Many educators have entered the uncharted territory of online teaching. They are adapting their methods and discovering the pros and cons of a digital classroom. Innovative technology, such as video conferencing and learning management tools, has made the transition less difficult. Teachers, however, must possess online classroom management skills to engage and motivate students to learn. Here are six strategies to equip you in digital classroom management.
Classroom Management in the Digital Age
The difficulty in managing an online learning environment stems from student engagement. It can be challenging without the physical presence of a teacher who can monitor student behavior. Besides video conferencing, most of remote learning is facilitated independently by the students. The engagement and success of any student are determined by their focus and enthusiasm for their class. This separation may make it tough for learners to maintain focus, causing them to lose motivation to work or create confusion with assignments. Students may also become unproductive if they are using their devices during lectures. Additionally, plagiarism and cheating are amplified, especially when students take online tests. In these challenging days, teachers need to find a way to provide order and structure to the classroom to regulate their students’ behaviors.
Classroom Management Strategies
Although classroom management is rapidly changing, there are six strategies that teachers can implement, which will make remote online learning easier and more enjoyable for all.
1. Establish Communication Rules
One strategy to help students adapt faster is to help them develop their online communication skills. This lesson will assist them in their future education and careers. Teachers must establish norms for communication during class time. When students are video conferencing, there should be rules such as eliminating background noise, raising your hand to speak, typing questions in chat, turning on the camera without background distractions, and contributing to the discussion. This applies to online forums as well.
2. Reward or Acknowledge Student Accomplishments
When students are productive and performing well on their assignments or tests, it is essential to acknowledge their successes. Online learning eliminates casual acknowledgments, high fives, or smiles between teachers and students. Proactively send an email of recognition, sharing how proud you are of their accomplishments. Take time to communicate with your students so they know they are meeting your expectations from afar.
3. Gamify Your Online Class
Gamifying your online classroom also creates a sense of accomplishment. You may affirm a student’s progress through progress bars to showcase when a student completed a stage in a program. You may also give out badges or visual representations to show a new achievement, completed milestone, or measurement of a student’s progress. Incorporate leaderboards to demonstrate how well students are doing compared to others to motivate friendly competition. Implementing gamification and recognition into the digital classroom has produced long-term rewards. For example, a Houston teacher claimed that his students performed 1.39 times better than the district average in the first year of adding gamification. It grew to 1.82 times in the second year.
4. Test the Technology Before Class
Technical difficulties can quickly hinder the effectiveness and attention span of an online class. Prepare ahead of time, and test out the tools or programs. Many programs are accompanied by lessons or how-to videos.
Moreover, a classroom management system will help you manage your students’ technology and keep them on-task. Innovative tools by GoGuardian help eliminate student distractions by monitoring their screens and correcting behaviors.
5. Develop Connections Through Small Group Sessions
It is becoming increasingly difficult to have meaningful conversations with up to 30 students on a video call. To encourage healthy socialization and relationship building, pair up your students and create small group sessions. Furthermore, host one-on-one meetings with your students to answer their personal questions. Ask them to write down their goals and track their process weekly to stay motivated.
6. Emphasize Engagement
In a traditional classroom setting, it is much easier to captivate the attention of your students, especially for small class sizes. It is still important in an online environment to engage your class through hands-on activities. Keep your lectures short, and do breakout sessions with activities. Remember that students only retain about 20 percent of the information from audiovisual methods and 90 percent when they teach others what they have learned. Utilize discussion groups or experiential learning to include students by teaching their classmates. When they take more responsibility, students tend to absorb the information and feel included in the learning process.
Management Made Easy
Online learning presents new challenges for teachers on how to manage their students from a distance. It is essential to use tools such as GoGuardian to support the teachers’ lessons and promote student engagement. Discover which strategy works best for your classroom today.