Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teaching Online : What We Have Learnt So Far

“Unleash Your Career”, was our first ever program on Supercool School, and officially our first ‘exclusively online’ program. We did stream some of our sessions live on the internet, but those sessions were held in a class room environment with some students attending those sessions in person. This was our first fully ONLINE session. We were both excited and anxious on how it would go. But it went quite well. We have also received great feedback about the session.

But, who could judge the quality of your performance better than yourself. So, once the session was over we sat for a review. We watched the whole recording ourselves. We immediately noticed it wasn’t up to our own expectations. We watched it twice just to make sure.  It was in fact quite terrible by our own standards. We made a note of few things that we could immediately improve while some needs a bit more practice and getting used to.

Since then, we have been working on our shortcomings and getting better day by day with each session. Though we believe, there is not much you can learn by just reading this (but a whole lot just by actually doing it), we would like to share a few challenges or hurdles in teaching online, that we noticed.

  • No visual cues from participants, left us guessing about how well audience were receiving the presentation.
  • Power point presentations proved to be quite rigid. It was quite difficult to let ideas flow and in more than one way forced us to kiss good bye to improvisation.
  • It was a whole lot difficult to draw something on digital white board than we ever thought, an absolute thought breaker.
  • The only way you can project your passion or enthusiasm in teaching is by projecting all that in your voice. Not an easy task, leave alone effectiveness.
  • You can’t move freely. for that matter, if you don’t have a wireless microphone, you are literally stuck to your chair. You may loose body language, most importantly your gestures that convey so much meaning in a class room environment.

In later posts, we will share how a few changes we made in the setup have been helping us to do it much better than our first session and getting much better session by session.

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