Hannah Stevenson shares four ways to help students adjust to remote learning.
Adjusting to remote learning has been a difficult experience for both pupils and teachers. Some pupils are thriving under the new arrangements, but many are struggling.
As a teacher, it is up to you to devise lessons that enable your pupils to continue to achieve their best. This is especially essential for teachers working with students of varying abilities. Below are four effective things that teachers can do to help their students achieve their goals while remote learning.
Keep Things as Simple as Possible
Explaining new concepts and ideas to students can be difficult enough at the best of times, but it can be even more challenging when you are doing it all remotely. In the classroom, teachers can take the entire class through a new idea and then answer questions from individual students. Crucially, the students can all hear the questions that their classmates are asking and what the answers are. This is an important learning vector for lots of pupils. Losing it means that some pupils who may have hearing issues or simply a bad connection end up left behind.
One thing that you can do to make things as easy as possible for your students is to make an extra effort to keep your instructions as simple as possible. Before you send out any instructions to students, make sure that you have read through them yourself and considered any questions that your students might have. If you give them all the information that they need to work out what to do, then their parents can always help them if they need it.
Provide Them with a Primary Point of Contact
Regardless of the distance learning software and platforms you are using, you should make sure that you provide a single primary point of contact that any of your students can turn to as a central hub. If they have a question, they don’t know what to do, or they need to redownload a document that they have lost, they can head to your hub and know they will find what they need.
There are several places where you can set up such a hub for free. Google Classroom is a popular choice that also integrates with many of the classroom management and remote teaching tools that schools are using. Providing your students with this central point of contact will also help to make them feel more confident about learning remotely as they will know exactly where to go if they are having difficulties.
Ensuring attendance is more difficult when students are attending classes remotely. It isn’t always easy for teachers to keep track of who is actually present and paying attention. By making sure that any documents, worksheets, or other resources that students might need are available to them via your chosen hub, you ensure that anyone who misses a class is able to catch up.
Use Assessments Strategically
No one likes to be tested, but tests are an essential tool for teachers. It is through testing that teachers can most accurately monitor the performance of their students. However, now that most teachers are only having limited contact with their students, and more schools are embracing blended learning, it has become harder for many teachers to conduct assessments.
Fortunately, a lot of blended learning and remote learning platforms make assessing students online relatively simple and straightforward for teachers. For example, you can now assess students online using classroom.cloud. As well as allowing you to assess students online, classroom.cloud also provides all the tools you need to teach students remotely just as effectively as you would do in the classroom.
Prioritise Longer Assignments
Learning to research and work independently is an important skill for any pupil as they get older. However, many pupils in the UK won’t encounter any significant independent learning until they reach college. They might get the occasional project or big assignment that they need to research for, but these are the exception, not the rule.
Teaching pupils how to study independently is even more important now that many of them will be learning remotely.
Teaching pupils how to study independently is even more important now that many of them will be learning remotely for the foreseeable future. You can help them to develop these skills by setting them more long projects that will require them to conduct their own research and analyse information critically.
Obviously, this is always going to be more challenging for younger pupils or pupils with learning disabilities. You should also keep in mind that not everyone will have their parents at home to provide them with guidance whenever they need it. You want to set them projects that will challenge them but are within their grasp.
In order for pupils to continue to advance their learning during remote learning, teachers need to provide them with the necessary guidance and resources. The advice outlined above will be very helpful for planning the most effective remote lessons for your students that need it.