I am pretty sure that the current scenario of lockdown makes the ‘Teacher-Student-Banyan Tree’ setting in the Ramayana look very appealing. This is the case for both, students and the teachers.
“Many tutors are just not motivated enough to go online.“
Numbers say that only 10% of tutors find teaching online a good experience. Do you understand the magnitude of 90% of world tutors not liking the idea of teaching online when it is most needed? Many tutors are just not motivated enough to go online. Now, try to think of the reasons that lead the tutors to prefer brick and mortar teaching. What is it? Face to face experience? Ease of communication? Doubt solving? Lack of performance tracking? What if they find an online platform that solves all these problems?
Selecting just the right online platform
Think of this as shopping. You need earrings. Where would you go to? Of course, a boutique. Let’s define our boutique with the following bullets.
User-Friendly Interface: You spent years trying to be a math wizard or a physics wizard or a chemistry wizard; a complicated interface swoop in and makes you realise that you will need to ace this complicated interface and then you can start teaching. How frustrating is that? Find yourself an interface that leaves you with just uploading courses, test series and feedbacks and keep the computer wizardry at their end. Isn’t that something you paid for?
Wholesome classroom experience online: This feature brings all those 90% disinterested but valuable tutors into the picture and they are all ears. Find yourself a platform which can bring the whole class together give you a live experience of a classroom. In comes the doubts and out goes the solution. Wasn’t it this simple in the physical classrooms too?
Vernacular Support: Unity in diversity, they say. It is time to get this right in every aspect, especially education. Not everyone is proficient at English, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve education in these hard times. Find yourself a platform where you can educate people in various languages.
Class Isolation: The process of learning can only be achieved if there is undivided attention from both the parties. Find yourself a platform which can make it happen for you and that is how you can make sure that the disappointment you feel during tracking their performance is exponentially decreased. This brings me to my next point.
Performance Trackers: What’s the meaning of all this toiling if you don’t know about the difference you make in the lives of your students. Find yourself a platform that allows you to test the troublemakers and analyse their performance.
If you are successful in finding all these attributes in an online platform, you are good to go. And these are our unique selling points. This is how we differentiate ourselves. You can see it for yourself at http://www.utobo.com
The suggestions in this guide are not revolutionary. Once you read it, it seems like common sense. But isn’t that the reason for self-help books being the best sellers? So, let’s dive in sailor!
Pen down a syllabus and divide it into modules: This will help settle on goals and give you a timeframe to work upon. It will also help the students to realise what they will be asked on doom’s day and they can learn and prepare accordingly.
Show up: An online platform might provide live classes and asynchronous teaching – meaning the students can watch the courses on their schedule. But teaching live has its advantage. You can make sure that all of them are clear with the concept and if they are not, you can solve them there itself.
Be Yourself: This sounds like a fresh from the oven self-help chapter, but it isn’t. Most professors enjoy teaching in person because of the opportunity to interact with students, share our passion for a subject, and watch understanding dawn on their faces.
” This is how a teacher differentiates herself from lousy youtube videos.”
Some of us, admittedly, enjoy the performative aspect. We feed off the energy in the room. We use it to fuel our own energetic communication. Many of us have a unique teaching persona — different from the person we are in a hallway conversation or a department meeting. We employ humor. We vary our delivery to best effect. We pause. We raise our voices. This is how a teacher differentiates herself from lousy youtube videos. Do not let the laptop screen take that away from you.
Organize your content intuitively: Many online students lose interest due to a badly structured course. They spend a lot of time trying to find the right video or the test. Tutors should make sure that this doesn’t happen and keep the students engaged.
Keep it easy to eyes: As a student, we are all scared of mammoth of paragraphs and an endless ocean of them. Make your content pleasing to eyes by adding some pictures. As they say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ online courses are known to be boring and dull. Let’s change that perception.
Make your classroom a pleasant place to be: When you teach without a laptop screen, you greet your students with a smile, play banter or just have a little fun. You will need to carry that aura when you teach online because your students must feel as good as they feel in an offline class.
We cannot go ahead of our times as a lone wolf so let’s team up and break these barriers to education by adapting to technologies and make a difference in this raging globe of ice and fire.
Avinash Somjani is an intern at utobo and he is currently pursuing his MBA at SIBM Bengaluru. He is passionate about sports, science fiction, history and the ever changing colour of his pen.