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4 expert tips for coping with the move to online teaching and home learning

Dr. Anna CohenMiller, Assistant Professor from Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Education, has outlined four practical tips for educators who have been suddenly thrust into the world of online teaching:

An estimated 1.5 billion learners are experiencing disruption to their learning because of the coronavirus pandemic: schools and universities have closed and students are having to stay home.

Before the virus was even declared a pandemic, more and more educators were being forced to teach online each day with online teaching now a necessity worldwide.

1. Manage expectations

While online learning has been a trend in higher education, most faculty members have not been trained in this practice.

Teaching online for the first time may not be the best teaching practice you have ever delivered, but this is a learning opportunity for everyone. Also, be aware of how this new method of teaching may impact you students’ performances.

2. Be flexible in assessment

It is important to decide out how to achieve learning outcomes via online teaching; you will likely need to help your students demonstrate their learning in new ways.

For assessments, you can decide if you want or need to change assessments during this period of online learning. Perhaps there are some forms of assessment that could be removed altogether.

3. Choose technology strategically

Use digital platforms offered by your university (Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard) and also other tools, such as Google docs or Whatsapp groups.

Experimenting with different technology systems may take some time, but find the ones you feel most comfortable using.

4. Create an inclusive, supportive environment

While some students may be technologically adept and comfortable with online tools, others may not be.

Students may be anxious about their abilities in an online setting, concerned about having consistent access to the internet, or worried about demonstrating their learning online.

“This is a challenging time for everyone. We can’t forget that some people will be facing extreme sickness within their own families and communities and that every student and educator has their own personal difficulties or challenges, especially now.

“Moving to online teaching is a huge endeavour that the entire educational world is experiencing. This is a unique moment in history which means mistakes will be made, but there are also new things to learn.” said Dr. Anna CohenMiller, Assistant Professor from Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Education

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