A makeover for the boring online class

Good teacher, good school and a good class. These are all words we use, but they don't have a fixed meaning. A good class could be one after which the student scores well in a test or exam. For far too long, marks have been used to measure a student, a teacher and the quality of a class.

But the pandemic has changed that too. When no tests or exams are taking place, what is the meaning of a good class? And what is a good online class?

An online class could be a pre-recorded class or a live online class.

Pre-recorded online classes give students the flexibility to watch them at their own pace, and give them the option of replaying a part any number of times. If the recorded classes are available offline, there's no need to worry about network connectivity either.

But a pre-recorded class cannot do everything. Students can't interact with their teachers; they can't ask their doubts at the moment. And most importantly, students don't feel motivated and can get easily distracted.

A live online class is the next best thing to a real class. Students need to pay attention to keep up and learn, and they can clarify their doubts then and there.

At Openhouse, we want to design the model online class, a learning experience that children would remember. We don't want to recreate an offline class online, but reimagine that experience.

Teachers on online classes

In an online class, you win when you engage students. If you do not engage students, their video is off and you are forced to teach a blank screen. Online learning is not only about learning from a teacher but engaging with the subject in such a way that learning becomes effortless.

Here are some suggestions to build the model online class:

  • Kick off with an icebreaker. It could be a fun discussion or a simple game. It will take ten minutes but will ensure that they pay attention for the rest of the hour.

  • Give them a pre-class activity. Get them to start thinking about what they will learn in class by giving them an experiment to do, or asking them to observe the world around them.

  • Use LOTS of activities. Don't lecture your students or give them instructions. Let them figure out the concept themselves; this way, they'll remember it for life.

  • Make assessments fun. It's important to check if students have understood the concept or not. But it doesn't have to be a boring MCQ quiz. Use innovative games like Jeopardy, puzzles and trivia themed quizzes. Get students to make a quiz and test their friends with it.

The online class will stay even after the pandemic. In 2018, long before anything like COVID existed, Technavio released statistics that projected that the e-learning market in the United States will have grown to $6.22 billion by 2022.

The pandemic has simply accelerated the adoption of online learning, but it would have happened either way.

So the quest now is how to make online classes their very best. At Openhouse, that's what drives us everyday.