It’s becoming more common for colleges and graduate schools to offer courses at a distance for students that can’t attend classes in person for logistical reasons. The distance education advantages for students are clear – it allows them to take classes regardless of geographic location, and to manage learning around their busy schedules. Teachers often find teaching at a distance rewarding as it opens up education to diverse groups of students.
Nonetheless, distance education presents some challenges for educators. It’s a way of teaching that differs from the traditional one, since the teacher must be able to maintain a fluid online communication flow with their students and transmit knowledge through electronic devices. In order to offer a complete and enriching distance education experience to your students, we offer a series of tips and resources that will be useful to you.
5 keys to effective distance education courses
Whatever subject or ability level you are teaching at, we recommend the following points to improve your online teaching skills and manage communication with your students without problems.
1. Effective content distribution
The effectiveness and speed when distributing content – whether it’s tasks, notes or tests – is fundamental for the students’ learning process to be productive. There’s nothing more frustrating for a student than having to wait for hours for the study material to arrive; it slows down their work and makes learning difficult. For this reason, it’s advisable to use GoConqr’s SmartLinks to send easily and immediately the content you wish to all your students without any kind of delay.
2. Introduce visual elements
Distance education limits the ability of the teacher to express themselves since it’s not possible to interact with the students with the same ease as in a classroom. To compensate for this limitation, you should use GoConqr’s media library to introduce visual elements, such as videos or images, about the subject you’re teaching so that your students can have a better understanding of the different concepts they need to learn. You could even record and include an introductory video so that students begin to see you as a person helping them on their learning journey, and not a faceless machine!
3. Test students regularly
You have two main missions as an educator: transmit knowledge to your students and evaluate them periodically. To keep each student connected to your subject and avoid them losing concentration due to distance, you should test them regularly. You can use SmartLinks to send them distance education courses or tests immediately and get their results instantly; this is a good method to know which parts of the subjects the students are having more difficulties with and reinforce them in your next class or assignment.
4. Maintain personalized contact
The fact that you don’t interact face-to-face with the students risks making them apathetic; the students may feel less motivated if they don’t have any type of personal feedback from the teacher. To avoid this, it’s advisable to send personalized messages to each student, encouraging them to ask their questions, commenting the notes of their last exam or offering academic recommendations. This is a necessary time investment so that students don’t feel isolated with distance education and are more comfortable during the online learning process. You can send messages securely to students on Gonqr using the messaging feature, or you can comment directly on any resources that they create.
5. Create a supportive class environment
One of the barriers to successful course completion is feeling isolated – and this feeling can be compounded in distance education scenarios. GoConqr Groups enable students to share resources and advice, generate class discussions or debates, and belong to a real, vibrant, and successful learning community.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to offer your students a complete, didactic and interactive distance education experience. If you have experience teaching distance classes, don’t hesitate to tell us your impressions through any of our social networks.