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Top Tips for Making Online Teaching More Fun and Engaging

Top Tips for Making Online Teaching More Fun and Engaging | ITTT | TEFL Blog

It is recalling the anxious and distressing early days of the current outbreaks and the constantly-evolving pressure or numerous obligations we all have unwantedly been experiencing during the pandemic, online teaching, and all of the efforts made by not only teachers but also students in order to adjust to the new normal can be regarded as a giant step into a future phase that would have certainly been postponed if it was not for the necessity.

In retrospect, although it was not curious for many teachers to have a limited number of highly motivated students in online classes, such a rapid shift to teaching completely online for more than two alternative years could have sounded impossible to many, especially those who were not particularly tech-savvy. It also required strong imagination to consider the possibility of teaching online to very young learners to whom sitting with some gadgets and participating in online classes sounded almost impossible.

Even though it is not yet thoroughly comfortable to teach and study online, after two years of struggling, the advantages of this new approach gradually appear to be noticeable. The opportunity to avoid commuting to work or school and the heavy traffic or the various types of pollution caused by it are some examples of advantages that can not be underestimated.

In this article, some basic tips that can make online teaching a more convenient experience for both teachers and students are discussed.

The Platform

The platform you have chosen to teach through can improve the experience from a dull monolingual lecture to a fun interactive experience for your students. There are a huge number of user-friendly platforms available in the market these days, but you need to make sure that you are using a flexible one that provides you with various options to make your lessons engaging and your students evolve in every aspect of your class.

The possibility to share audio and videos, making breakout rooms for pair work and group work activities, and other practical options like dice, timer, random selection, etc., are examples of features that can increase the variety of your lessons and absorb your students.

Some platforms are even able to provide the teachers with a number of fabulous options to teach subjects like math, chemistry, physics, etc., that may be very practical and beneficial for CLIL lessons.

Strong internet connection

Even though most of the platforms used for online education can perform with even very poor internet connection, having your lessons regularly interrupted as a result of poor connection is distracting and discouraging and may have a negative effect on the quality of your classes.

Do your research and find a strong service provider in your area that can guarantee high-quality internet connection, especially during the peak hours when the connection usually gets poor. These hours are probably the most demanded time by the students regarding their work or study schedule.

The Material

The syllabus and the framework you need to stick to and the textbooks that are required to be covered during a lesson can be uploaded and applied by the teacher.

By adding some attractive pictures, videos, or any other audiovisual aids to the engagement, study, and activation phases of your lesson plan, you can simply attract and engage your students and make sure they enjoy their online classes.

Adaptable Games and fun activities

It is highly appealing to include a wide variety of entertaining games and lively activities that can be done online in your lesson plan. Most of the games that are played in on-site classes can easily be adapted to be played during online lessons. What you need is just a little bit of creativity to come up with some brand new activities or adapt the old ones with your lessons in order to engage your students. The different options offered by the platform you're using can also add to the fun and increase student involvement.

Feedback on task and language

The possibility to join the break out rooms made by the teacher in order to occupy the students with pair work and group work activities offers the opportunity to remotely monitor their performance and provide them with feedback on both tasks and language that can be done on the spot or be delayed based on the type of the recorded errors.

The interaction patterns and rapport

Your smiling face, energetic body language, and dynamic facial expressions can help you establish and improve a strong rapport with your students and spontaneously communicate through your camera.

Different types of interaction patterns, including teachers to students or students to students patterns, are equally required in online classes, and as is already mentioned, this can be provided through breakout rooms planned by the teacher.

The interactivity can be aimfully increased by activating students' access to the different features of the platform you are using. This can be performed through students' use of uploading, drawing, and writing options which consistently help you control your talking time and purposefully increase students speaking and language production chances.

Finally, it is not only thoroughly possible but also logical to imagine a near future in which all aspects of education and academic life will be performed online. In that case, educability or your ability to adjust to the new normal might be the only key to survival if you really mean to rescue your career and continue your professional path.

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