Many in-person courses are now moving to virtual learning environments. Virtual learning has the same goal as face-to-face learning and that goal is to get students to engage with the material and interact with you, classmates and the subject matter. Something that will never change is the fact that instructors are what makes virtual courses impactful and special.
As you transition from a physical classroom to a virtual environment, it’s essential that you plan for the differences between both formats so you can maintain your instructor presence, create impactful learning spaces and give students opportunities to interact.
Step 1: Plan your session
Designing a virtual classroom session requires planning. It’s important to choose your format correctly. You don’t need to limit your videos to lectures. To foster even more interactions, you can use videos for Q&A sessions, debates and group discussions. Another suggestion for video lectures is pre-recording them so students can view them on their own time. Managing virtual learning can be difficult and the complexity depends on how you facilitate the class. A few questions that are good to consider prior to a class beginning are:
- Will I monitor the chat for questions and respond in real time?
- Will there be a dedicated time for Q&A?
- What will you do if students have technical difficulties?
Step 2: Facilitate your session
Although there are many ways to lead a video session, you can boost success by following a few best practices. Setting up an optimal teaching space and structuring your session are both crucial for success. You must also remember your audience and be intention about connecting with your students and providing them chances to participate.
Step 3: Archive your session
If you have chosen to record your session, it is important to also archive it. Doing so will give students who had technical difficulties a chance to view the recordings and also give students a chance to review the content and clarify concepts covered.
At the end of the day, if you put in the work to properly plan your virtual classroom, it will pay off with better learning opportunities for students.