More students are engaged in distance learning than ever before. Having the opportunity to attend class from home can be beneficial in reducing the number of classes a child misses, but it can create a unique challenge for teachers hoping to connect with their students.
The lack of face-to-face interaction can make establishing a relationship with students difficult. Here are three simple things that you can do to help you better support and engage with your distance learning students in the future.
1. Keep Communication Simple
Communication with students can become difficult in a distance learning situation. You don't have the luxury of explaining complex instructions, and students don't have the ability to rely on each other for clarification when distance learning is taking place.
The best way to encourage your students and support their learning needs is to keep your communication simple.
Avoid sending multiple messages that might overwhelm students. Create instructions that are clear and concise, giving reliable direction to help guide students through learning activities.
By keeping communication simple, your distance learning classroom can become a more positive environment.
2. Rely on Group Work
The social aspect of the classroom is missing in a distance learning environment. Students aren't able to interact with one another and form bonds. One of the easiest ways to combat this lack of socialization is to rely heavily on group work throughout the distance learning process.
Students can be broken up into small groups that video chat with one another regularly. These separate interactions give students the opportunity to develop vital social skills like conflict management and delegation.
Switch up the groups often so that all students have the opportunity to interact with other student in your classroom. Group work can be a great tool that supports and encourages the success of students in a distance learning environment.
3. Establish Office Hours
Some students can feel self-conscious asking for help in front of the entire class. The opportunity to approach a teacher privately doesn't exist in a distance learning environment, so timid or embarrassed students may not reach out for help.
You can support these students by establishing office hours outside of class time. Make yourself available for online chats or video conferencing during your office hours so that students have a way to meet with you one-on-one.
You can also schedule individual interviews with each student on a rotating basis to ensure no child's learning needs are overlooked.
To learn more about your options, contact a resource like Education Alive.