The academic year has started, and one thing is for sure: the virtual classroom experience this time will be different.
School districts will make virtual education possible thanks to an array of digital platforms. For students, punctuality, engagement, and participation will be essential to receive a passing grade. For educators, there are effective techniques you can implement to improve online engagement with your students, similar to how business managers communicate with their team members.
As educators, let’s take a look at how a few corporate communication techniques can translate effectively into our virtual classrooms.
Recognizing legitimate concerns
Successful teachers connect with their students. A connection through a monitor has substituted face-to-face interaction. An upfront candid acknowledgment that we have all been part of this collective experience is a likely connector.
Improving visual and vocal impression
Now, and for the foreseeable future, video will be the vessel educators will use to teach. Remember, there is an element of performance when communicating on camera.
- Speak a little louder than you think you have to. Adding volume to your voice will take your lecture a long way.
- Add inflection to essential concepts to avoid becoming vocally monotonous.
- Body language conveys energy. Don’t be afraid to gesture with your hands, even if your image can only be seen from the waist up. Students need the motivation to help them make the best out of the virtual classroom experience.
Making complex concepts come alive
There is a storyteller in all of us. Now is the time to use your own stories, examples, analogies, illustrations to make your lessons real and memorable. Academic subjects requiring complex problem solving can be significantly enhanced with visual elements. The virtual classroom offers an endless choice of videos, graphics, and illustrations for students to grasp, process, and retain knowledge.
Although teachers have the ability to mute the students’ microphones during lectures, students will be encouraged to take part in classroom discussion. Sooner or later the discussion will go off topic, as it often does in the classroom, and the teacher is responsible for getting back on track.
Stay on target by acknowledging the question and bridging back to your topic. Get comfortable using phrases like these for a smooth transition:
- What’s vital for us to know is…
- Let me reemphasize…
- The most important thing for the class to know is…
- The main takeaway from today’s lesson is…
Whether the instruction is in-person or online, one factor remains equally important: for teachers to reach students at the intellectual level, they will first need to reach them emotionally.
To learn more about how Spoken Word Communications can help with your online training and communication effectiveness, contact us.