Implementing out-of-the-box teaching mechanism for online tutors
I know you are not happy after hearing this statement. But it is the hard fact of life. Things do come to an end so that a fresh start is undertaken for a better future. You should let-go of your old thinking pattern to take fresh outlook to come up with innovative changes in the current teaching mechanism. Now, I am not speaking solely about classroom teaching which of course has become pathetic as days have gone by. Hence, we are seeing more and more private tutoring classes being undertaken by students. But whose fault is it anyways? Do you think that teaching students the same way as was done about 50 years ago will work today in this age of computer? Today's students are so brilliant they can run gaming applications on your computer in a flip second. Hence, the new generation of students require a new teaching mechanism which has a fresh outlook and provides enough opportunities to students to showcase their talents through studies. This is not possible with the current teaching mechanism. If you are an online tutor you might agree with me on this hard fact that something drastic needs to happen, so that education does not become a mere formality for students to graduate or post-graduate and then they start their life without getting the requisite knowledge that is the basic objective of the courses. You might be wondering the question what is the solution to this serious problem that has been lingering around for a very long time?
Now remember my blogs are focused on the education of primary level students i.e., from STD I to VIII. Hence, there is no question of starting this debate for college students as they are mature enough to know what is right or wrong for them. They can study on their own and get good grades on their own. But small children are unaware of right or wrong things. They are basically following the traits of their parents. Hence, the most important thing is to understand their needs by thinking like a child. I have already discussed this thing in detail in my previous blog. So let me cut this topic and focus on the teaching mechanisms that can work wonders for Online Tutors.
I tried to research a lot on internet through the keywords "innovative teaching patterns used by online tutors" on "Google" and found about 2,570,000 results but was not able to get one teaching pattern which was interesting enough to be worth mentioning in this blog. There were lot of research papers but they were mostly about the past research activities followed to derive at the teaching patterns that are being used in present education system. So I was even more curious to know exactly why we are lagging behind in finding out innovative teaching techniques for students in case of online tutoring.
I found that the business model of online tutoring itself is flawed. It is very difficult to get the right kind of results if you are designing the course curriculum without understanding the needs of your primary audience i.e., children/students and parents. Please note that parents have the purchasing power of paying for the e-learning courses but students are your target audience. You cannot ignore this very serious fact. Lot of times online tutors fail to see this aspect and miserably fail in imparting knowledge to the student. Human tendency is such that we tend to think that whatever we do will be good for the other person and fail to see the far reaching implications on the other person. In this case, we are talking about students. When you are trying to force your learning on the students it is very difficult for you to engage them and provide the requisite knowledge to them. I will give you a personal example to explain this scenario. Suppose you are an online tutor. Now usually online courses have a very one dimensional speaker who dictates every point so that the students can get the points while reading the chapters. But have you ever wondered students are not happy with the one dimensional voice they need something interactive which can help them solve their doubts instantly rather than wait for your emails to reach them for solving their problems. Now this is a serious problem. Let me reiterate this point so that you can understand the seriousness of the issue. Avoid monotony and provide interactive support to the students so that they can get enriching experience while learning the e-learning course.
"BUILD SOMETHING CREATIVE AND INTERACTIVE SO THAT STUDENTS GET AN ENRICHING EXPERIENCE FROM THE ONLINE COURSE. AVOID MONOTONY AND THINK OF INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES TO MAKE STUDENTS INTERESTED IN THE SUBJECT. ENCOURAGE THEM TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITHOUT ANY FEAR OF FAILURE. PROVIDE AMPLE SCOPE FOR DEVELOPMENT EXERCISES AT THE END OF EACH CHAPTER WHICH NOT ONLY ENHANCES KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING BUT ALSO INCULCATES CREATIVITY IN STUDENTS."
The other thing is to integrate videos and pictures in the course curriculum as per the course requirements. Do not try to overdo the things because then it will only worsen the problem rather than providing the solution to the problem. Hence; try to balance the content with videos and pictures. Try to make the course very attractive in terms of visual viewing. Use animated characters and images to display lessons from English. You can also use appropriate anecdotes to make students interested in the subjects. Furthermore, for Math you can use various techniques mentioned in my previous blog titled "Challenging task of making math a fun-loving activity for students".
"USE YOUR IMAGINATION AND ORIGINALITY TO DEPICT YOUR COURSES WITH IMAGES AND VIDEOS CREATIVITELY. FOR ENGLISH AND OTHER THEORY COURSES USE ANIMATIONS TO SHOWCASE THE LESSONS SO THAT STUDENTS FIND IT IRRESISTABLE AND STICK WITH THE LESSONS FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME. THIS WILL ALSO HELP THEM TO LEARN THE CHAPTERS EASILY AND RETAIN THEM FOR A LONGER PERIOD DURING EXAMS WITHOUT THE WORRIES OF MAKING THEM CRAM THE TOPICS. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT NEED CRAMMERS AS OUR FUTURE; WE NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE INTELLIGENT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE TO CARRY ON WITH THE INNOVATIVE ACTIVITIES AS PASSED OUT BY OUR GENERATION."
Before a student enrolls for your e-learning course always know them personally. This will help you build healthy rapport with the student. It will also help you in learning about their strengths and weaknesses which will make you aware of the points that you need to stress on; to get them on the right track. Understand the problems of the student but never over-empathize with them because students especially in primary education are very good at blackmailing. You should try to balance the act between a tutor and a friend and try to build their confidence in you. I know you might be wondering how is this possible in online tutoring. The answer is quite simple. Everything is possible in today's technological world. You can interact the student through a webcam. This can give personal touch to the student and also give them an opportunity to clarify their doubts or ask inquisitive questions pertaining to the chapters they have studied so far.
"NEVER BREAK THE CONFIDENCE OF THE CHILD. HAVE PATIENCE WHILE DEALING WITH THEM. GIVE THEM POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT EVERY NOW AND THEN. BE IN TOUCH EVEN IF YOU ARE LOCATED IN A DIFFERENT CONTINENT ALTOGETHER INSTILL THE CONFIDENCE IN THEM TO GIVE YOU A CALL THROUGH WEBCAM SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE PERSONALIZED COMMUNICATION WITH THEM. REMEMBER TO PRAISE THEM FOR GOOD RESULTS AND ENCOURAGE THEM IF THEY DO NOT FARE WELL IN THE TESTS BY REMINDING THEM ABOUT THEIR BEST ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE SO FAR. SO THAT THEY CAN GET BACK WITH FULL FLOW AND ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN NEAR FUTURE. REMEMBER THE JOB OF AN ONLINE TUTOR IS NOT TO JUST PROVIDE COURSE MATERIAL TO THE STUDENTS THEY ALSO NEED TO INSTILL CONFIDENCE IN THE STUDENT TO FARE WELL NOT ONLY ACADEMICALLY BUT ALSO IN LIFE. MAKE THEM A GOOD HUMAN BEING BY INSTILLING GOOD HABITS IN THEM. CREATE A BETTER FUTURE BY MAKING THE FUTURE OF A STUDENT"
The points discussed in this blog have been provided to make some path-breaking changes in the online education mechanism. If you do wish to provide your feedback or suggestion feel free to post your comments on this blog.
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