The Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered About Teaching Online
Online teaching isn’t something you just jump into, but it also doesn't require special skills or huge investments from your side. If you would like to reap the benefits of teaching online, we advise you to do your research, plan your methods, and just get started. There are really no rules set in stone how to do it, as it is a relatively new way of knowledge transfer, therefore everyone has to find what works for them the best.
With the following questions answered by online teachers or experts, you can get an idea about how teaching in the digital space differs from regular teaching and get some helpful tips to get started:
Q: What kind of tools do I need?
Teaching online requires some technical knowledge, but you don't have to be an IT professional to run your own online school. First and foremost, you should invest in the right hardware and software - if you don't own it already. You need a PC or laptop with enough RAM capacity, a strong internet connection, a webcam and a headset to get started.
If you would like to record videos for self-paced courses, it requires some more tools and preparation - we will do a very helpful video on that specific topic soon.
Therefore, it you just want to see, if online teaching is for you, you can start with online private lessons, which generally require less preparation and tools compared to other forms of online teaching.
Q: How do I prepare for teaching online? Is it different than preparing for a real-life class?
Planning is essential for an online classroom environment, as students are not physically in front of you.
The needs of a student in an online class are different, therefore make sure to have your syllabus and/or expectations included in the description before the online class starts. It helps students get an idea if your virtual education offerings (the deadlines, materials, assignments) meet their requirements.
It is best to avoid surprises at all costs. A good example is a surprise quiz in a real-life classroom setting, which is an entirely normal and a frequent way to assess preparedness. In the virtual space, the announcement "You have a test due by midnight!" sounds completely different.
According to Dr. Judit V. Boettcher , who has pusblished several successful books about online teaching, students should know right from the beginning how you will communicate with them, for example will it be by email, discussion boards or virtual meetings. Students should also know, how much time they should devote for studying. Making these clear at the very beginning will reduce confusion and allow students to plan your online classes into their everyday life.
Q: How much work does online teaching require?
The overall workload for online teaching is similar to that for teaching in a physical classroom, however it can seem like it's more, because it is distributed over more time. When you are teaching a student in a physical classrom, you do most of your work on the spot, as announcements can be made and questions can be answered right away. The situation is similar with a group class: a single activity can be carried out within the time of the lesson and any issues related to that activity will be discussed there with the whole class. When teaching online, all the activities are more distributed. Students will likely solve their assignments (if you give them) at different times, therefore questions can arrive at different times. So what does that mean:
So, what does that mean to you? You have to devote time to plan how you can structure your class(es), create syllabuses and prepare descriptions. Besides the content, you also have to plan the daily and weekly workload, which involves checking emails and incoming messages on a regular basis and the teaching itself
If you give assignments and homework, you need to be able to grade them quickly and efficiently, so that students receive timely feedback. This might take some time to get used to. Some online teaching platforms allow you to create questions, that are automatically graded, which saves you time.Of course, other types of questions don't require any action from the teacher, as pre-set answers makes it possible to give assignments that are automatically graded.
In general we can say that it takes the same amount of time or less, than traditional teaching, just with different workload.
Q: Do I have to modify my curriculum?
One of the most important thing to keep in mind is, that those activities, that are adapted from a classroom setting to an online environment typically take more time to complete. When they start teaching online, many teachers underestimate the time it will take their students to complete the learning activities.
You should think about, whether your existing learning activities would work in an online setting at all or should be replaced with different types of activities. Creating an online class isn't just taking what you do in a physical classroom and bringing it online. It's more about using the features and unique opportunities given in an online learning platform to accomplish the learning goals. Therefore the answer to this question is definitely yes. Dr. Boettcher brings a great example:
"In one of my courses, when we first talk about surveys, samples, and experimental design, I bring in regular and reduced-fat cookies and ask the students to design an experiment to determine if individuals can taste the difference between them. At some point, the students have to actually taste the cookies themselves. This activity is a big hit in the classroom, but clearly, it's not one that transitions easily to the online environment."
Q: How much can I earn with my online school?
If you like teaching and are willing to take some time to learn how to use your online education platform, teaching online can be a very rewarding experience. From a financial point of view, it can be a great source of extra income outside of your daytime job. If you are dedicated enough, you can make a living as a full-time online teacher.
The exact amount you can earn depends several factors:
- The subject(s) you teach
- Price of classes/courses
- Time devoted, regularity
- Live or self-paced courses
- Your own network (clients / students)
You can earn anything between a few dollars to $1 Million.
Yes, you red it right: Rob Percival, a former high school math teacher from England made $1 Million during the past 2 years with his online courses. His story, which originally appeared on Business Insider shows how some time invested can make you a lot more money than you would expect.
Online education is an exciting opportunity. The flexibility of teaching online has many benefits. You can reach many more students and you can reach students all over the world. You can integrate online sessions into your existing courses or workshops, and you can also have one-on-one lessons with your students without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Would you like to get started now?
>> Visit https://iteach.world to create your own online school with just a few clicks! <<
eLearn Magazine: 10 Things I've Learned About Teaching Online [http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1609990]
Business Insider: How a former math teacher earned $1 million teaching online coding courses [http://www.businessinsider.com/rob-percival-online-coding-courses-2015-2]