The first part of modifying your teaching material is to ensure all of your content is digitized and available in an online environment. This means any videos you play with a DVD or VHS tape for your students, you will need to find it online in a video sharing service such as YouTube. It also means any paper handouts or (god forbid) overhead transparencies need to be scanned.
Unfortunately, many software systems aren’t the best at allowing instructors to show videos to students. Some allow students to play the video themselves while in many cases the instructor wants to be able to show the video while stopping and starting. With the videos online, you will either need to figure out the best way to play the video for the students using your teaching software or make the video available to students to review before class.
The second part of preparing your teaching materials is beginning to address the largest issue with teaching online, student engagement. I’ll explain in my next article why student engagement is so critical but this is one place where you can start to improve your student engagement.
My suggestion for this is to plan to ask a discussion question before, after, and/or during each topic. This can be presented by inserting a slide with the question into your PowerPoint or even just writing it down in your class notes and verbally asking the question when appropriate.
- Collect your classroom material and ensure it is all available on your computer, if not, find another source or figure out how to digitize it.
- Plan how to inject discussion questions in your material to engage your students.
How have you modified your resident teaching material for teaching online? Which of those modifications were necessary and which were just nice to have? Feel free to leave your response in the comments below.
Next article I’m going to talk about why and how important student engagement is.