Guide for Teachers: Tips and Strategies to Improve Online Teaching

Even after the pandemic, e-learning is a popular method for colleges and universities worldwide to improve online teaching methods. However, the transition to online teaching has its challenges as instructors grapple with the new teaching norm. How can teachers engage students online, and—more importantly—how can they leverage the benefits of academic transcription

In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • 53% of students in the U.S. have enrolled in at least one online course.
  • Open-source materials are free educational resources that anyone can legally use.
  • Many institutions provide AI-powered transcription tools, though they are only 86% accurate at best. Ditto’s manual transcription service is the better option, with more than 99% accuracy guarantees. 

What is Online Teaching?

In simple terms, online teaching is a mode of education that takes place online; educators conduct classes with their students in a virtual environment, primarily through video conference calls.

This growing pedagogy is now essential for many university programs worldwide, allowing anyone to learn at their own pace and from any location with internet connectivity. 

Online teaching uses various digital tools to deliver course content, facilitate discussions, and assess student performance to make education more accessible for diverse learners.

Common Types of Virtual Learning 

Below are some types of learning methods, though not limited to them, that are often utilized by online students.

Virtual LearningDescription
Asynchronous Online CoursesStudents complete coursework at their own pace within a set timeframe using a learning management system (LMS).
Synchronous Online CoursesClasses meet in real time via video conferencing for live lectures, discussions, and group activities.
Blended/Hybrid LearningCombines online coursework with face-to-face instruction, such as in-person classes or labs.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)Free or low-cost online courses open to large numbers of participants worldwide, featuring pre-recorded video lectures, quizzes, and discussion forums.
Competency-Based Education (CBE)Students progress through online courses by demonstrating mastery of skills and knowledge rather than completing a set number of credit hours.
Adaptive LearningA technology-driven approach that personalizes the learning experience based on a student’s performance and engagement using adaptive software.
MicrolearningComplex topics are broken down into small, focused units delivered online through brief videos, interactive quizzes, or gamified modules.
Virtual LabsDigital tools that allow students to conduct experiments, practice skills, or explore systems in a virtual environment.

Why is Online Teaching Important?

Online teaching has gained so much importance in modern educational topography due to its flexibility to students and teachers alike. 53% of the students in the United States have enrolled in at least one online course, while millions worldwide now participate in remote classes as well.

Online teaching helps instructors transcend the limitations of traditional classrooms and reach a wider audience, making it easier to improve online teaching strategies. This flexibility allows students to balance their education with personal commitments, benefiting from the convenience of learning from anywhere.

The shift to online teaching involves transforming educators into facilitators who guide students in taking an active role in their learning journey. 

Useful Tips to Improve Your Online Teaching Skills

Let’s discuss some of the most effective ways to improve online teaching skills. 

1. Have Diverse Teaching Strategy

Including different teaching methods, such as games or thought-provoking discussions, alongside traditional lectures ensures that every student can thrive in their educational journey.

Initiating meaningful discussions inspires students to engage with the educational material, share their unique perspectives, and potentially learn from their peers—a good way to promote an inclusive learning environment. In addition, trying different teaching strategies lets educators tap into their creativity best to suit their students’ subject matter or learning styles.

2. Prepare Visual Aids for Your Virtual Classroom

Visual representations like charts, graphs, photos, and other graphic elements can help students better understand data or key discussion points, which is also advantageous to those who learn more effectively through visual means.

Putting these visual aids into slide presentations keeps students attentive throughout the lesson because it enables online educators to reinforce the main ideas from their lectures. The same slides can also be used as study guides for students as they contain an overview of what was discussed, which they can refer to when preparing for exams.

3. Familiarize the Online Learning Platform

The online teaching method is a modern procedure riddled with modern problems. Therefore, investing time in understanding the ins and outs of the virtual teaching platform is essential for you to feel confident in your lectures. It also helps you prepare your lessons ahead of time.

Also, if you’re an online teacher, you may be the first point of contact for students facing technical issues. You need to be able to troubleshoot common problems, or at the very least, you should know who to contact for further assistance.

4. Have a Clear Syllabus for an Effective Online Class

Anyone who has gone through college understands that a syllabus can be considered a roadmap for students. Therefore, creating an easy-to-comprehend syllabus is essential for online teachers—or anyone in charge—as it sets the expectations of students by outlining the course structure.

Your syllabus should include information like your contact details, office hours, and the preferred method for students to reach you so that you can ensure open lines of communication. The syllabus must also offer clear guidance on accessing course content and state the course objectives so that they understand what they’ll learn throughout your class.

5. Use Open-Source Materials

Students know the pain of buying textbooks. The alternative is to buy a used textbook, yet the student still has to spend a couple hundred dollars just to get the necessary textbooks. 

Things have changed these days. Open-source materials are free educational resources legally usable by anyone. For example, an open-source calculus textbook can be downloaded for free. 

Including these materials in your course ensures all your students have equal access to educational resources. 

6. Give Feedback to Help Students Feel Engaged

Feedback is important in any structured institution. In academia, feedback allows online teachers to monitor student progress, identify key areas for improvement, and provide guidance to promote growth. 

Prompt feedback also gives students insights into self-improvement—if they’re serious about it—because it lets them recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Considering this factor, time management skills are essential for online teachers to facilitate timely feedback and keep the online class moving forward at a steady pace.

7. Schedule Virtual Office Hours for Distance Learning

Office hours can be a touchpoint for meaningful connections with your students despite the physical distance inherent in virtual learning. These sessions can be conducted via phone, chat, or video conference—anything that can accommodate communication preferences.

Varying your office hours weekly ensures that all students can engage with you, regardless of their schedules. In asynchronous classes, virtual office hours become particularly essential because they provide a consistent channel for students to seek guidance throughout the term, especially if they encounter challenges with assignments.

8. Encourage Student Collaboration in the Online Classroom

Group projects are essential learning experiences for students. However, they often face unique challenges when working together remotely. Therefore, as an educator, you must help your students know or familiarize themselves with the tools to initiate collaboration, such as the software provided by the school (e.g., Microsoft Teams) or free services like Zoom—tools that let students execute group projects despite the physical distance.

Imposing accountability measures into collaborative projects is also important to ensure the participation of all team members and promote a fair learning environment.

9. Use Live Lectures to Improve Online Teaching

For students and teachers alike, live lectures through video platforms can be a valuable real-time discussion opportunity, promoting collaboration within the virtual classroom.

How does it work? Simple: Live sessions can be conducted through chat functionality or other interactive features on the communication platform. These allow students to ask questions, share their thoughts, and engage in meaningful discussions in real-time. 

Recording these live lectures can also be useful learning material, as it allows other students who cannot attend the session to access the content at their convenience. 

10. Provide Transcripts for Recorded College Lectures to Enhance Comprehension

Speaking of recording, providing transcripts for recorded lectures is also a good strategy for online teachers. 

In the educational context, transcripts serve two essential purposes. First, they give students the flexibility to engage with the course content in their preferred format—watching the video or reading the transcript— which can improve comprehension of important main points. Also, students can easily revisit important topics discussed in the lecture to reinforce their understanding of the material.

Second, transcripts can make online courses truly accessible to students with different learning needs—those with auditory processing challenges, hearing issues, or non-native English speakers. Luckily, many institutions provide resources to assist educators in creating accurate transcripts for their recorded lectures.

However, most of these institutions provide transcription tools powered by AI because they believe these can save time as they’re much faster than human transcribers.

They’re not entirely wrong. AI transcriptions are indeed faster, but according to recent studies, they’re only 86% accurate AT BEST, meaning you’ll be spending more time proofreading and polishing the transcripts—disproving the believed “time-saving” benefit of AI transcripts.

Otherwise, your students might find awkward phrases or confusing instructions that would 100% lead to negative outcomes.

Why Choose Ditto Transcripts For Your Transcription Needs?

The answer is simple: You won’t have to settle for anything less than the best. With Ditto, you get to enjoy the following while improving your online teaching experience:

  • 99% Accuracy: “Accurate enough” is not enough. Our human transcriptionists ensure precision, even for complex materials.
  • Faster turnaround times: With Ditto, you can get your transcripts in 3-5 business days. We can get them in 24 hours or less if you need them faster. 
  • U.S.-based Transcription: All our transcribers are American residents and native English speakers who can understand colloquialisms, cultural subtleties, and heavy accents. 
  • Subject Mastery: Our team understands complex academic terminology.
  • Customization: Transcript format, labels, style, and extra features tailored to your needs.
  • Affordable Pricing: Fair pay-as-you-go service costs that work on tight e-learning budgets.
  • Secure Process: We protect sensitive course data. While not likely necessary for transcribing a course, it’s nice to know we are HIPAA, FINRA, and CJIS-compliant. Our transcribers also sign non-disclosure agreements for your peace of mind.

Let Us Transcribe Your Recorded Lectures

Whether on a tight schedule or budget, we’ve got you covered. Need something rushed? We can turn transcripts around faster than most. And we keep our pricing affordable so quality transcription doesn’t break the bank. 99% accurate transcription isn’t something we “just say”; it’s our standard, no matter your chosen service.

Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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