The pandemic has brought a paradigm shift in the world of education. Given the high contagiousness of Covid-19, traditional classrooms are no longer functional and educational institutions have shifted to remote education. This transition has posed many challenges for you as teachers. Managing a virtual classroom is far more complicated than working a real one. You have to face technical glitches at times, but a lot more effort into engaging your students and ensure that effective learning goes on. Although shouldering these heightened responsibilities is severe, there is nothing that strong teachers like you cannot do. But, often getting some help makes things a little easier. So, here is how to manage a virtual classroom effectively:
Formulate proper rules for your students to follow
The foundation of managing a virtual classroom well lies in getting the students disciplined. It is quite natural for them to start taking education lightly when attending virtual classes from the comfort of their homes. That is why you need to intervene and make them take virtual classes seriously. For this, the most important thing to do is to formulate proper rules for your students to follow. These rules should clearly describe what is permissible in your virtual classroom and what’s not. Now, here are some simple examples of norms which you can create for your students to maximize their sincerity towards virtual education:
Proper dress up
The types of clothes we wear significantly impacts how we feel and our attention level. If your students attend your virtual class in their pajamas, they are likely to feel lazy and won’t study sincerely. This makes it crucial for you to create rules regarding proper dress up for your students. For example, you can prohibit them from joining your virtual classroom in pajamas or ill-kempt hair.
No reclining in the bed
This is a crucial rule to formulate. You can prohibit your students from reclining in the bed while attending virtual classes and encourage them to sit on a table and chair for studying.
To help your students become disciplined for virtual classes, you can make it compulsory for them to be punctual. You can simply declare that latecomers will not get permission to join the online class. This will help your students take online classes as seriously as traditional ones.
Be respectful and no misconduct with anyone
It is crucial to set up some related behavior rules for your students. One simplest yet most important one to create is that they should be respectful towards you and not engage in misconduct with anyone.
Include gamification in the teaching process
One smart trick to manage your virtual classroom excellently is to include gamification in the teaching process. This offers two significant benefits. Firstly, as students love to play games, they become intensely engaged in your class. Secondly, they fall in love with you and your class. As a result, they become punctual, perform well in your class, and behave in a very cordial manner. So, gamification can work wonders in helping you manage your virtual classroom. Now, here are some ideas on including gamification in the teaching process:
Use some popular virtual games while teaching, as per your subject requirements
There are many virtual games that you can play with your students after modifying them as per your subject requirements. Charades and Pictionary are two popular ones out of them. Now, let us try to understand how we can utilize them while teaching with the help of an example.
Let us consider that you are a Science teacher who has to teach his students about different lab apparatus- Funnel, Beaker, etc. Then, you can gamify it by playing Pictionary with your students. For this, you have to divide your students into two or three groups. One group will draw the diagram of a lab apparatus, and the other team will try to guess its name. In the end, the team with the maximum number of correct answers in its account wins the game.
This is how you can easily modify different virtual games to gamify learning for your students.
Assign online games based homework
Assigning online games based homework is a trick which works perfectly for motivating your students to do their homework. The day you start implementing this trick, your students will become excited about homework and do it the first thing, after attending your virtual class. Now, here are the names of some popular online websites from where you can select different online games to assign as homework to your students, according to grade level and subject.
Portray an influential body language
Whether it is a traditional classroom or a virtual one, your body language is an essential factor that impacts student engagement. If you portray persuasive and authoritative body language, your students are more likely to pay attention to what you are teaching. This implies that a significant body language is a fantastic tool that you can utilize for virtual classroom management. Now, given below are some simple body language tips to help you portray persuasive body language:
Try to cover more space while using hand gestures
We naturally make use of different hand gestures while teaching. If you start covering more space with your hand gestures, you can appear more authoritative in front of your students.
Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed while sitting
Your sitting posture is an essential part of your body language. The best way to sit is to keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. It helps you appear attentive and stimulates your students to stay attentive too.
Have a calm smile on your face
A calm and beautiful smile makes you appear confident and welcoming. This makes you seem impressive, and your students become inclined to pay attention to you. So, it is good to have a calm smile on your face while interacting with your students.
Have regular conversations with your students
Managing your virtual classroom becomes easy when your students are emotionally inclined towards you. It stimulates them to become more attentive, responsive in class and abide by your teachings. All this happens because of their love towards you. Now, you may wonder how you can develop an emotional connection with your students? The answer is simple- have regular conversations with them. Try to know more about your students, their hobbies, interests, worries, and fears. This will help you pave closer to the hearts of your students.
Appreciate your students:
This is one of the simplest tricks to enhance student engagement in class. By appreciating your students for simple things like punctuality, abiding by the rules and regulations of your virtual classroom and good performance, you can make them feel happy and positive. This will stimulate them to exhibit even better conduct in your virtual classroom, which will help you with classroom management. So, whenever you find something good about your students, make sure to appreciate them.
Classroom management is crucial to teach effectively. But, managing a virtual classroom is a really challenging task, and the tactics mentioned earlier will help you make this task a little simpler. Now, wishing you all the best and may you succeed in managing your virtual classroom effectively.