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Keeping a Positive Learning Environment Online

Despite the global pandemic, schools continue to provide valuable lessons online. Moving lessons online means that tutors need to be a lot more organised in planning activities and setting regular, independent work. Being more proactive with marking work is also suggested to ensure that some students, who find it difficult learning online, do not fall behind.

Technology restraints can play a part in making teaching online more difficult. Ensuring all students have the correct tools to participate in activities before starting would be beneficial. This would avoid distractions, embarrassment and ensure effective time management.

How can you promote a positive learning environment?

Peer to peer learning is going to be difficult. But, how about encouraging students to ‘buddy up’ with another member of the class? Students who rely on their peers in class may fall behind as learning goes online. Some students are not comfortable asking questions in front of the entire class during a webinar.

Children often thrive with routine. So, try to create a routine when it comes to learning online and stick to it. This could involve an introduction to the lesson, along with an evaluation at the end.

Remember to continue encouraging your students. When you praise students who are excelling, don't forget to encourage those who are trying; but struggling. These students often lack confidence and need more positive reinforcement.

During lesson, ask students to take notes. Busy students are far less likely to exhibit disruptive behaviour during an online lesson. Be sure that students are working at appropriate levels; boredom and frustration often lead to individuals acting out or going off task.

Listen to students' suggestions: ask students to make suggestions about what should be expected of them during this difficult period. Pupils are often more responsive to rules they helped create.

Record lessons perhaps. If you can, we suggest recording all online lessons to email to students afterwards. If students struggle on their independent work, they can use this facility to refer back to answers or methods. This is one of the benefits to teaching classes online.

Online demonstrations create a familiar atmosphere for students. Demonstrations help to include all different types of learners. If you chose to record demonstrations, videos could be used to help other classes in the school (or even in the world if you chose to submit videos to online platforms like YouTube).

Make sure lessons are varied – Students are a lot more motivated when tutors use a variety of techniques to teach. Avoid repetitive tasks and teaching techniques.

Small things to enhance online learning:

• Muting microphones and allowing one person to speak at a time.
• Using the ‘raise hands’ function.
• Writing in a chat box instead of speaking.
• Sending students a lesson plan/itinerary.
• Asking students for feedback at the end of a lesson.
• Be consistent with rules.
• Encourage students to chat outside of lesson.
• Online demonstrations.
• Encourage students to turn their cameras on during lesson.

It’s important to remain positive yourself. Taking a more positive and humorous approach to teaching which will encourage students to remain positive themselves.

We are aware that learning online is a very different learning experience for those who are used to the classroom so we are here to support you during that temporary move.