With the prevailing situation, institutes all over the globe moved to distance-learning format through virtual classrooms. For a large fraction of students, this is their first experience learning online and they may take a certain amount of time to get used to the format. Here are five ways in which universities can make the online learning experience more user-friendly and beneficial even for first-time users.
Check-In On Them Regularly
In a virtual learning format, students are likely to feel disconnected from each other and the teachers. Checking in regularly will make them feel less isolated and give them a sense of being cared for. Even a simple hello or a query about their health and that of their families will go a long way.
Offer Virtual Learning Tutorials
For some students, particularly those from underprivileged sections, this may be their first time using a computer for learning. To help them feel more comfortable with internet-based platforms like Zoom or online homework submission portals, the institute can share step-by-step tutorials. These tutorial videos can include a detailed process starting from how to install the application, creating an account, and how to use it. The tutorial can be made available in the student’s local language as well to help them grasp the details better.
Send Encouraging Messages
Even though students will be attending their classes from home, they still carry the same amount of stress when it comes to exams, grades, and so on. Now being virtual, the students may feel more stressed as they are away from their classmates and teachers. In such a scenario, the institute must reach out to the students, share encouraging messages that boost their confidence. For example, sending a personal congratulatory note to a student who has done well, reassuring words to students who didn't score well on their tests, or wishing them on their birthday to list a few.
Share Competitive Examination Information
Many students will be preparing for key entrance exams, like CAT or IAS, which will further their career goals. Sending them information related to upcoming details of competitive examinations, model questions papers can be done to help them out. If bandwidth permits, the institute can also schedule virtual career counseling sessions to guide students.
It is essential to have a classroom environment where everyone is contributing. For this, teachers must reach out personally to students who are not actively participating in any classroom activities. Reach out to them individually after the classes are over and check upon them. Try understanding if lack of participation is because they are shy about speaking up, unable to comprehend the subject, etc. Accordingly, teachers can guide students through the dilemma and encourage them to share their views whenever they want to make a point. The more a student contributes, the more diverse the views are exchanged in the classroom which will bring immense benefits for all.
Article Authored By: Dr. Raj Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Jain Online, Jain (Deemed to be University)