Eight tips to effectively implement distance learning

Despite the fact that distance learning is an educational modality with many years behind it, the current health new situation in which we find ourselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a form of teaching that is especially valued by both teachers as per students. However, this revaluation has been accompanied by many doubts regarding how to make this learning modality, generally new based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), go beyond the mere substitute of some of the dynamics of the face-to-face teaching and learning process.

That is why from aulaPlaneta we propose a series of eight tips to take into account in the application of distance learning, in order to make the learning process of your students more effective .


Eight tips for distance learning (and make it effective)

1) At the outset, consider what educational needs you want to cover with its implementation . Distance learning is more useful when it is used as a complement to face-to-face learning than as an absolute substitute for teaching that takes place in the classroom. This is why, as far as possible (and without losing sight of the current confinement situation ‒for health reasons‒ of numerous class groups in some educational centers), distance learning should be planned to cover one or more specific needs and not as an applicable solution in any situation. In this regard, we recommend some of the project-based learning strategies to plan the distance learning itineraries of your students.

2) Consider the capacities of your schools and students so that this learning can take place effectively , taking into account their technological possibilities and issues apparently as trivial (but often forgotten) such as the bandwidth capacity of schools and homes or resources. computer available. Otherwise, and beyond the obstacles that may arise due to technological deficiencies, a gap may be generated in the learning of students whose families can afford greater access to technology compared to those who do not enjoy these possibilities.

3) Before starting your distance learning, it is highly recommended that you carry out a first information session , either in a face-to-face or virtual environment. During this first contact of the students with distance learning, you will be able to contextualize what you intend to carry out, explain the operating method you have chosen and the available doubt resolution mechanisms. A session of these characteristics will allow them to adapt to this new environment and, in view of your objectives, weigh their capacities for the distance learning that you wish to implement.

4) Exercise a zealous tutoring on the progress of your students , without being invasive but always available for any questions they may have regarding what is being taught to them. In this regard, you can enable from chatbots to resolve more or less recurring doubts to an email address (which we recommend that you create specifically for this purpose) or a forum, where doubts can be resolved or even discussed among equals under your supervision . To speed up these communication processes , we also recommend that you transmit to your students some minimal notions of netiquette , thus avoiding misunderstandings and even misunderstandings between them.

5) When you teach remote classes, consider the possibility of taking more breaks than when you do it in person . The degree of attention that can be had in a classroom is much higher than that usually received in a class taught through ICT or at a distance, so that a certain rest every hour is more than convenient. In order not to lose effective teaching time, we recommend that you divide the usual break in your classes and divide it into small sections of free time.

6) Give your lessons through more or less short exercises than in the case of a face-to-face class , thus you will avoid demotivation and, simultaneously, you will be able to correct them more quickly. In distance education, discipline and responsibility are important factors, and for this reason the feedback between teachers and students must be higher than in face-to-face education. Otherwise, the possibility of losing the thread, or that students end up disregarding what is being taught, is high. Your presence, even through emails and notifications, is necessary to avoid this possible laziness.

7) Take advantage of the new possibilities offered by ICT or distance learning in general for teamwork and information acquisition on your own , although for greater effectiveness we recommend that you give more or less basic training in information literacy and / or digital that will not only be useful to your students in this educational context, but to function in their lives in general.

8) Do not new hesitate to ask for help both to solve doubts about technology and others strictly related to the exercise of distance teaching. A minimum training in this regard is necessary, but being able to have the support of the educational institution to which you belong will be, most likely, equally essential to carry your intentions to fruition.

Do you use any of the possible distance learning modalities in your classes? What factors do you think are important for its proper development? Share your new impressions with all of us, and this post with your contacts.