LMS, Course Online, E Learning, Learning Experience, Online Course, Online courses, Online Learning, Online Teaching, Teach online, Teaching Online, Training

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.


No industry in the world today is immune to disruption and the pandemic has taught us that they come unannounced. This is primarily the case as the scale of technology adoption and information sharing across the world at the moment is a phenomenon that we have not experienced before, and is challenging every industry to up their game.

It seems that no matter which way you turn today, you hear of business owners speaking of ‘disruption’ in their industries. Whether you support it or not, any change can bring incredible opportunities to your business, but if you are reserved about adapting to disruptions in the marketplace, it can also lead to the demise of your business as there is always someone else ready to jump at the opp
ortunity.


Our recent history has seen many industries be disrupted, and scramble for survival in a changing world. Disruption is truly inescapable, but playing it safe amid it can also have quite unfavorable effects on your business. Let’s look at some ways in which disruption has truly changed the functioning of an industry as we knew it.


Age-Old Industries Disrupted in No Time: 



Taxis were once the most cost-effective and the primary choice of transport for most individuals. But the taxi industry was overnight transformed with the arrival of Uber and the many other such companies that followed suit. Since then, we have never looked back, the way and the ease with which we travel has forever changed. 


Shopping has been quite an important part of people’s lives, an activity sometimes enjoyed solo but often with the company of family. The rise of the eCommerce industry and online shopping has completely changed not just our buying behavior, but also our consumption habits! The pandemic further worked in the favour of the eCommerce industry where sales reached an all-time high of 18% contribution in the United States. 


On-demand deliveries have changed the way the restaurant industry does business.  Back in the day if you were looking at ordering food from a restaurant, you would call them directly to place your order, and they would have their personal delivery executives deliver your items to you. When was the last time you remember doing this, if at all? 


Nowadays, every company is trying to get into the delivery business model to add a revenue channel. 

The travel industry was transformed with the advent of online booking portals, making the job of travel agents close to redundant. Newspapers have seen a steady decline in their circulation numbers as online news portals and blogs have consistently grown. 


The hotel business, which was once the primary means of accommodation has been disrupted with the arrival of Airbnb and other such vacation rental sites. 


The traditional television and movie industry has been overturned with the arrival of OTT platforms like Netflix. 


 We saw the Space industry getting disrupted when Elon Musk introduced reusable rockets. 


Libraries have moved online, and the agricultural industry is witnessing more food being produced with the automation of certain processes. All in all, nearly every industry has or is likely to see quite a distinct disruption in the way they function, sooner or later.


The largest industry disruption we have seen recently has been that of the global education systems. 


When the pandemic hit us this year, over 1 billion students around the world were sent home after schools closed their doors. While some lucky students have been able to resume their education, the struggle continues for a majority. A world that was already struggling with educational inequality, is now dealing with something that is making it even worse by disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable sections of society. 


This conundrum has led many institutions to turn toward Knowledge Commerce or E-Learning and initiating a process for them to go digital. 


When adapting to this new normal, universities have tried to quickly evolve their digital tools and platforms to ensure uninterrupted access by students and learners to their knowledge base. Let’s look at some ways in which universities are leveraging Knowledge Commerce and Online Learning to their benefit today-


How Universities are leveraging LMS for Online Learning 


Offering Nanodegrees


Nanodegrees are really revolutionizing the world of skill training and easing access to jobs on a global scale. They are super flexible for students and generally focus on making students more efficient in a particular skill rather than knowledge sharing on a large scale. In nano degrees, students generally work with collaborative tools like blogs, microsites, video chats, etc, which makes learning easier for them through practice and dialogue. 


The learning material in nano degrees is based on what skills are in demand by industries, making students who acquire them more in demand than others. Some large universities like Harvard Education and Columbia University have recognized the need to develop nano degrees to better equip their students, and have even made these courses available to a larger online community. The importance of nano degrees is going to continue to grow in the coming months.


The One-To-One Online Model


While many believe that student-teacher interactions are far superior in the traditional education system, they fail to realize that way too many students sit in a classroom together which leaves no space for one-to-one interaction with teachers, resulting in students often falling behind in class. With online learning courses, students can learn faster, master more material that is at their fingertips, remember their course work with more clarity, and actually enjoy the process of learning.


The best part about online learning is that it allows students to receive personalized attention from their professors which enables them to further succeed in life. Universities today have the advantage of adopting this model and refining it to best affect them in a positive manner


Increased Brand Reach


By opening up courses online and sharing their knowledge base with a larger audience, universities are taking the advantage of increasing their brand reach as far as they can. When they offer cost-effective courses to people around the globe, more people are going to want to learn from them because of their great brand name. This also works in establishing these universities as thought leaders in the field of education as they can organize free guest lectures on specific topics.

The scale of this is honestly limitless!


Bridging The Gap Between Education And Employment


Online learning systems have been able to achieve one wonderful thing and that is the ability to bridge the gap between education and employment. One major drawback that educational institutions in the world were facing was their inability to keep up with teaching the skills required by various industries as their course plan took priority. By introducing nano degrees, universities are making students better prepared and skilled with abilities that industries are really looking for, thereby increasing employment rates.


Research Made Easy And Accessible


The internet and education apps have made the process of research of course material and accessibility to the same so much easier. Nowadays students can highlight passages they want to refer back to in education apps, make annotations along the way instead of flipping through a book to hunt for course material. 


Being online based, they can literally search for whatever they need and come up with thousands of results to their query.


It has been quite amazing how educational universities, in the last few months,  have been able to adapt themselves to better fit today’s times. The importance and relevance of Online learning and Learning Management Systems cannot be denied and they bring with them a plethora of benefits for the student community. Let’s have a look at what some of these benefits are-


Benefits of LMS for Universities

LMS

Easy Access: Online courses allow ease of use as anyone around the world can access them. No matter where you are, your level of education, social background, gender- none of it comes in between you and learning. Cloud-based also allows students to access material from anywhere


Cost-Effective: Online courses are not half as expensive as their traditional counterparts, which allows students to do as many as they like.


Self-Paced: There is no rush and students can take their own time understanding their courses. Not being pushed to learn as per a pre-planned timetable definitely has positive effects on students.


Flexibility: Online classes have the ultimate advantage of being flexible, which means students can take classes anywhere and anytime.


A Global Perspective

Students doing an online course come from across the globe and bring with them a range of perspectives helping enhance cross-cultural understanding.


These are just some of the benefits that adopting an LMS can bring in for Universities and why doing so is of utmost importance, so universities can stay with the times. In the years to come, we are sure to see universities adopting mobile learning, AR and VR, and other learning tools as they get developed. All these will work toward making learning more engaging and robust for students across the globe.


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Online Teaching, Course Online, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, LMS

Remember how vlogging took off in the 2010s with the advent of smartphones? Only a decade before, we couldn’t have predicted the phenomenon. Something similar is happening with online teaching in 2020. The unprecedented pandemic and lockdown have given a new life to online teaching and learning. Online courses were Googled 100% more than before between just March and April this year.


Does online teaching suddenly seem to be a very lucrative career? The truth is, it was so even before 2020. After all, it takes only a little more than time, knowledge, and an internet-connected device to pursue it. 


Online Teaching In 2020

Online Teaching 2020

While the upsurge in online learning was majorly attributed to the lockdown, we can safely assume that the boom is here to stay, since audiences are realizing the advantages of online mediums. There are multi-faceted innovations taking place in this field, which make this year a good time to start your online teaching career.

  • The AI&ML edge: There is an active discourse on the usage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI&ML) to develop online teaching. Gamification is being touted as a giant leap in holding the interest of young adults and school students. 
  • Google Classroom is the new school: Since schools have indefinitely shut down, plenty of schools are moving lectures, assignments, and all other activities to Google Classroom, Zoom, and other popular platforms. There is a generation of online learning-ready adults being prepared, which bodes well for online teachers. 
  • Collaborative learning redefined: In the early days, there were doubts expressed about the isolation of an online student. With new-age tools such as Slack, Trello, etc. which help students interact and work with each other, collaborative learning doesn’t have physical boundaries anymore. Students from across the world can share thoughts and ideas with each other, providing them a new worldview.
  • Credibility: Online courses will no longer be looked at as a lesser alternative to your CV. With Ivy League universities opening up to digital learning, online courses now carry as much credibility as offline ones do, with lesser monetary investment. It’s a win-win for students across the world. 
  • Endless tools: If we make a list of every single online teaching tool available right now, it will be a never-ending list. Tech companies have risen to the occasion and made a plethora of tools with various use cases available to online teachers. These include everything from video editing software and video calling apps, to digital whiteboards and social apps. 

Apart from your knowledge, your time, and your basic internet device, you need some add-ons to be an online teacher. If you have tried a few webinars and classes, you’ll realize that you can do just fine with the basics, but perhaps not in the long run. Here’s some help with sifting through the heaps of hardware and software tools available for online teaching right now. 


Hardware tools for online teaching

You need a good laptop that doesn’t crash with an internet connection that doesn’t lag. After some research, you’ll find courses out there with YouTube influencer-grade quality videos. Remember that your audience now streams sports, movies, and everything else in HD. If you’re planning to seriously take up online teaching, a few hardware investments would help your course get a professional and credible makeover. 


1. HD webcam: Your laptop/computer’s webcam won’t provide the quality that an external HD webcam can. Since it’s not a physical class, video and sound quality is what decides the quality of interaction with students. Plus, external webcams can provide a greater field of view, which is necessary for classes such as dance which require a lot of room. Here are some of the most preferred models. 
  1. Logitech C922: This is the highest order of HD webcams. It costs a lot, and delivers a lot including the field of view, vibrant colors, crystal clear video at 30fps, background replacement technology, HD glass lens, built-in mic, et al. Buy it only if you’re an established online teacher. 
  2. Logitech C270: This is the perfect webcam for beginners. It provides good low-light performance, recording at 720p, a 60-degree field of view, a built-in noise-reducing mic, and a universal clip for convenient attachment. It’s a few notches higher than your integrated webcam. 

2. Professional video lighting: Since you’re competing with the Pewdiepies of the online world, professional lighting is a must. It’s not rocket science, a few online videos will teach you the trick. Remember that even if you’re using colorful lights for your background, stick to white for the foreground to maintain clarity, make your face look fresh and vibrant. Here are your best options:
  1. Small ring light: This little wonder can be used even for mobile video calls. It is compact, comes with a tripod for flexibility, and its brightness can be adjusted. There are other features such as 3-color lighting mode, USB-powered LED, low heat output, and an energy-saving mechanism. 

  2. Mount Dog Softbox light: Investing in a beginner-level softbox will add a nice natural touch of lighting to your face, which is what makes it perfect for portrait shots. It is a tool used by both photographers and online content creators. It is compact as well but will take a little more investment. 

3. Earphones/headphones with mic: Teachers spending hours being plugged in should prefer lightweight, compact headphones with a mic. In order to avoid saying, “Can you hear me now?” and fiddling with your basic earphones, laptop audio, and speakers, you need a good pair of earphones with a mic. Generally, Sennheiser, Sony, and JBL are the safest and most credible choices for any kind of audio equipment. Here are some options. 
  1. Sennheiser PC 3 Chat On-Ear Headphone: These compact earphones provide noise-canceling, a wide frequency response range, and stereo sound. They are reasonably priced as well. 
  2. Sennheiser CX 150BT: If you don’t want the weight of headphones and would prefer wireless earphones with a mic instead, these will do the job. They come with superior audio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a three-button remote. 

  • A good quality smartphone: Suppose your laptop breaks down, or your Wi-Fi isn’t working. You never know when you might have to take that impromptu mobile class. It would only be wise to invest in a top-notch smartphone with an excellent camera and audio quality. Our suggestion would be to go for the top-notch models instead of compromising. Second-hand and refurbished options can be great for cost-saving. These are our picks. 
    1. iPhone: You can easily get an iPhone 7 or lower for less than Rs.40,000 these days. If you can invest in a higher model on an EMI basis, there could be nothing like it. If magazine shoots can be done with an iPhone, online classes surely won’t be a lot of trouble. The video quality of an iPhone coupled with the audio quality of AirPods can give you a great makeshift mobile lecture in times of need.
    2. Google Pixel: Instagram bloggers have created entire careers out of professional-grade content shot with a Google Pixel. You can easily buy a refurbished model for half the price. Of course, the higher the model version, the better. But even earlier models of the Pixel have excellent cameras and speakers. 

  • Virtual whiteboard: This is especially necessary for teachers who are used to a physical classroom. Writing on a board can not only make concepts clearer but can also make it easier for you to structure your lessons. Here’s the trick: You don’t need a full-fledged whiteboard, you can use an iPad or a digital drawing pad that will help you scribble conveniently without moving. Here’s our recommendation.

Wacom One by CTL-472/K0-CX: A favorite amongst graphic designers, this drawing board is pressure-sensitive, cordless, battery-free, and measures only 6inchesX3.5inches.


Software tools for online teaching

software tools for online teaching

 

 1.FreshLMS: is your dream Whitelabel and re-brandable platform where all your other resources come together. With the amount of autonomy and flexibility we provide over your custom website and custom domains, you can create your dream, personalized course. We’re talking integration of custom course structures, payment methods, lesson designs, control over interactions, pricing, and much more! Pricing is another positive of FreshLMS over online teaching marketplaces that have templatized course structures, marketing plans, and pricing structures.

Online Teaching

2.Canva:  is Photoshop for non-designers. It can help you design everything from logos to presentations with ease. Canva has various templates that will mean much lesser aesthetic efforts from you. If you invest in a paid version, you will have access to more than double the number of amazing templates, fonts, 100GB storage, priority support, and much more.

Online Teaching

3.Prezi: Forget Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, and Slides, Prezi is where professional creators make presentations. It provides excellent video, design, and conversational presentation services. 

Online Teaching

4.Camtasia: This video recording and editing tool is excellent for teachers who want to provide tutorials and demonstrations. It has custom video templates, animations, effects, music, and audio features.

Online Teaching

5.Audacity: When you use Audacity, you can do an amazing range of things with audio such as live recording, cutting, copying, splicing, and mixing audio, changing pitch, and even adding effects. The best part? It’s free and legal! 

Online Teaching

6.Zoom: is a must for live lectures as very few other software provide the kind of flexibility and add-ons that Zoom does. You can scribble, annotate, divide students into groups, and even make do with a slower internet connection. 

Zoom Online Teaching

7. Slack: You must have seen Slack being used in offices. It is a very convenient way for your students to remain in touch with you and each other. You can collaborate, send files, post updates, and connect via call as well. If you don’t want your students flooding your WhatsApp with queries, give them a dedicated space such as Slack. 

Online Teaching

8.Hootsuite: is your go-to marketing dashboard, where you can create and manage social media content, engage with audiences, align your marketing plans, monitor, and analyze them as well.

Online Teaching

But, before you make an investment…

Ask yourself if you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t start making serious monetary investments before you’re sure about your emotional investment in the long run. Teaching is an art, and like all other artistic professions, takes equal parts heart and brain. How would you know that you’re ready for the long haul? Just dip your toes for a few weeks. We mean, try a free FreshLMS subscription and start doing your thing. If it goes well, you know exactly what to do next.


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Course Online, Build brand, Buildings, E Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Management System, Learning Management System, LMS, Online Course, Udemy Marketplace, Uncategorized

Back in the day, kids wanted to be doctors, pilots, firefighters, movie stars, and sportspersons. Ask the kids of the 21st Century, and they will have answers such as ‘Vlogger’, ‘Influencer’, or ‘YouTuber’. The rise of the YouTuber as a profession has been momentous. 

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Learning Management System, blog, Learning Experience, LMS, Online Course, Training

Are you one of the many who has started being more active on LinkedIn, reading more blogs, taking online courses, and flaunting them since the lockdown? It’s not just you; millions of students across the world are also adapting to the e-learning way of life. 

Popular EdTech companies reported more than 100% increase in new students after rolling out free and discounted classes. Numerous other EdTech platforms have been offering significant discounts on courses for students across age groups.

Due to the pandemic, at least 1.2 billion school students in 186 countries had to skip school. At least 120 million people in India alone lost their jobs due to the struggling economy. The current situation is a blessing in disguise not just for EdTech companies but for the affected groups as well. Parents do not have to invest in heavy bags, books, travel to school, etc. this year. People who have lost their jobs can capitalize on the surge in online skill up-gradation courses and strengthen their profiles. People working from home can use the travel and office time they’re saving to upgrade their skills as well.

Is it just about the lockdown, though? Or is the lockdown just a catalyst that has opened the doors to a revolution in the way we learn and teach? In the Information Age, it is the latter.

Why is Online Learning Important?

A few months ago, when the worldwide lockdown was in its initial, uncertain stages, a list of 450 online courses offered by Ivy League universities was doing the rounds on social media. These courses covered topics from computer science and business to humanities and design. A decade ago, there were no means other than making it to these universities for accessing this education. Today, any student from any country can pay a nominal amount to watch lectures from esteemed professors, interact with them via forums and live streams, and get yourself a certificate. 

The sanctity of prestigious universities is no more in their exclusivity as much as it is purely in their teaching methods and resources. This, undoubtedly, is the best example of how EdTech is democratizing education globally. 

With the improvement in bandwidth and data speeds, it is becoming much more comfortable and convenient to pursue education through your laptop or mobile screen. 

Mothers in their maternity leave period and professionals who have taken career breaks for any other reason now have a chance to fill the gap in their CVs with new skills. 

Startup owners often spend a lot on consultants for expertise in areas they are not skilled enough in. They can take up affordable certificate courses and do it all on their own. 

Learning is no longer restricted just to your formal educational years. Everyone everywhere can learn almost anything, whether it is data computing or playing the ukulele.

Why is it Important to Teach Online?

You must have come across a lot of working professionals who have a strong desire to teach in their respective fields after a few years. Teaching has long been considered as more of an option that you turn to after your 40s or close to your retirement age. 

With the ability to teach online today, your passion need not be postponed anymore. 

You can take a few hours out of your work schedule and teach online courses that not only satisfy your heart but also your wallet. Just as anyone can learn, almost anyone can teach now. 

A technical writer from India can teach English to migrant students in the UK at a cost they can afford.

It isn’t just a matter of convenience and business opportunity. There is research that illustrates that students in online classes retain 25-60% more of what has been taught, as compared to 8-10% in a physical classroom

There is a lot of nitty-gritty of which helps both students and teachers. Just think about the physical setting. Within the four walls of a classroom in an institutional environment, some students aren’t very open with questions and interaction. 

When they sit in the comfort of their homes and have the option of personally messaging their teachers, a new level of ease is possible. This also helps teachers give personal attention to students, something parents always demand. 

Why the 21st Century is All About Teaching Online

The idea of a ‘personal touch’ which often discouraged people from online learning, has taken a backseat now. The level of personalization possible for both students and teachers is astounding. 

  • E-learning takes 40-60% less time than a traditional class and allows students to reread, skip, and fast forward through concepts. 
  • Students can now schedule classes at a time convenient for them.
  • They can access course material whenever they want to. 
  • Students can interact with peers from around the world and discuss lessons.
  • They can get used to innovative methods of virtual teamwork, which will also go on to help them in their professional lives. 

In his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, historian, intellectual, and professor Yuval Noah Harari has highlighted that schools across the world are stuck in traditional, rote-learning ways. 

Online learning can foster a shift from these traditions into a new age of innovation and critical thinking. 

Technical Advantages of Teaching Online

Online payments have become the order of the day. A lot of schools have started accepting fees via online means. The process of online payments for EdTech platforms has made receiving and paying money quicker. Plus, traditional tuition teachers who had to haggle with parents for home tuitions can now formalize courses and charge standard fees. 

A decade ago, people in developed countries were sceptical about both online learning and online payments. All of it has changed now. 

Another crucial factor is internet speed. As Wi-Fi becomes the second oxygen of the global citizen, countries all over the world are working towards making the internet more accessible. 

Global average internet speeds have only risen in the past few years (30% in 2017 and more than 15% in 2018). In India, faster and cheaper internet has made it possible for students in rural areas to access quality education over their mobile phones at reasonable prices.

There has simultaneously also been an upgrade in technological devices. The sheer number of smartphone brands has led to competitive rates and amazing features being available at affordable prices. With a 5G network, your mobile can now do almost anything that was only possible on your laptop. Out of about 7.8 billion people in this world, there are about 5.15 billion unique mobile phone users today.

We are at a unique crossroads in the history of humanity, where physical, logistical, technological, intellectual factors have converged and created newer ways of consuming information; modern ways of absorbing knowledge, unique ways of learning, and teaching.

Technologies to Help You Teach Online

Let’s now get to how the ideals of learning better can be achieved in practicality through online teaching methods. Technology is invariably evolving and presenting newer forms of making lessons unique. The most basic tools, such as Google Suite, Evernote, Slack, etc. can be a good start as most of us already use them for office work. Even for teachers who are not very tech-savvy, these tools are elementary to figure out on your own and master. Here’s a quick list of tools for beginners to intermediate online teachers. 

  • Evernote: This is an app that can help you convert notes into quick slides and can be used across mobiles and computers. You can divide and structure your notes into separate notebooks, share them with others, and even let others edit them. Evernote’s audio, picture, and handwriting features can make your content everything from attractive, cute, and appealing to professional and engaging. 
  • Slack: Slack is originally a communication tool for professional teams. As an online teacher, it can help you share notes, hold discussions, and even send DMs. It takes hardly a few minutes to get acquainted with its features, which are numbered but useful.
  • Google Suite: Google has its own and more accessible version of Word Docs, spreadsheets, and slides, which can be made and edited collaboratively. You don’t need to buy or download Microsoft Office; you can log in to your Google Suite anytime. 
  • Canva: Websites such as Canva help you design pages and make your presentations look more appealing. Canva designs can, in fact, easily pass off as professional Photoshop work at times. 

Online Classrooms

There are a plethora of video calling services and platforms that can be used to teach students without spending half of your lecture duration, asking each other if you are audible. You can use the tools mentioned above seamlessly on these video platforms without much hassle. Here are the best ones to begin with. 

  • Zoom: Zoom is probably the most popular video calling platform at the moment. You can share your screen, play videos for the class, write notes, send files, and even scribble the way teachers do on physical blackboards. You must have used it already for work meetings or personal calls. Zoom calls can quickly add up to 100 participants, so large classrooms are not a problem either. 

  • Google Classroom: As usual, Google has an answer for everything. Through this platform, teachers can create and manage classes, assignments, give real-time feedback, and send reports to parents. Students and parents can continuously keep track of their course progress and receive regular summaries, reviews, etc. from the teacher. 
  • Skype: Skype is no more just an app you use to video call relatives and friends who are far away. You can hold video lectures with up to 50 students on Skype, and even share your mobile screen if required. The only limitation of Skype, which you must’ve heard often, is that it lags at times and cannot be trusted with low internet speeds. 

Recorded Classes and Live Classes

With each of the tools mentioned above, you can hold both live classes and record them for later viewing. 

From a student’s perspective, recorded classes are convenient as they can view them at leisure. They can also skip and replay, which allows them to work at their own pace. 

Recorded classes also usually have lower costs as compared to live courses. For a teacher, a recorded class puts more focus on delivering a regular lecture and focus on the storytelling. However, you can also hold a live class and record it for later viewing. 

As a matter of fact, with a platform like FreshLMS, you, the teacher can focus entirely on your lesson. FreshLMS comes equipped with features that can help you create AND sell your course in under 60 minutes. These include:

  • Heavy on-course personalization
  • Ideal user journeys
  • Prompt quizzes and assessments
  • Custom domains for every course 
  • Effortless payment unification
  • Smart third-party integrations
  • Completely Whitelabel and re-brandable operations 
  • Next-gen reporting and analytics
  • Support for solopreneurs and organisations 

How to Pick the Right Tools to Teach Online?

To pick the right online teaching tools, you first need to list down your class goals. These would depend on the type of class, the material, age-group of students, etc. 

For example, you have to teach a group of teenagers. These restless, young minds need not just storytelling but something more. Games are the right way of holding their attention. 

  • Gamification: For gamifying your lectures, you can use quizzing tools such as Quizziz and Quizlet. There are also other gaming tools such as Educandy, Kahoot!, and Gimkit that you can use to make multiple games for multiple classes. Games make the class fun for both students and teachers alike. Apps like Quizzes can also be used for family game nights. 
  • Interaction: An essential aspect of online lectures is interaction. For this specific goal, teachers can use tools like Nearpod, Google Tour Creator, etc. which help you integrate VR, give prompts, take virtual field trips, and much more. Interaction has now surpassed just personal chat and voice notes, and this is just the beginning. 
  • Storytelling: The most important goal of teaching in any environment is storytelling. You won’t be surprised that there are apps for this too. StoryboardThat is an app that provides graphic organizers, templates, lesson plans, themes, characters, props, GIFs, etc. If you aren’t ready for high-level tools, you can simply use a combination of Slides and Canva designs and still make your class fun, creative, interactive, and colourful at the same time. 

Teach Online: Tips That You Should Know

Once you begin conducting your online classes, you will have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common and basic ones, answered. 

  • Personal attention: Usually in physical classrooms, questions such as “Is this clear?” is usually met with either a reluctant “Yes” or indifferent silence. In an online class, you may not be able to watch the faces of your students and gauge their expressions. What you can do is use polling and quizzing features. You can introduce a reward system for feedback polls, which will encourage students to provide you with honest feedback. This will then help you to determine which student requires attention in which area, and address it through personal chat and conversations. 

  • Group activities: Zoom’s Breakout Room is the best-known tool for group assignments in online classes. Teachers can split students into groups, and all groups can work simultaneously with time limits. Another basic method that you can use is to throw open assignments for review and comments from peers. This way, students don’t just work together but also learn from each other’s positive and negative points. These activities can go a long way in building class harmony and friendships. 

  • Managing Technical Issues: Almost all technical issues of while teaching online have one explanation – lousy internet. The very first thing you need is a good internet connection. Of course, your students will also need one. Once you get a new internet plan, test it on video calls with friends, and test-run all your online teaching tools as well. Be prepared for everything. Have a mobile data backup plan in case your Wi-Fi fails, and encourage students to do the same. With 4G and now 5G, cellular data can support online classes as well as broadband and WiFi. 

  • Adapt to mobile: As we mentioned before, there is almost nothing that you cannot do on mobile. There are unique teaching apps for use on basic mobile phones and even for offline connectivity. Nowadays, a lot of budget and mid-range Android phones have excellent cameras, which aids video lectures a lot. You might find the phone screen to limiting a space, but you can overcome that too, by practising hand gestures and testing different angles for your phone. It would also be wise to invest in an excellent mobile phone rig that leaves your hands free for articulation and animation. 

  • Designing the coursework: If there were a course on creating an online course, new teachers would take it. There’s so much information at your disposal that you can get confused about what to use and what not to use for your syllabus. Designing a course structure begins with answering some basic questions and converting these answers into a step-by-step plan. 
    • Who are your students? What is their age group, qualification, likes, dislikes, etc.? Make a consumer profile-type summary of them.
    • What do they already know about the subject matter that you can use as a starting point for your course?
    • What could their possible goals be concerning your course?
    • How much time would you require to reach these goals?
    • What is the pace of learning that would suit them?
    • What are other teachers in the same field doing? Can you take inspiration from existing courses offered by universities?


  • Designing homework and assignments: Firstly, understand that you’ll probably spend as much time teaching as you would preparing assignments and evaluating homework. Next, be regular with assignments. Pre-decide the homework for each lecture. Integrate as much creativity as possible in assignment briefs. Ask students to sketch, draw, animate, act. Working from home requires a special kind of motivation to get out of your comfortable bed and work on a screen. Make sure your assignments are fun enough to provide that motivation, whether your students are 10-year-old kids or middle-aged professionals.

Mistakes to avoid

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, there are bound to be some areas of improvement. Teaching is, after all, learning again and again. Here are a few common problem areas addressed. 

 

  1. The pacing problem

The problem with a lot of courses, online and offline, is that they become difficult to follow because of the sheer amount of information loaded in them. Through a screen, it becomes even more difficult for a teacher to judge the mood of the class and re-pace lectures accordingly. So, if it’s your first online course, make sure that you start with a light session with fewer information points and more focus on discussion, analysis, retention. This will also give you a better idea of your student group, their mentality, their choices, and their attitudes. A few lectures in, you will know their pace and can design the remaining conferences as per that pace. How much information to put in a course is a question that you won’t solve in one class or course. A few lectures later, you will have enough practice and experience to have the right answer to that question. So keep yourself open to new insights, new revelations, and new methods all the time. It is, after all, a learning process for you too. 

 

  1. Selecting a course and its content

If you are confused at the very first question, which is “What do I teach?”, you have a lot of follow-up questions to ask. However, the most important one is “What am I good at?”. Other questions like “What is in demand/trend right now?”, “What does my audience want?”, “What will pay me more?” are secondary. It is the age-old excellence-success bargain. If you’re good at something and believe in your wisdom, you will find the audience for it, and you will find success too. It is better to be an expert in something you know than to be a mediocre performer in something you’re not very good at. The world is a small place; you will find takers for anything. It doesn’t have to be coding or big data. You could even design a course on the lifecycle of arachnids and find a class full of eager students from around the world. Find your niche and excel in it. 

 

  1. Market strategy

What is your go-to-market strategy? If you’re a marketing or media professional, you already know this term. You might even be teaching or learning it online. A GTM (go-to-market) strategy is just the strategy that a company uses to bring their product into the market and create value through a business plan. You don’t need this jargon. You just need to follow the three necessary steps of marketing. 

  • Find out what people want. 
  • Deliver it to them
  • Tell them that you gave it to them.

 

In practical terms, if your area of expertise is, say, management, find out existing courses on management. Look for gaps and carve out a niche that no one else is addressing. The next step is to tackle that niche and design a course. The final step is to sell your course. Selling your course doesn’t just mean advertising it when before you start it, it also means sharing feedback when it’s over. Let the world know that your students are satisfied. It will help you get more students to sign up for your next course. All of this is a meticulous strategy that needs to be ingrained in your course plan.

 

  1. Announcing and launching a course on the same day

This would be a very rookie mistake to make. If you announce your course and commence it on the same day, you’re not giving students enough time to notice your course, think about it and then enrol. It also makes your course look like a limited period FMCG offer and gives an impression of poor planning. Instead, keep enough space between your announcement and launch. Post it on social media platforms. Give teasers and sneak peeks, which will generate excitement for your course. Take a good week and plan a strategy for each day of the week. Get your close friends and relatives to publicize your course as well. You can also use this plan to flaunt your achievements, thus proving your credibility and expertise in the course matter. The whole problem with announcing and launching on the same day is that all of this isn’t possible in a day. 

 

  1. Not having a clear course structure

Your course, whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, should have a specific goal that takes the learner from point A to point B. You should be able to explain the benefit of your course in one or two sentences. For example, “This online marketing course will teach fresh graduates to use Instagram and Facebook for promotion, sales, and engagement by acquainting them with various tools offered by Facebook.” Decide your point A, and point B, and then fill the space in between with a plan breakdown. Teaching is an art, but it takes as much structure and strategy as any other job. It is, after all, the art of sharing. You cannot share effectively unless you plan your communication. 

 

Looking Forward

 

This might have been a lot of information to take in, so read it at your own pace. Treat it like a mini online course on online courses. And lastly – research, research, and research. Check out multiple online tools and platforms and test them. Decide the best combination of devices, platforms, and resources for yourself. The world of teaching online has bright prospects for you, so jump right in and start your journey!


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