How To Structure a Successful Virtual Learning Environment for Your Students

In recent years more people have become familiar with the idea of teaching and learning in a virtual environment. While the process was new for many on both sides, some have found a lot of benefits in separating the learning process from a physical building. The instruction offered can still be just as effective and there are plenty of ways to make a virtual classroom a place where students thrive.

Look For Opportunities To Collaborate Often

At the heart of learning is collaboration. Teachers work with their students to help them understand complex lessons and new concepts, while students work with each other to offer feedback and encouragement. All of this is still possible in a virtual classroom setting with the right planning.

Use breakout rooms in Zoom to create spaces for group work. Just like they would have in class, students can work in smaller groups and collaborate more freely to improve learning. When the entire class is working together, use free Zoom office backgrounds to set the tone for the project. One background can indicate collaborative reading time, while another can be used for study sessions.

Leverage Ice Breakers

In a virtual classroom, it can be easy to get used to your students as little squares on the screen and lose track of their personalities. They don’t have the same opportunities to express themselves and teachers don’t get to watch how students behave and interact in the same way that happens in a physical classroom because of the distance.

Because of this, it’s important to make opportunities for students to share who they are. Schedule regular virtual ice breaker activities so the students can talk about something important to them. A fun idea is to have them take a picture of a place they love and talk about it. Then you can help them display those pictures as virtual office backgrounds and keep the conversations going.

Create Space To Explore

The best learning often happens when you take a break from the strict lesson plan and give students a way to get hands-on with the concepts you are teaching. This is a challenge in a virtual classroom since you can’t always guide them through practical applications of the material.

Thankfully, you can encourage exploration in Zoom. Customize Zoom backgrounds to fit the lesson of the day. For instance, make a forest background when giving lessons on nature and wildlife and open a discussion period about what students could see in this type of setting in real life. You can do the same with any other topic. The only goal is to encourage thought and understanding.

Virtual learning can have plenty of positive aspects for many different people who don’t want to adhere to the traditional classroom model. Some people may need to be away because of health reasons, or maybe they just prefer the freedom that remote learning offers. No matter the reason, anyone participating in virtual education can have a great experience with just a few easy steps.

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