Project 2018-2020 Dissemination Europe Day Opinion

Agrupamento de Escolas de Muralhas do Minho, Valença

ERASMUS+ | EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport

Classroom management online

The best practices in traditional environments should not be discarded simply because the students are interacting digitally from various locations. They still need to be managed as a cohesive group of learners.

Teachers know that in order to manage a classroom, they must:

Here are seven suggestions for successfully managing online learning.

1. Build an engaging online environment

You can create a habitat that has multiple areas – for example, a reading area, work areas, and areas for discussion. Create virtual spaces in your blended classroom that serve different purposes.

2. Build community

Students have to know each other well and be polite. Think of this step as proactive classroom management. By building community right from the get-go and encouraging it throughout the course of the class, you’ll save yourself from some issues later on.
Present norms and expectations, and build some together. There’s nothing more frustrating to an online student than feeling isolated during group work. And frustration leads to missed deadlines, growly posts, and rude interactions. Find ways for students to learn about each other, to learn about you, and to find commonalities in their experiences.

3. Curate answers in an organized way

Students can get ornery when they’re confused. Find ways to curate resources and responses to questions so that participants can find them easily. There’s productive struggle and there’s disorganization of resources. Manage the latter and students will be more likely to work through the former. Don’t just make organization practical – make it user-friendly.

4. Be present

Don’t leave the learning for the students to do independently. Make sure you and they are participating in discussion threads. When a discussion is dying down, inject your thoughts into it to give it a boost. Many teachers avoid actively teaching how to be independent and assume that because the student is online, they must know how already. False. So be sure to give scaffolds and strategies to help students become more independent.

5. Teach about plagiarism

Check with your school library and use simple strategies for ensuring work is original or cited. It’s easier to cheat online, but it’s also easier to catch improprieties. Be proactive and teach what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

6. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations

Sometimes online teachers avoid going down the rabbit hole when issues occur. Stay on top of issues as they arise. Immediately.

7. Use various means to contact the students

Contact small groups of students and also the whole class routinely, but know when it’s time to do a behind-the-scenes intervention and email a participant directly (or even call). Use this sparingly and it will have impact.

Online learning can be an amazing experience for both the educator and the student. But the teacher must model awareness that there are humans at every keyboard. Set up a recognizable environment that is structured and engaging. Make sure it honours the learners in it, and you’ll have fewer issues to manage in your online class.

Source: Edutopia

Listening is the most difficult skill to learn and the most important to have. – African Proverb