Timing is important – When planning lessons, consider that 70% of online learners want a course with a fast completion time and flexibility to work through the overall course at their own pace, and 79% of learners say they would be willing to log in at a specific time at least once per course for a required discussion or virtual lecture.
Upskill in online teaching – Students place a lot of value on course organisation; consider signing up to Digital Boost, a free one-stop shop to help New Zealand small businesses improve their digital skills with access to over 500 how-to videos.
Establish close relationships with learners online – Quality relationships can boost learners’ learning experience and become a source of wellbeing for tutors through less emotional exhaustion. The article about establishing closer relationships with students online includes tips on:
- Showing students that they matter as people beyond their role as learners
- Dedicating enough time to get to know your students properly
- Going beyond the grades and getting involved in monitoring student learning
- Establishing flexible channels for close communication.
Reflect on your cultural knowledge – The principles of culturally responsive teaching article explains what culturally responsive teaching is and why the teacher’s attitude is so important. You can upskill by:
- Watching this series of teaching support videos developed to inform Māori and Pacifica student achievement, where students speak about success for themselves on topics such as: What should a lecturer know about you? What’s one thing your lecturer did/did not do that you will remember for life?
- Taking this series of free professional development courses for tutors offered by Ako Aotearoa, including these 7 Pacific Cultural Centredness Pathway modules.
- Visit the How can I create culturally inclusive online classrooms? webpage.
Help students transition from classroom to online learner by using Salmon’s five-stage model, as outlined in this article. Understand your learners and recognise that the roles are fluid and will shift as their digital culture improves. The five stages include: Access and Motivation, Online Socialisation, Information Exchange, Knowledge Construction, and Development.
Provide positive, constructive feedback – This study showed that online students rate teacher responsiveness very highly. They perform better, retain more information, are more satisfied, and feel less anxious when they receive early and frequent feedback from their teacher.
Approach students with a conversational tone and/or humour – A conversational approach - through text, audio or video - can improve learners’ online learning experiences and increase student motivation.