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Strategies for creating an effective online learning environment

by John Saunders
14th May 20 2:06 pm

For online learning environment to be successful, teachers and leaders of educational institutions must be aware of the tools and pedagogy that necessitate great learning for students. Just because teachers and students cannot gather in person doesn’t mean the learning has to cease. There are ways to harness the power of the internet to create an excellent learning environment when the school is closed. Following are some key strategies that will help your thinking in creating an effective online learning environment for students:

Know the technological capabilities of your students

Your students cannot depend on using the school resources if they cannot come to the school in the first place. There are many such resources that we might take for granted e.g. access to VPNs, use of school-owned technology, reliable internet connection, access to certain tools, etc. To create an effective online learning environment, it is important to know what kind of learning work is possible for students while they are away from school, and to create reasonable and fair accommodations for those students who cannot complete all their work online.

Create an online learning hub

In an online learning environment, it is crucial to create an online learning hub so that the students know where to find what they are looking for. Many schools and tuition centers do this, including JC economics tuition in Singapore. You might have your own blog or website, or a space in the Learning Management System (LMS) in your school. This online learning hub should have links to essential content, a pacing guide or calendar for coursework, and the best way(s) to reach you. The purpose of designating an online learning hub is to make sure that students don’t have to struggle to find what they need to know.

Support student connection

In today’s modern age, virtually every student knows how to use social media for exploration, self-expression, and personal connection. What this means is that students are used to moving freely     between in-person and online spaces, and you can keep a ‘classroom feel’ by utilizing social media to support student connection while learning outside of school.

Communicate often, consistently, and clearly

To create an effective online learning environment, it is very important to use the same frequency of communication with students as you would have used when school was open. The reason behind it is that this is exactly what students will be expecting. So, if you used to leverage social media, send announcements via your LMS, email your students, etc., do the same now. Communicate on regular basis and keep your communication simple, clear, and focused with actional items and tasks students need to know.

Be explicit and intentional about timing and pacing

Design organized, concise weekly plans for your students with clear explanations and deadlines of your coursework. Be mindful of pacing and volume. If you and your students are new to online learning, then you will have to spend some extra time in order to learn how to make the online environment work properly. It is recommended that you give students more time to do richer, fewer assignments instead of trying to assign and collect work at every opportunity.

Think strategically and creatively about assessment

Assessment is one of the most challenging aspects of online learning. Using asynchronous formative assessments is an effective way to check for understanding online. In a remote learning environment, proctoring a test can be impractical. So, you should think about summative project-based assessments where your students collaboratively or individually complete writing assignments, complete oral assessments, make presentations, and design infographics via video chat.

While it may be challenging, creating an effective online learning environment is possible. The above-listed strategies will help you in this regard.

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