Even as the nation gets control of the coronavirus pandemic, teachers can expect teaching online and hybrid classrooms to remain part of their professional future. For educators, the key to success is developing the skills and knowledge needed to excel in an online classroom environment.
Fresno Pacific University, which offers hundreds of professional development courses for teachers, has a free infographic providing tips for teaching online. It includes information on topics that range from student interaction and engagement to creating better assessments that track student performance.
Educators can download the free infographic: "Top Tips For Teaching Online."
The Importance of Training for Teaching Online
Online teaching became a priority for K-12 teachers during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the spring of 2020. With schools closed, teachers had to quickly learn best practices to engage students online.
But even before then, teachers have increasingly used digital tools in the classroom. And in higher education, distance learning has become a central part of what colleges and universities offer.
For success in online teaching, educators need knowledge and skills that “expand beyond those needed to teach in a brick and mortar classroom,” according to a Pearson report. The report also notes that teachers who simply transfer teaching strategies from face-to-face classrooms to an online environment “often fall short of the high quality they realized in their traditional classroom.”
The Pearson report called for “high-quality professional development” to successfully prepare educators for the changes needed to teach courses online. That includes building online classroom communities that nurture teacher-student connections, create socialization opportunities between student peers, and find ways to transport physical support in the classroom - such as bulletin boards that showcase exceptional student work - into an online environment.
The Distance Learning Playbook
Educators looking to meet the challenges of teaching online can turn to Fresno Pacific University's many courses in this area. All of them are part of the university’s online continuing education courses for teachers. Each is designed to expand their skill set while earning the professional development credits needed to maintain licensure.
Many of these courses focus on using digital tools in the classroom and teaching and learning online. Through these courses, teachers learn how to unlock the many advantages presented by an online teaching environment.
A popular course in this area is Distance Learning Playbook: Book Application, a course that focuses on applying the lessons available in “Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting” by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie.
The course prepares educators to teach online with “purpose and intent.” Teachers learn the best practices to accelerate student learning and engagement. They also learn how to develop teacher-student relationships and maintain a focus on equity. Modules within the course include:
- First Days of School and Teacher-Student Relationships
- Teacher Credibility and Teacher Clarity
- Engaging Tasks and Planning Instructional Units
- Feedback, Assessment, Grading, and Learning
- Action Plan for Success
Throughout the course, teachers learn about research and evidence-based strategies that led to successful online classrooms. Educators can take this professional development course for 1 or 2 units. As with other book application courses offered by Fresno Pacific, it’s a great choice for those who need only one more development credit for licensure.
Online learning presents many advantages as well as challenges. Teachers can future-proof their skills with professional development courses focused on this vital area of modern education. Become a leader in developing and running online and hybrid classrooms. Learn about how you can improve your student's media literacy, an important aspect for your students to navigate the web in a safe and intelligent way.