7 Tips for Going Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the closure of schools around the world, online learning has become the viable modality of maintaining instructional continuity through enabling students to continue learning outside of the confines of the in-person classroom. The following tips offer starting points for transitioning your classroom online.

1. Maintain Clear Communication – Especially in times of uncertainty, it is important to maintain consistent contact with your students. Let them know how they can get in touch with you, how often they can expect to receive course updates, and where they can go to find course info. A sample email or announcement may look like this- Sample Announcement

2. Make Your Course Engaging  – Online learning presents a vastly different learning environment than a physical classroom, and this presents an opportunity for you to get creative with your instruction. Digital technologies such as Padlet (a visual discussion board tool), Flipgrid (a pre-recorded video response tool), and Quizlet (a flashcard system with live team game settings) all have free options that can easily be incorporated into your online course.

Padlet
Flipgrid

3. Use New Technologies to Stay on Schedule – Now is a the time to brush up on those technical skills. As an instructor you have the opportunity to expand your reach to students by mastering new digital learning tools. Use Zoom to present content and share related information. Upload your course materials to the institution’s learning management system (LMS), such as Blackboard and Canvas, so that students can access them. Communicate with your students digitally through the use of  LMS features, such as Announcements or email. Use technology to stay in touch and on schedule during this critical time. Contact your local IT for support or assistance with gaining access and using these technologies.

4. Group Activities Promote a Sense of Community – Although your class may have shifted online, the social aspect of learning still remains vital to your student’s academic success. Use LMS and other technology tool features to encourage interaction among you and your students.

Examples include:

  • Discussion boards – be sure to be an active participant yourself, and encourage your students to post thoughtful and nuanced answers to other students responses.
  • Zoom- Zoom breakout rooms, which allow you to split your Zoom meeting into separate rooms, each with different participants.
  • The groups function in your LMS, which enables you to assign students to different groups to work on an assignment.
Image result for zoom break out rooms
Zoom Breakout Rooms

5. Be Flexible – Think objectively about the assignments you have planned for this semester, and decide which ones can most effectively be translated to online learning. If an assignment or assessment does not easily translate online, perhaps it should be replaced with an alternative. For example, an in-person test might be replaced with a semester long project or essay assignment. A live lecture might become a pre-recorded asynchronous lecture using a screencasting technology. Consider how learning can best be accomplished with the tools and resources available to you and your students.


6. Remain Positive and Supportive – You probably were not planning to teach online this semester, but that does not mean you won’t learn something new from this experience. Be open-minded and willingly to adapt to this new way of learning in a challenging time. Remain positive and supportive of your students and be sure to make time for you own self-care.

7. Ask for Support and Collaborate – Remember to ask for support when you need it. Your institution’s local IT, online education department is ready to support you during this time of need. Reach out to them, attend trainings, and be cognizant of your own wellness in making this transition to online. Also reach out and collaborate with your fellow faculty members, they are going through a similar situation and may be able to share insight about what they are doing to make this transition successful. 

Got any tips to share for faculty members transitioning classes online? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Virtual Orientation: a how-to for Online Classrooms [INFOGRAPHIC]

Online orientation should provide the knowledge and information necessary to succeed in an online course so that all students are prepared to excel! This infographic covers how to introduce course material and clarify expectations for an online class.

The text for this infographic was based off of an article by Dean Marian Stoltz-Loike, vice president of online education at Touro College in New York and dean of the school’s Lander College for Women.

Author’s Bio: Chana Goldberg is currently the Presidential Fellow of Online Education at Touro College. She enjoys reading, exploring New York City, and researching education-related topics.

9 eLearning Stats Every Student Should Know in 2019

The following is a guest post written by Hugh Beaulac, blogger, social media manager, and content strategist. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

The rise of modern technologies affects our lives, so it’s no wonder it has an impact on traditional teaching methods. Living in the digital era, eLearning isn’t a new concept even though many students are afraid of giving it a try: lack of control, social isolation, and low motivation are just a few reasons why students don’t want to study online.

However, learning online can be a great idea to obtain knowledge without spending time on attending lectures. If you’re doubting whether eLearning can suit your needs and wants, you’re welcome to look through the list of statistics that prove it is the future of education.

Here are 9 eLearning stats every student should know in 2019.

#1. Around one half of all classes are done online.

Elearning gives many opportunities for both teachers and students. Moreover, it’s important to keep up with the trends, so eLearning is getting more and more popular. One in two lessons is done online which means students can expect even more online lectures in the nearest future.

#2. eLearning increases knowledge retention by 25% to 60%.

Humans are visually-oriented creatures, so it’s no wonder we perceive visual information better. When you study online, you work with various visual content  – presentations, videos, infographics. As a result, knowledge retention is increasing.

#3. eLearning is generally shorter than classroom training on the same subject by up to 25-60%.

When you study online, you save a considerable amount of time as the educational process is focused on providing the right information to the right person at the right time which means obtaining knowledge faster.

#4. 60% of people say that online courses fit their personal schedule/lifestyle better.

The best thing about online learning is an opportunity to do it in your spare time. Whether you learn new material, do your homework, or communicate with a mentor, it’s you who decides when to do it, so eLearning can suit any lifestyle.

#5. 81% of college students agree that digital learning technology helps to improve their grades.

With a variety of online educational organizations, it’s easy to pick a course to get a deeper understanding of any subject. Moreover, it’s a proven way to get additional knowledge, and therefore improve grades.

#6. 52% of people use m-learning in bed after waking up.

Nowadays the educational process is about comfort and time optimization. It’s enough to have access to the internet to do your course wherever you are.

#7. 90% of students believe online learning is better than traditional classroom experience.

For the majority of students, eLearning gives many opportunities to make the educational process more interactive and creative. As a result, they are more engaged.

#8. VR/AR educational software is predicted to get $300 million in revenue by 2020.

No matter what your major subject is, it’s important to ensure you get an engaging learning experience in order to be interested in the educational process. With the rise of VR/AR, students have an opportunity to be engaged in the process.

#9. The global mobile learning market is estimated to be $37.6 billion by 2022.

Nowadays more and more people own a smartphone, and it’s not just a way to connect with people – it’s also a way to obtain knowledge on the go. There are many apps and mobile-friendly educational websites that allow people to improve skills wherever they are.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why eLearning is just the future of education. The above-mentioned statistics facts prove that people love learning online and eLearning gives many benefits to modern learners. Thus, it’s important to get rid of your worries and give online education a try.

Author’s Bio:Hugh Beaulac is a blogger, social media manager, and content strategist who helps people fall in love with STEM disciplines. He writes for different websites to share his knowledge, so follow him on Twitter to stay tuned for more.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

How to Improve Learner Experience with Mobile Messaging

The following is a guest post written by Anastasia Sviridenko, content marketing manager at TextMagicIf you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

Mastering virtual communication is really essential to running a successful online course. Did you know that one of the biggest challenges to online courses is student engagement? Without the pressure of face-to-face teacher and classmate competition, many students lack follow-through. Mobile messaging through apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, and SMS messaging can create those important connections and ensure a better learner experience.

Mobile messaging has a lot of benefits as a communication tool between teacher and student, and even among students. First, more and more people are comfortable using messaging platforms. Though some may think that mobile messaging is only for millennials, a study by AARP showed that 88 percent of adults aged 50+ use their mobile for IMS. And with a variety of apps to choose from, you can choose the one that is most popular among your virtual students.

While younger people are abandoning email and voice calls, the trend towards texting has been gaining ground with all demographics. That means that using mobile messaging will allow you to reach the largest number of your students effectively.

Also, it’s convenient. Many online course students are currently employed or have other commitments that keep them busy. By allowing mobile communication, students don’t have to wait until they’re at their desktop to send a question.

They might even forget the question by then anyway! Instead, as they’re messaging colleagues on WhatsApp or responding to a message on Facebook Messenger, they can shoot off a question to you as they come up, increasing engagement and facilitating learning.

It also allows the teacher to answer faster, giving the student a timely response that they might need in order to finish an assignment.

Here are some benefits of mobile messaging for both online teachers and students.

Allows Students Easy Access to Teachers

Students may struggle with a number of challenges in an online course. As mentioned above, engagement is a big issue. By allowing students easy access to the teacher through mobile messaging platforms that they already use, it enhances engagement and stimulates more active participation. It also gives teachers a convenient platform to offer explanations and encouragement.

Great for Communicating Reminders and Changes

If there are any last-minute changes in course material, deadlines or online sessions, mobile messaging is a great way to let people know. Text is particularly effective since it’s immediate and has nearly 100 percent open rates. That means if you send out a text, you’re nearly guaranteed that your students will read the message. It also doesn’t depend on an internet connection for student to be able to receive it.

For that reason, it’s also good to remind students of upcoming exams and assignments. Everyone gets busy and it can be hard to stay on top of schedules and deadlines while juggling other life events. A little reminder can help students be prepared and make it easier for them to succeed in your course.

Group Discussions Help Build Community

Students taking online courses may miss the community that comes with on-site courses. Apps like WhatsApp and Slack can help create that necessary community. Groups have so many benefits:

  • They stimulate discussion, giving students a wider range of information on the subject they’re studying
  • They help students answer each other’s questions, relieving the pressure on the teacher as the only point of reference
  • They allow students to increase their network, a valuable benefit to students
  • They allow the teacher to observe what areas are most challenging and which themes are most interesting to students, helping with the planning of future courses

Collect Feedback Through Mobile Polls

Mobile messaging isn’t just a great tool to use during a course. It can also be of use after a course is already finished. Why not send out a quick poll to students after the course is over? It’s easy and convenient to respond to a mobile poll message while on the go, so students will be more likely to respond.

Keep the poll simple, with just a few key questions to increase participation. Finishing the course experience with a feedback poll is very important for many reasons.

It allows you to see what areas you did well in and what areas need improvement. This will help you organize your next course to better meet expectations.

It gives students a place to voice criticisms in a productive way. If you get negative feedback, address it proactively by responding to the student individually, offering to remedy any complaints they had. It could have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication that caused the trouble. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a negative experience and turn it into something positive, improving a student’s overall experience with your course.

Let Them Know About Related Courses

Many students will appreciate learning about similar related courses that would help them hone a skill they’ve been developing. Continuing your relationship with the student by letting them know about upcoming courses through a mobile message can strengthen their relationship to your course and enhance their overall learning satisfaction.

Online educators can use mobile messaging to improve the overall learning experience. By giving students a convenient platform where they can communicate with the teacher and other learners, you enhance community and open the doors for greater exchange.

 

Author’s Bio: 

Anastasia Sviridenko is a content marketing manager at TextMagic. She’s always on the lookout for new ways to create exciting content. When she’s not working, you can find her at home curling up with a book.

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Online Orientation for the Virtual Classroom

Getting acclimated to the online virtual classroom can be tough, especially when you are new to the E-Learning world. Online orientation gives students a sense of what their online program entails, so that they can navigate comfortably once their courses begin. Check out this great article from Marian Stoltz-Loike, Chief Online Education Officer and Vice President of Online Education at Touro College, and learn what to expect during online orientation.

Click here for the full article: Online Degree Program Virtual Orientation: What to Expect

Source: USNews.com