Through the years, teaching conventions in classrooms involved aspects where teachers are introducing new concepts and skills, guiding students in applying these skills, and letting kids practice on their own in using these skills until mastery is achieved. These conventions, despite the passing of time, have basically remained the same. However, with the introduction and application of new technologies for learning, new teaching methods are being discovered.
As educators welcome these innovations, some teaching principles must remain intact. Here are 6 prevailing teaching principles that should permeate even in digital learning platforms being used today:
Maintain Constant Communication
Keeping the lines open between the instructor and the student is vital for learning, especially these days when communication is much easier. As students seek to have a deeper working relationship with their teachers, they are seeking more communication and constant connection. Studies have shown that this is, in fact, helping students perform better in academics.
Given what technology has afforded for today’s generation, a number of opportunities are easily accessible that will help sustain a working relationship where both students and teachers are able to communicate constantly.
Initiate Cooperation and Collaboration
There have been countless studies and observations on the positive effects of a cooperative learning environment in students’ learning. A 2014 research has shown that students who get the opportunity to work together, share their thoughts with each other, and reciprocate in helping one another, perform better. Because cooperative learning activities cultivate a social environment, negative aspects brought about by isolation and competition are eradicated.
When trying to come up with cooperative learning activities, don’t be limited to group projects and activities. As long as an environment of reciprocal engagement is achieved where students help one another in practising and mastering their skills, cooperation and collaboration is initiated and will help learning become more effective.
Create an Active Learning Environment
One of the biggest mistakes teachers usually make is when they create a passive learning environment. Old teaching methods where students are made to sit through an entire class while the teacher does all the talking in front has already been said to be unproductive, especially for today’s students. In fact, round robin reading – even if it may seem like a form of active learning – has been deemed ineffective. Since round robin reading only allows kids to read a short portion of a text, they only get a small opportunity to improve their fluency and word recognition. Unfortunately, old teaching models such as this are still being used by some educators, even in prestigious schools of all levels.
Educators must aim to always put their students at the centre of learning. Contrary to old teaching set-ups where instructors are portrayed as givers of knowledge that speak throughout a class, a student-centred learning model positions instructors as coaches, where they guide, monitor, and provide opportunities for their students’ questions and concerns to be addressed.
Provide Prompt Feedback
One of the most important aspects of learning is letting students know where they stand. This even applies not just in learning, but in other life aspects as well. Not knowing how a person performed or what aspects a person should improve on will only result in more mistakes being made.
Providing feedback does not only help students know which areas they should improve on, but this also helps them stay engaged in their learning, and motivate them to push through with future coursework. Additionally, instructors who provide constructive feedback to their students help them absorb new information and ideas while building their self-confidence at the same time.
Balance High Expectations with Deliverable Results
In the early days of e-learning, courses and activities were usually watered-down, lowering the expectations for students in their learning. As a result, succeeding instructors tried to solve this issue by creating courses that were too complicated to finish.
When developing e-learning courses, educators and administrators alike must strive to find the right balance that will deliver actionable learning for the students without lowering their learning standards. For best practice, educators must at least adhere to a set of e-learning standards that should be observed in creating e-learning courses to assure student learning and mastery.
Promote Respect for Diversity
Since e-learning platforms are usually accessible to students in different countries and cultures, educators will usually encounter a diverse set of students with varying ages, occupations, education levels, and expertise. In order to foster an inclusive learning environment, respect for each other must always be observed.
Regardless of the type and form of a learning environment, most teaching principles should remain in use. As long as teachers use these traditional learning principles in planning and executing their courses online, students will stay motivated, remain engaged, and will eventually achieve mastery.