When you learn to become a teacher, you are quickly introduced to the sequence of elements that create a successful lesson. Thanks to Madeline Hunter, I always knew exactly how to plan and execute my lessons while in the brick and mortar classroom. But when I transitioned to the virtual environment, the guidelines weren’t as clear. Luckily, it became increasingly evident that yes, the traditional lesson plan does work in the virtual environment, but requires a bit of creativity.
Without receiving feedback from students directly in front of you, you are unaware if they are actively engaged, browsing another site, or completely away from the computer. In the traditional classroom, you can easily identify confusion and breakthroughs, but another significant disadvantage in the online environment is the inability to observe body language and facial expressions.
Therefore, you must elicit student feedback as often as possible to measure engagement and understanding levels. I’ll discuss engagement strategies and formative assessment ideas in another post, but the key to engagement is creating student-centered lessons.
Several teachers have asked for a checklist of components to include in their synchronous virtual lessons. My fellow instructional coaches and I compiled a list of “best practices,” which we sent to teachers who requested helpful guidelines. I’m a huge fan of infographics and thought this might be a fun twist. This is the first draft, what do you think? What should I add?
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Never stop learning.