Consistency in a virtual classroom is important. In fact, it is probably more important than most people realize. Learning online is quite convenient but it does have a couple of disadvantages. The absence of the physical presence of an instructor or fellow students can make it harder to focus. Not only that, it is harder for the instructor to keep the attention of the learners.
Fortunately, there are various ways that you can address this problem. You can make the course very engaging. You can set up activities that will allow students to interact with each other. Or, you can make sure that everything is consistent.
Studies have shown that consistency is one of the best ways to improve the conduct and learning behavior of a student. Of course, this is usually applicable in a traditional classroom. But you can also apply it in a virtual classroom.
So why is consistency so important in learning?
First of all, inconsistency can be confusing. That is the last thing that you want to happen in a learning environment. If anything, you want to remove any form of confusion because that can hinder the learning process. When virtual learning is consistent, students will know what to expect. If they can anticipate what is next, they will feel more at ease in the lesson. That will help make them more receptive to the lesson at hand.
Consistency will also help students develop a sense of independence. They do not have to wait to be told what to do. Since everything is consistent, they will know what happens next. They can confidently proceed with the virtual learning without being told to act on something. The learners will do their research, read the materials and come in prepared for the next phase of the lesson.
Of course, implementing consistency in a virtual classroom is different compared to what you need to do in a traditional classroom. But there are specific ways that you can make it happen.
You can start by providing everyone with a clear set of rules. This should be given at the beginning of the course. This will help everyone conduct themselves properly. You can also let them know what to expect from the course. For instance, the lesson is usually followed by an online discussion, then an assessment before you proceed with the next one. Make sure that this is the format throughout the course so the learners will know how to prepare themselves throughout the lesson.
A consistent virtual classroom can help learners feel more secure and in control of the learning process. This sense of control will help them feel confident about what they have to do in the course. That attitude, when it develops will instill a love for learning. Whenever they encounter triumphs in the lesson, that will heighten the learning experience. You can be assured that they will start to be more aggressive in the learning process. You do not have to tell them to participate. They will be more active and engaged – even without anyone prompting them of what they have to do.
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