Five Skills Online Teachers Need for Classroom Instruction
By John Henry
TEFL Educator for over 20 years
Creating the best and effective digital classroom requires online TEFL teachers to develop exceptional communication skills implementing an exceptional Communicative Teaching Method – teaching students how to talk effectively is a real skill!
Teachers these days require a vast array of skills to develop lessons plans for the traditional classroom environment, which must also be able to be taught in digital teaching environments – Online!
Education delivery is evolving. Finding ways to embrace new technology and teaching environments in a responsible, practical and educationally sound manner is now essential.
The huge amount of technological resources available these days does not relieve online teachers of their responsibility to acquire advanced skills through professional development.
1. Communication skills
An online TEFL learning environment requires clear, concise instruction – Speak clearly!
Skills for using graphics, videos and digital audio files for communication with students are essential.
2. Technological literacy
Online teachers will also have to develop skills and knowledge specific to Web-based educational systems.
Teachers should be able to demonstrate proficiency in these six areas:
* Full knowledge of accessibility requirements for technology in the classroom and online instruction.
* Ability to evaluate Internet resources.
* Understanding aspects of copyright privileges and violations.
* Modeling and monitoring proper etiquette and generally accepted online use policies.
* Designing and implementing appropriate lesson plans for online students.
* Ability to troubleshoot minor technical issues and refer to technical support personnel when necessary.
3. Time management skills
Time management is even more critical in an online learning environment than in a traditional classroom.
Teachers must be able to evaluate information and update course materials as necessary to ensure students have timely, relevant information.
In addition, instructor feedback should be provided to students as soon as possible. Assignments should be graded within one week of submission.
Students taking classes in an online environment do not always attend class during normal school hours. Scheduling conference time and office time during evenings and weekends is essential.
4. Assessment and evaluation skills
Online teachers must be able to evaluate student performance accurately.
New methods for identifying learning difficulties and other factors that affect academic performance are necessary in a digital education environment.
5. Teaching students to apply the concept
Some students may experience difficulties retaining information learned through an online course.
An effective online educator must have sufficient skills to develop engaging course curriculum that motivates and encourages students to participate fully.
Interactive components, timely, relevant supplemental readings and group activities reinforce retention. Teachers must develop skills to help students fully engage according to individual learning abilities.