Tip #2 – Send a Preparation Task for Students to Do Before Class

Today, in our series of “10 Tips for a Successful Synchronous Lesson,” we will discuss tip #2: Send a preparation task for students to do before class.

Students who are used to brick-and-mortar schools may have difficulty transitioning to online learning at home. They may lack motivation to learn and get distracted easily.

It helps to assign students a task to do in preparation for each lesson. When students prepare in advance, they become more invested in the lesson and more engaged in the learning process. They’re also more likely to participate in class and stay focused.

It’s helpful to assign tasks that require students to use their own prior knowledge to connect with the topic. This will help them grasp the new information they’ll be learning in class. It’ll also help them understand the relevance of the lesson to their lives, so they’re more interested in learning about it.

When assigning the preparatory task, tell students what the upcoming lesson will be about and provide them with any other information they’ll need to know. Be as clear and specific as possible when explaining the task. Keep tasks short, so students aren’t discouraged from doing them.

Here are a few examples of preparatory tasks you can assign:

  • Ask a thought-provoking question based on the material you’ll be covering in the lesson, or ask students to write their own thought-provoking question.
  • Give students a 1-3 question survey asking them about their experiences or opinions connected to the topic of the upcoming lesson.
  • Assign a short video or reading passage on the lesson topic and ask students to come to class with 1-3 questions to ask about the topic (things they’d like to know), or list 3 things they already know about the topic.


Check back next week when we explore tip #3: Ask students to keep their cameras on.

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