eLearning for emergency(4): The core of eLearning class

Many instructors are giving their first online lecture because of the corona crisis. The university has sent an official notice that online lectures are currently being conducted until the beginning of May. At that time, neither it is guaranteed yet whether the lecture can be conducted face-to-face.
I think the most struggling people in this situation are school teachers and professors. Some people have to create and operate an online course that you haven’t been interested in, so various accidents follow up and many hassles reported in the newspaper.

It is difficult to do online classes perfect from the beginning. After a few weeks, you’ll get used to it soon. I think it is important to understand and use each service well. Here are the key points to keep in your mind when you design and leading online classes. The following points are the core criteria of online classes I always count. I suggests to use core components of LMS, SNS, and video conferencing.

  • “What works offline can work online”
  • Show and manage personal interest.
  • Make use of online documentation and keep interaction in mind.
  • Use the tools as much as possible and take the learning by doing method.
  • Induce team learning and provide opportunities to learn from each other.

Online and offline are often considered the opposite like digital and analog. However, from the educational view point, even there are different in methodologically, the basic concept and purpose is not very different.  In this sense, keywords such as trust, intimacy, collaborative learning, motivation, level-by-level learning guidance, etc., which are emphasized in general teaching methods, are equally important, and we need a way of how to implement them.

For example, I have experienced the effect of 20 points increase in my class evaluation from the students just by memorizing students ‘names and creating students’ personal intimacy. I think the same efforts and methods will be effective in improving the effectiveness of online classes. The use of online tools makes these effort easier to implement. For example, you can write a self-introduction forum. This information is very useful in student counseling. Teachers can record more information on the LMS about the counseling result to track the student’s records.

Covid-19 has eliminated the opportunity to face learners in person. It is harder to memorize students’ faces. The problem is that it is difficult to predict the real face with the LMS profile picture. Even if you always ask to upload real photos, they post the most beautiful photos with graphical post processing. So this time, I asked them to send a video picture of the person who greets talking their name in a private Band chat. I collected this into an album and made a great class roster. I try to think and imagine their face while I am evaluating assignment or Zoom class time, if there is a difficulty in remembering, I play the video immediately to watch it again.

In the video below, you can see how is my class running using Zoom. Please feel the whole picture of class mediation.

Let me come back with more tips like this in the next blog.

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