assist you in having an optimized online lesson.

Avoid Dead Time

Avoiding the dreaded dead time in the online classroom is essential. Two common mistakes, for instance, is having the student read a long text independently or giving a student a 20-minute video to watch in class. You want to refrain from these exercises because you aren't providing an optimized lesson; on the contrary, you are promoting dead time. Instead of having the student read independently for 10-15 minutes, you may try these approaches. For example, have the student read aloud so that you can also check the student's pronunciation, intonation, and pace. Or if the text is quite long, you may take turns with the student, have the student read one paragraph, and you the next. In this method, the student can practice reading aloud and also listen to your pronunciation. Also, instead of showing a 20-minute video in class, you may assign it for homework, or you can offer viewing of a portion of the video as an alternative option.

Steer Clear of Cultural Bias

Being an online teacher allows you the opportunity to teach students from all around the world. A teacher who is unaware of cultural differences may take the student's silence as disrespect. However, if a teacher who has studied the nuances of their students' cultures will know the student's reaction may demonstrate respect. Cultural awareness is prevalent for teachers so that they can steer clear of misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions. Moreover, make sure that you are providing materials that are diverse and alleviates any uncomfortable anxiousness.

Refrain from your Comfort Zone

We all love our cozy nook of the comfort zone; nevertheless, you have to be able to deviate from it to have practical online lessons. You must be mindful of how the student is adapting to your classes, and you should make changes to align their learning style to yours. Some excellent ways to achieve this is by checking in with your student, exploring alternative options, and making your lessons interactive. Having a traditional mindset or being reluctant to change can undoubtedly hinder your online classes. You must be willing to change your mindset and embrace technology.

Withhold from a Lecture Teaching Approach

By all means, if your lesson demands the lecture approach, for instance, a webinar, then, of course, you should use that teaching method. On the contrary, if you are conducting one-to-one or small group lessons, then you should withhold from a lecture base lesson. You want to promote interaction and have your students participate in your online class. You want students to spark debates, express their ideologies, and feel excited to contribute to your lesson. There are many ways to facilitate engagement. (If you are interested in demonstrating those techniques, click here.)

Quit Bad Habits

An excellent way to quit a terrible teaching habit is to record your lessons. Having the recordings will make you aware of your practices and evolve you as a teacher. The recording can highlight teacher talking time, not assigning time-limits for exercises, filler words, how you are providing feedback, explanation of grammatical concepts, etc. Even the most experienced teacher can identify a bad habit.

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