Lots and lots of study material to cram’ is what comes to your mind when you think of Online education, right?! Sorry to burst your bubble but this is not the case! Online education is not only about memorising loads of online course content but also about learning from an online teacher. However, being an online teacher has its fair share of challenges majorly because things that have been working in traditional set up of learning or what teachers have been conventionally trained for, do not reap the same results in an Online setup.
The global e-learning market is estimated to hit a market size of over 350 million USD in 2025. One can easily fathom from this report that online educators need to pull up their socks and prepare themselves to fulfil the projected demand in the educational domain. But what exactly are the qualities that make a good online teacher?
Technical Knowledge & Skills
In Online Classes, teachers should be comfortable with latest online tools and technology and should have some basic knowledge of computers. They need to update themselves with latest innovations. They also need to be tech-savvy as they might have to help students to learn new online tools especially at the beginning of the semester. They need to stay abreast with learning management system of their college. A good teacher should not only master the basic skills but also be ready to innovate and learn as the technology evolves.
Superb Communication Skills
The sudden shift of education from traditional to online medium has been new for both students and teachers, however, building trust via communication is still the key. A good online teacher should have exceptional communication skills to make students feel included during Online class. They should be able to build a strong connect virtually with their students. There should be a friendly relationship between teacher and student in an online class rather than being authoritative the teachers need to be more approachable so that the students don’t hesitate in sharing their problems. While in the online class they should talk to each student individually to solve their doubts and clear their concepts. It is of essence that a friendly environment is setup from day one so that it is a supportive learning system for the students.
An Online teacher prepares their class by learning advance digital tools, developing lessons which support remote instructions, and incorporating new ideas in his teaching methodologies to keep students engaged.
In Virtual classrooms, regular feedback and discussions is of utmost importance. A topic after it has been taught, teachers need to evaluate the performance of the students by having discussions in live classes or giving a written assignment for submission. Teachers, at the beginning, of the live classes should summarise the last class so that all students are at same level of understanding the current topic. Students who only attend recorded lectures should be encouraged to attend live sessions to clear their doubts.
Digitization of education, especially in higher education requires teachers to be creative and think outside the box. As teaching is through visual screens in online learning mode, it is of utmost importance the representation is in a simple and attractive manner. There are many ways to do so like infographics, power point presentations, audio recordings, visual case studies etc. An online class environment requires a right mix of live classes, recorded lectures, project based – assignments and last but not the least, dedicated mentorship. Creativity & Innovation in Online education also helps students to retain information more efficiently. It takes great effort from the Online teacher to keep students engaged and use the digital tools effectively in Online classes.
Certification & Expertise
This criterion is common for all Online and Offline teachers. Teachers should have a state certification which ensures that they are rightly qualified to teach. In online mode certification, is important to prove the credibility of college and the teacher. The requirement may vary, but getting a professional teaching certification requires at least a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in areas they would like to teach. This ensures the teacher on your virtual screen is reputable and ready to deliver an excellent online education. A prudent online teacher should be one who could make the concepts easier to digest virtually.
Online teaching is a different ball game altogether. A good online educator needs to understand that a successful online teaching requires the best use of digital tools, discipline, knowledge of the curriculum, creativity in teaching, and a lot of preparation.