Interactive Classrooms

Teaching strategies for the remote classroom

Image of Olivia Hanifan
Olivia Hanifan14 of April, 2020
Adapting your teaching strategies for the remote classroom isn’t an easy task. Engaging and effectively teaching students from miles away means changing tactics, lessons plans and perhaps even learning new online tools to aid the transition. Mentimeter can help continue to engage and inspire your students, here are our tips on teaching strategies for the remote classroom.

Start with a brief recap of the last lesson

The most effective way to check knowledge retention from the previous class to have a brief recap of what was discussed before. It is commonplace for teachers in traditional classroom settings to ask students to discuss what happened before but online it can be more difficult to get students to speak up and fully gauge who remembers what. 

Start a remote lesson by introducing a Mentimeter open-ended question type. You can encourage students to look back over their notes or ask them a more specific question related to the previous lesson to see what they can recall. Although all answers are anonymous, you can keep track of the number of responses to make sure everyone submitted their thoughts and ask if anyone wants to discuss their input. By doing a brief recap at the beginning of the lesson you can check any knowledge gaps and topics that need to be revisited.

Encourage independent work

Set some independent work and assignments to support and reinforce studies. It is important whilst setting tasks remotely to be very clear in the instructions and explicit in what is expected and the amount of time that should be spent on the task. As the students aren’t in class there may be confusion and uncertainty of how to tackle the task, so being as clear as possible will help them to achieve their best work. During this time of distance learning, encourage students to explore a subject with their own initiative with further reading or guidance on where to find extra studying material. 

Be accessible to students 

Enabling students to reach out when they have a problem or question is important so they feel like they still have the support they need. Having a high-touch approach is crucial to make sure they understand the lesson content, especially as you won’t always be able to see their faces or gauge reactions. 

During an online class, you can use Mentimeter and turn on Q&A on all slides so that students can ask a question when one pops up. Alternatively, you can have a dedicated slide to Q&A wherever you like in your presentation.

Encourage interaction

You don’t want to lecture your students and in normal classrooms, you most likely aren’t talking to them for the whole duration of the class. Instead, use different question types on Mentimeter as well as how answers are displayed to encourage the students to interact. The online classroom should be similar to a normal classroom and have a range of activities or tasks that students must answer or complete. Encourage more discussions and dialogues so you aren’t one way of talking at the class. Students are likely to miss the social interaction side of lessons so make sure you can incorporate that into lessons as well as opportunities to talk to one another is important.

Interactive elements such as a quiz or different question types on Mentimeter can also help to keep the classes interested and focused. By using different polling or multiple-choice questions you can use the answers as inspiration for future classes and next steps.

Ask students questions often

Use a good range of content slides and question slides to keep students focussed. The variety of question options on Mentimeter allows you to switch it up, keep it fresh and check student comprehension. Use the interactive question types to get real-time feedback and insights to make sure that everyone is following the class. It is important to check their understanding as you go so that students don’t leave the virtual classroom with any confusion as asking for clarification once the class is finished may be harder whilst distance learning.

Get creative

Keep the lessons fresh and interesting by changing up how you teach your students. Teaching online can be daunting and talking to your camera may feel a bit uncomfortable but as you get used to it try adding videos, humour or other online learning resources to jazz up the lessons. Surprising 

Introducing different activities and questions into the classroom will help to keep students interested and engaged in the lesson. A fun way to test knowledge is to do a Mentimeter quiz. If you ask the students to enter their names for ‘player names’ you can track answers.

When it comes to online learning and remote teaching, teachers are all adapting their teaching style and continuously learning how best to create stimulating learning methods for their students. Some things may work, and some may not. It is important to remember that many of your already planned lessons can still work online, they just need some tweaking to make them work remotely. Mentimeter is a simple and easy solution to engage students, gain real-time insights into their learning and comprehension whilst outside of the physical classroom. Just use Mentimeter along with a video calling platform such as Zoom to start online learning and remote teaching

For more information on how to get started with using Mentimeter in the digital classroom, check out our recent Webinar to see how to keep students engage whilst learning remotely.

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