Today we’ll be discussing tip #5 from our list of “10 Tips for a Successful Synchronous Lesson.” Tip #5: Tell students what to expect during the lesson.
Students may have more difficulty following an online lesson than a lesson in a traditional classroom. They may also be more anxious about their learning since they’re missing many of the cues found in face-to-face lessons, such as body language, support from fellow students, and ability to approach the teacher to ask questions.
For this reason, it’s important to give students a head start, and prepare them for each lesson. Before a lesson, let students know the purpose of the lesson, and what they can expect to be doing and learning.
Let students know how the learning is relevant to their lives, and when or how they might use what they learn. For example, if the lesson is about future tenses, inform students that they’ll use future tenses when making plans. A lesson about main idea and details may help students learn to take good notes. And a lesson in which students ask and answer questions can help them practice for a job interview.
In addition to giving this information orally, display it on a slide or white board on your distance-learning platform, so students can refer to it during the lesson. Alternatively, send students the information ahead of time, so they can read it before class. When students are informed of a lesson’s objectives, they’re more likely to understand the focus of the lesson. They’re also more likely to take ownership of their learning, making them more active and motivated learners.
Since distance learning can be a more difficult mode of learning for some, give students clear and simple instructions before they start a lesson activity. And make sure everyone understands what to do. This way, instead of being confused or frustrated, students will be calm, confident, and more apt to participate in class.