Tips for effectively teaching your students online

Learning online is an alternative form of learning that is gaining more momentum and mainstream for all levels of students – from nursery to college levels. Although necessary and a worthy alternative to traditional learning, teachers and students still struggle with it. 

Some reasons for this include: 

  • The dynamics and relationships between the learner and the teacher are different – online learning is less personal.
  • Students and teachers are yet to understand the different tools to maximize online learning.
  • It is easy to be distracted when not in a real classroom environment. 

Online learning may have a different approach to traditional classroom learning, but the underlying psychology for teaching still applies. The planning, empathy, and organisation still need to be done. To be an effective teacher online here’s what you can do,

You must connect with your students

To connect with your students, help them make the transition to online learning easier. Make interactions with students as authentic and genuine as possible. You could show them simple things around you like your pet, or a plant you are growing. You could share some simple mistakes you’ve made either while setting up your workspace or finding an online tool. 

The students will feel more connected to you and will find it easier to reach out if they have any technical or academic issues. They know you are in this with them.

Build a sense of community

Online learning can feel a little lonely in comparison to learning in a classroom environment where students make friends with their classmates. In classrooms students can be paired or grouped together to work on projects. This can be super helpful and make the learning experience more enjoyable for students, which is why we encourage group classes at Booksmart Tutors also. 

To build a sense of community and to encourage friendships amongst students, continue the system of pairing and grouping students to work on projects. Videos of students doing art, dance or any other activity can be shared within the class. Students can show their progress on any classwork, or activity through any media – images, text or videos. 

Create online discussion boards for students generally to meet and discuss their assignments, class activity or social issues that concern them.

Be organised

When you teach in a classroom, the effectiveness of that class does not only depend on the actual teaching. The way the topics and sub-topics are structured, the organisation of notes and the general flow matter. The same principle applies offline. 


Effective online teaching starts with good preparation. Prepare your notes and course materials. It is also best to make use of the different media at your disposal like videos, images, and presentations. Rather than talk all through, share your screen and show pictures or videos or use a well put presentation to address points. 

Communication is also key. Create a system that notifies you of messages from students and respond to them immediately.

Understand the tools and technology

A good teacher understands they must have control of the class. An easy way to show you don’t have control is stressing about looking for files, an app, or technology. The students are watching you getting hassled, and it shows through the impact you have on them.  Make sure you are familiar with the technology your using prior to your lessons for smoother running of your session. If a client is paying for an hour of your time, you must make sure they get an hour  of valuable teaching not faffing! 

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