Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Molly Berger
Applied Science, Arts and Humanities, Business and Communication, Career and Technical Education, Education, English Language Arts, History, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science, Social Science
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Preschool, Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
BranchED Methods, Wa-Online-Learning-Guidance, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, branched-methods
Creative Commons Attribution
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Keeping Students Learning - Tips for Online and Offline Learning

Keeping Students Learning - Tips for Online and Offline Learning


Suggestions to help keep students updated and engaged when learning remotely.

Tips for Online and Offline Learning

Tips for Online Learning

  1. Motivate the students to manage their own learning. Write a message specific to your class and situation such as:
    Online learning offers you more flexibility as a student, but it also requires more of your focus and commitment to learn. It is easy to procrastinate or rush your work because there is no one directly guiding you. Keep in mind that you are in the driver’s seat of your learning. Teachers and others are here to help, but your success is ultimately up to you. 

  2. Keep the technology manageable. Many platforms offer all sorts of options that can sound great for virtual learning, but they don’t all work smoothly and not in every situation. Focus on the technology you know for the backbone of your material such as shared documents (Google, SharePoint, Padlet, etc.) Then, venture into live web conferencing and other apps.

  3. Analyze your current lessons and units to determine what is most important and what is manageable for online learning. Design what you assign with the “end user”, your students, in mind. Picture them in their home setting trying to work the assignment through.
  4. Break up or “chunk” the learning activities and vary them.
  5. Give clear expectations, timelines, instructions. In person, we can get feedback instantly and adjust our message. Online, we need to clearly state these. We should also check for understanding through a question, free write, or even a phone call.
  6. Include fun activities and give students a stretch break.
  7. Set guidelines for discussion rooms and monitor them.
  8. If you have access to Zoom or other webinar platforms, record your session and make it available to students so they can review it.
  9. Use screenshots to show students exactly what is meant. The Snipping Tool on PCs or shift-command-3 or 4 for Macs work well.

Not Teaching Virtually? Tips for Keeping Students Learning

  1. Regular emails to students (or parents/guardians) to encourage and keep in touch. Include a message with encouragement to keep reading, writing, and learning at home.

  2. Email or send activities to do at home.

  3. For teachers with smaller number of students, phone call to check in and see how they are doing.
  4. For students who have online access, give directions for getting a library card and accessing online resources appropriate for their age.
  5. If students have online access, use a streaming access such as Facebook to do read alouds.
  6. Include activities that keep the students physically active. Encourage outdoor time.



Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 


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