Address Learning Challenges While Maintaining Excellence in Online Teaching
Here are our best tips for addressing learning challenges while teaching virtually.
Have you been challenged by a student with learning challenges? This is a great opportunity for you to address learning challenges and demonstrate that you care about the learner as a person. The greater the learning challenge, the more defining it is for your online teaching practice, whether you teach primary school or secondary school. Here are our best tips for addressing learning challenges:
Make sure to budget enough time
Make sure to allocate enough time for your teaching duties as well as additional time for learner contact. One-on-one instruction with specific learners, especially those with challenges, should be an integral part of your strategy for responsive availability. This will help you be available upfront when problems come up, or you need to contact a learner who is struggling with something. It’s important to monitor the conditions of your class and intervene when necessary to help prevent learners from disengaging.
Consider what learners expect
When learners start a new class, they are usually a bit apprehensive about what to expect from the teacher. And at the beginning, learners will probably be open to your feedback and any developmental notes you have to share with them. However, some students are resistant to instructor feedback and guidance.
Addressing learning challenges
There are a number of different common learning challenges that come up, including:
Students who do not want to respond. Especially with online teaching, you cannot simply check in two or three times a week and expect that all learners will be actively engaged on their own. You need to be actively engaged and present as an online teacher in order to reassure your learners that you are available, and you should also be checking in and following their ongoing progress through the course. If one of your students is failing to meet the goals of the course, then you need to initiate some form of contact with them. Of course, it is possible that they will not respond or even fall off the grid. If you have sent them a message, and they have not responded, you might want to try calling them to create a bond and encourage them as a student, with empathy and concern.
Students who do not want to engage. There are also a number of learners out there who are just not engaged in the course. You should try personally to reach out to this student to let them know that you care about their progress in the course. You can work with them to develop a plan of action for re-engagement back into the course.
Students who are not receptive. There are also learners who don’t seem to be receptive to your feedback and fail to implement what you have recommended. In this case, go back and review the feedback you provided and ask yourself how you would respond to the feedback if you were the student? Consider if there is another way you can provide feedback. Can you offer video feedback instead?