The idea of being able to spend more time with your family while still teaching sounds amazing, right?
However, teaching online isn’t easy. It’s not an easy or simplified version of teaching students face-to-face. In fact, it comes with its own set of challenges.
Don’t let that scare you off though. Being an online course creator and instructor is well worth every challenge. After all, students are still learning and growing because of you.
The Technology Learning Curve
This challenge might seem obvious, but it still catches some by surprise. Learning how to develop a course for online consumption is a lot different than just checking email and socializing on Facebook. Expect a learning curve to grasp building a website or interacting with a third party platform. The good news is once you master it, creating subsequent courses is much easier.
Student Interactions Aren’t The Same
One of the hardest parts of teaching online is figuring out how to interact with students. Should you set aside special time to answer questions and address feedback? Is the course completely self-led with no involvement from you? Should you have chat sessions from time to time?
With potentially hundreds or thousands of students, there’s no time to offer one-on-one time. You have to decide on your level of interaction. Some students may never need you, but others might.
With traditional classes, students are able to ask questions during the class or schedule an appointment during office hours. Another issue is you may never know if a student needs help. They may assume since it’s an online course, no one is available to answer questions. It’s difficult to master, but figuring out ways to interact with students in a digital landscape is important to successful online courses.
Finding Ways To Engage
Teaching online isn’t easy because it’s not nearly as easy to engage students digitally. Despite people being attached to their phones 24/7, students’ minds still drift when interacting with online courses. After all, social media sounds much more fun.
It’s challenging to create an engaging course that keeps students interested. That’s one of the reasons short modules work best. It’s also a good idea to have an active forum for students to interact with each other. This adds an engaging element and allows students to help each other. Remember, the more engaging your course, the more students will learn.
Teaching online isn’t easy, but it’s the perfect solution for finding better work/life balance while still teaching. Find out more about how I can help you make this transition.