The recent global health crisis has brought new ways of teaching to enable our students to progress with their studies. But how are you going to move from classroom to virtual teaching seamlessly?

A student studying on their own as an example of virtual teaching.

Here are six tips to help you do this easily and efficiently:

Adapt Existing Learning Objectives and Content for Virtual Classroom.

Often the learning goals should be changed to fit the virtual environment, and a 2 hours classroom course that is simply put into a 2 hours online course does not work. Holding and adapting current learning objectives to meet online learning and re-purposing learning material for the right mix of digital learning delivery is important. Face-to-face and online learning are not exactly the same and it would be a mistake to solely rely on technology. This may mean integrating types of teaching and learning practises that encourage continuous participation in a virtual environment. For example, interactive whiteboard lectures, quizzes, and polls could engage the students.

Outline the Learning Path to Keep Your Students Engaged and On Track.

It’s important to keep your students updated about what to expect and what they need from their courses before they embark on it. Not only it sets the tone for the future by defining the learning direction but also motivates the students to remain on board with pre-work and other self-paced learning tasks. It is necessary to be clear about the learning path with your students. You should also remind them that keeping their learning on track is not your task and they should take responsibility instead. When you plan and then roll out the course, don’t forget to mention crucial components such as learning goals, tests, deadlines and outcomes.

Find the Best Approach for Students to Meet the Learning Outcomes.

After having understood the learning objectives and strategies, the next logical step will be to select the best approach to meet your learning outcomes. Decide how much of the learning will be immersive and synchronous, and how much will consist of self-paced tasks. Each case has a variety of online learning resources.

Create Virtual Collaboration Activities.

Peer interactions are essential to enhancing collaborative skills, and further knowledge sharing and skillset growth. Fortunately, there are tools and channels for online collaboration, such as Microsoft Teams and BlackBoard. You can have paired-off conversation exercises and hold group brainstorming sessions among the students in different break out rooms. Through these exercises the students will enjoy the benefits of their peers’ skillsets and experiences. There is a wide variety of successful facilitation approaches to help direct and adapt experiences in social learning.

Build an Asset Library for Reference Materials.

Since your course is online, you can find it fairly easy to promote learning outside of the provided content by sharing helpful resources. A reference library with need-to-know and nice-to-know knowledge that links up with the learning path you have developed, could include material you created, or articles/papers from credible resources. Take a look at University of Southampton Library to find useful resources and e-books.

Develop an Effective Assessment Plan.

Each course needs assessment to ensure that learning objectives are achieved. One of the benefits of a virtual learning approach is that it provides a range of interactive testing tools to be used, such as quizzes, polls, forums etc. How are you going to test your students’ progress? Will it be a test at the end of each course, a forum, an assignment or a project?

Do you want to learn more about remote teaching and learning? Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) has published quick start guides to assist you in moving your teaching online.

How to Move from Classroom to Virtual Teaching?

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