ith the consistent rise of eLearning in recent years and the advancement of technology, online class management is becoming increasingly important.
Whether you are a course creator or administrator, creating an online learning environment and managing the classes could be overwhelming. From curriculum planning to student assessments, online class management requires organizational skills, planning, and the right tools. The right online classroom management system can make your job much easier.
If you are looking for ways to make your online class more organized or how to improve classroom management, this blog post has all the answers. 🤓
You'll find lots of practical tips to make your teaching experience a more positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Managing an online class effectively won’t feel like a daunting task anymore for you after getting a grasp of the smart classroom management strategies revealed here.
Let’s get started! 🚀
What is online class management?
Online class management refers to the way instructors use their skills, tools, and technology to facilitate the organization and administration of classes conducted over the internet. This can include several activities, such as scheduling and organizing classes, tracking attendance, grading assignments, and providing feedback to students.
Online classroom management tools and systems can help you save time and effort by automating many of the administrative tasks associated with teaching a class. They also allow you to focus on delivering high-quality instruction to your students and generally make teaching in the online classroom more effective.
The features and options provided by each management system can vary significantly depending on the one you choose. Common features include a dashboard for teachers and students, user profiles, file storage, activity tracking, and student discussion and messaging. More premium services can come with LMS capabilities.
To manage an online classroom effectively, the platform must be carefully selected, the instructor must be experienced in teaching online, and the students should be dedicated to learning. Knowing how to use instructional design software to create courses is a powerful skill. But understanding how to manage online classes effectively is a more powerful skill every course creator and instructor should have. 💯
Key classroom management benefits
Classroom management is essential because it sets the tone for the entire learning environment. Creating a classroom management plan is beneficial for an online class setup. Managing online classrooms has numerous benefits, including the following:
- Comfortable learning environment: Online classrooms require a high level of classroom management to ensure your students feel comfortable sharing opinions, asking questions, and engaging with their peers. Creating this kind of environment is vital. You need to be skilled at setting clear expectations, moderating discussions, and addressing any potential conflicts in an effective manner.
- Keeping track of student engagement and learning outcomes: To understand how well your students are interacting with course material and accessing course content, you should be able to monitor them appropriately. This can be done through a variety of monitoring tools such as the ability to restrict student access to specific course topics and using learning analytics to track student progress.
- Consistent support for students: An effective online classroom management strategy ensures students know what resources and guidance they can turn to for help. You can provide support by organizing office hours, points of contact for students, or having an assigned mentor for each course, among other methods.
- Fosters collaboration and communication between students: Effective virtual classroom management plays a key role in creating an environment conducive to meaningful discussions and connections between your students. You can use social activities, virtual breakout rooms, and other learning strategies and interactive elements to promote collaboration and communication, provided you manage such strategies properly.
- Efficient student grading: Online courses often rely heavily on online assessments and quizzes 🧠. It requires good classroom management for you to grade and provide feedback to your students in a timely manner. Employing online tools such as portals and forums allows you to automate and manage some of the grading and feedback tasks. Such tools also provide your students with access to resources they may need in order to understand their assignments better.
Things to Consider When Managing an Online Class
First and foremost, make sure you incorporate FUN into the classroom. IStudents are easily disengaged by boring, monotonous tasks, which demotivate them to learn.
So, how do you have fun while engaging students?
- Include story times outside of class.
- Include gaming activities.
- Share fun videos.
- Utilize comical themes during live sessions. For instance, we incorporated engaging themes into our organizational meetings on Zoom. And, guess what? They enliven team spirit with humor and smiles.
Here is a video for your perusal. Our favorite theme is MR. Hot Potato 😅
Now that we've gotten the fun stuff out of the way, let's talk about what elearning instructors need to know about pre-lesson planning, classroom management, and post-lesson student guidance.
Pre-lesson Virtual Classroom Setup Ideas
Virtual classrooms can be set up in a variety of ways depending on the specific needs of the learners and your preferences as the instructor. Here are a few pre-lesson virtual classroom setup ideas for you.
- Set up a virtual whiteboard: Before the lesson begins, you can set up a virtual whiteboard or interactive tool that allows you to write, draw, and demonstrate key concepts. This can help your students stay engaged and follow the lesson more easily.
- Create breakout rooms: Some online tools allow you to create breakout rooms where students can work in small groups to discuss and brainstorm ideas. This can be an effective way to facilitate collaboration and encourage active learning.
- Share slides or other visual aids: Many instructors use slides or other visual aids to present their material more engagingly. By sharing these materials ahead of time, your students can review them before the lesson begins and come to class prepared to participate.
- Provide a lesson plan or agenda: By sharing a lesson plan or agenda beforehand, you can help your students understand what to expect from the lesson and how it fits into the overall course. This also helps students stay organized and focused during class.
- Check audio and video settings: Before the lesson begins, you should ensure the audio and video 📹 settings of your lesson delivery tool are working properly. This ensures students can hear and see you clearly, and you can hear and see them too.
- Set up a chat function: Many online platforms have a chat function that allows students to communicate with each other and the instructor in real-time. By setting up this function before the lesson begins, you can encourage students to ask questions and participate in discussions.
Managing Your Students online
After setting up a remote classroom, managing your online classes could be quite challenging. With students scattered across different locations and time zones, it is not easy to maintain a sense of community and keep students engaged. However, there are several online class management strategies you can use to run your classes and ensure your students get the most out of your course or training.
Firstly, it's important to establish clear expectations and guidelines for your online classes. This can include setting a schedule for when students should be online, participating in class discussions, and outlining the expectations for assignments and grading. This will help your students stay on track and keep up with the material. It can also provide a sense of structure and expectation for your class.
Another key element of managing online classes is effective communication 🗣. This can involve using a variety of tools and platforms to reach out to your students, such as email, video conferencing, and online forums. It's also important for you to be responsive to students’ questions and concerns and provide regular updates and feedback on assignments and class progress.
In addition to clear expectations and effective communication, you can also use a variety of teaching strategies to engage students in online classes. This can include using multimedia and interactive elements in lessons, encouraging students to collaborate on group projects, and offering opportunities for hands-on learning and experimentation. By incorporating a variety of teaching techniques, you keep students interested and motivated to learn.
Another vital aspect of managing online classes is ensuring your students have access to the necessary resources and support. This can include providing links to online materials, such as readings and videos. Offering office hours or other opportunities for your students to get help with their coursework is also helpful.✅ As a course instructor, you must be aware of any technical challenges students may be facing and be available to provide assistance as needed.
In order to manage online classes effectively, you need to be flexible and adaptable. This can involve making changes to the course content or schedule in response to student feedback or using different teaching strategies if certain approaches aren't working. By being open to change and experimentation, you can ensure your online classes meet the needs of your students.
Despite the fact that managing online classes can be quite challenging, it could also be a rewarding experience. By implementing the above ideas, you can ensure your online classes are successful, and your students can learn and grow. ✌️
Post-lesson virtual Classroom Management rules
Post-lesson virtual classroom management rules refer to the expectations for students and the instructor after the lesson has been concluded. It is an important component of virtual learning, as it helps instructors and students maintain a productive learning environment. Having clear and consistent expectations, guidelines, and norms established encourages students to use the virtual classroom positively and help to ensure that lessons are delivered successfully.
These rules may include expectations such as putting away materials, staying logged off the virtual classroom when class is over, and adhering to the classroom’s code of conduct.
The rules may also cover how you should grade assignments, what support can be expected after the lesson, and when the next lesson will take place. Virtual learning rules are essential to keep your classroom organized and productive.
In order for post-lesson virtual classroom management to be effective, your students must be aware of the rules you put in place. Rules should be outlined clearly, communicated early and often, and reinforced continuously. By clearly outlining the rules and expectations for the virtual classroom, you set the tone for learning and social behavior.
In addition to online classroom rules, guidelines and norms can also be used to shape the behavior of your students. Guidelines are expectations for behavior that are not actively enforced but simply suggested to create a more respectful and productive virtual learning environment. Norms are rules of behavior that are established by the students themselves and tend to be negative statements such as "we don't talk while the instructor is talking." 📍
Online class management strategies before, during, and after classes
Online class management strategies are techniques and processes used by educators to manage their remote classes and deliver a successful learning experience. These strategies typically involve scheduling learning sessions and assessments, developing effective communication channels, establishing clear expectations and guidelines, and sharing resources with students.
It is necessary to monitor the implementation of your online classroom management strategies for effectiveness and modify them as required. The strategies fall into three categories: Before, during, and after classes. Let’s discuss a few examples of each.
Management strategies before classes
- Create virtual classroom rules for students: You should clearly outline the rules and expectations for your online class to students, including all course policies such as attendance, deadlines, and make-up work. It is essential to explain grading systems and contact policies and emphasize the importance of communication with the instructor throughout the course.
- Utilize a Learning Management System: You can employ a Learning Management System (LMS) to provide access to all course materials, keep track of student progress, facilitate communication and discussions, create assessments, and much more. Using an LMS will help you manage the complexities of the online classroom environment. The importance of LMS for teaching and training is enormous. 72% of organizations worldwide think using LMS gives a competitive advantage.
- Leverage support technologies: You can leverage technologies that provide student support, such as video conferencing, chat rooms, and webinar systems. These technologies help you keep in touch with your students, provide guidance and tutoring, and ensure they are adequately engaged and supported.
- Get to know your students: You should take some time to get to know your students on an individual basis. Communication can be important in building relationships and maintaining a positive online learning environment. Instructors should encourage regular contact, both online through discussion forums or one-on-one conversations.
Management strategies during classes
- Facilitate classroom discussion: Developing and maintaining an engaging online learning environment can be challenging. To ensure that students are engaged and participate in class discussions, you can create polls, encourage students to comment, and facilitate ask-and-answer sessions. You should also pay attention to the level of participation of each student and be sure to check in with less engaged participants.
- Use multiple modes of learning: To capture students’ interest and attention, you should provide a variety of learning materials, such as lectures, simulations, reading assignments, and demonstrations. This ensures your students learn in ways that are best suited for them by using multiple modes of learning.
- Provide feedback: Offering regular and timely feedback is essential to ensure that students receive helpful guidance and reinforcement during class. You need to include detailed and specific feedback to measure progress and provide working feedback to help students understand concepts or improve their performance. It is also important to provide an open line of communication so that students can easily reach out to you to ask questions or seek help.
- Use technology to enhance Learning: Use online tools such as video lectures, instructional videos, simulations, and interactive game-based activities to make your class more engaging and interesting. Seven of ten instructors agree that online learning tools help students when they study on their own.
Management strategies after classes
- Review and analyze student feedback to identify areas for improvement in your course. This can include conducting surveys or hosting Q&A sessions with students to gather their thoughts and suggestions.
- Create additional learning resources, such as worksheets, quizzes, or videos, to supplement the course material. This strategy provides your students with additional opportunities to practice and apply what they have learned. You should also update and maintain the course website or learning management system as required. This ensures that all materials and resources are up-to-date and easy for students to access.
- Organize virtual study groups, online projects, or discussion forums. This is an opportunity for your students to collaborate and support each other in applying the knowledge or skills they’ve acquired. According to this research, 96% of students confirmed working collaboratively in a group enhanced their learning.
- Offer Reward: You can give extra credit or some sort of reward to students who go above and beyond in their coursework. Such students may have completed additional readings, created a project demonstrating their understanding of the material, or distinguished themselves somehow.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Online Course Management
Pitfalls in online course management refer to the risks and potential challenges associated with managing and delivering online courses. Here are some common pitfalls in online course management and how to avoid them. ⚠️
- Not anticipating problems or technical difficulties: Technology can be unpredictable. It's important to think ahead and plan for any potential issues and provide support swiftly. 24% of online students expressed concern about lackluster support for eLearning classes. You should have good systems in place to troubleshoot problems that may arise. Making online student support a top priority and having unit and lecture-based online backups of your course material are some solutions. It’s also a great idea for you to be up-to-date on the latest online course management software.
- Inadequate evaluation and feedback: Online course management requires continual communication between administrators, instructors, and students. You should have a system in place that offers prompt feedback on assessments and projects. This helps your students know where they need improvement as soon as possible.
- Poor interactive lessons and low student engagement: An online course requires students to take the initiative to stay engaged with the material, which can be difficult if the course is not structured effectively. According to this study, only 4% of students think their eLearning class is interactive. To avoid this situation in your classes, you should have a course structure that encourages student participation and invokes curiosity. This can be done through the use of numerous interactive tools, discussions, and engaging activities.
The power of an effective online class management system cannot be underestimated. It can make your classroom and lesson management more efficient and orderly.
Regardless of the number of students in your online class, a management system is a must-have to manage the time and resources of your students successfully. By implementing the strategies and tips for classroom management discussed in this post, you can effectively manage your online classes and ensure your students are motivated to learn. The virtual classroom management strategies also help to create a rewarding online teaching-learning experience for you and your students.