Making a virtual classroom more interactive is not as difficult as you think. You may believe that online learning lacks too much in the interactive department compared to the traditional classroom learning. That is actually where they are wrong. There is nothing like face to face interaction – that is true. But that does not mean interaction in this platform is impossible.
As evidence by social media networks, it is possible to interact online. In fact, there are people who are more honest and aggressive in their opinions when they are online and quite timid in person. This is probably why discussions in an online classroom get to be more bold compared to the traditional way of learning.
While this is true, instructors should be careful when setting up an interactive environment in their virtual classroom. It is not only about extracting opinions and getting learners to actively participate. You want it to happen in such a way that allows you to apply the knowledge learned and practice the skills developed.
In creating your online classroom, make sure that your goals and objectives are well defined. These will give you focus and direction as you create your learning platform. Specifically, you want to have a goal for your interactive activities and make sure they are aligned with your learning objectives. This will help you define the skills that will be developed along the way and the topics that will be highlighted.
Beyond that, here are 5 more tips to help make your virtual classroom more interactive.
- Select delivery methods that can support your interactive activities. Delivering your content is an important part of creating your classroom. The method of delivery will have to be accessible, and the multimedia tools that you will use should be well supported. Think about the devices that the learners will use in accessing your online classroom. Will this be a purely online course or will it be a part of a blended learning course? Identifying how this will be delivered will allow you to set up your interactive activities to be compliant with the programs and technologies that you will use.
- Use your visuals to serve as a catalyst for discussion. Another tip is to utilize your visuals and explain them in such a way that will lead to a discussion among learners. The explanations should be done in such a way that it prompts the learners to think creatively and critically. Sparking a conversation this way will start off an aggressive conversation.
- Heighten the virtual classroom experience through learning activities. Discussions are great but they will not suffice to make your class interactive. Creating activities that allow learners to relate the lesson to real life experiences will make the course relatable and thus valuable. It will make the interaction in your course not just effective, but also meaningful. Just make sure to keep the activities short so as not to make it drawn out. Insert the activities periodically to keep the course from being too boring.
- Make sure facilitators and instructors will receive proper guidance. Create a different guide for facilitators and instructors that will allow them to oversee the training experience efficiently. A step by step manual will really be useful – especially if they are not involved in the creation process.
- Do not forget to test the whole program. Sometimes, what you have in mind does not materialize well when implemented in a virtual classroom. Take the time to do a test run before you deliver the whole program. Iron out typos and grammatical errors. Check out activities and make sure any simulations will run smoothly. Ensure that accessing the course across different portals will be possible.
By using these tips, you can create a virtual classroom that will not only be interactive but memorable too.
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