Education

Web-Based Contact Learning ABC (Part 1)

Web-based Contact Learning ABC is a practical study material in conducting e-learning. This material helps teachers and trainers to organize webinars and e-learning efficiently and thoughtfully. The material is prepared by the lecturers of the Non-formal Education and Lifelong Learning study area of the School of Educational Sciences at Tallinn University in cooperation with the team of EDUSPACE research lab of teaching and learning.

behind the desk
Preparation
  • Collect all the necessary links, files in advance in one place, so you can find them as soon as possible.
  • Plan activities in advance when making the appointment online. For example, in Zoom you can prepare the “rooms” and surveys needed for group work before the start of the meeting. When notifying about a student meeting and sending a link to the web environment, indicate when the teacher will join the environment (eg ten minutes in advance).
  • Restart your computer before joining the system to prevent the system from freezing. Open only those files and links on your computer that are necessary for the study.
Opening the meeting
  • Learners join the environment at different times. Help them adapt by greeting them by name, for example. Use the time left until the beginning of the lesson to help students test the microphone and camera.
  • The more participants there are, the more important it is to establish arrangements for communication at the beginning, for which a chat room is used.
  • It is particularly important to specify the rules for communicating by voice: whether the learner asks for permission to speak with a 'handshake' or asks immediately when the need arises. In the case of a large group, if necessary, use the right to turn off students' audio and / or video to avoid information noise, and also inform students.
  • Notify students when lessons are saved. Indicate how and to whom the video will be distributed later (eg send a link to participants and missing learners).
  • If the environment is new to the learners, introduce the possibilities of the environment at the beginning of the study.
Learner and teacher needs
  • Freedom of action and decision-making, the opportunity to cooperate, deepen, and learn at one's own pace are important for an adult learner. Teachers can provide a safe and positive environment by encouraging students to talk about their needs - it is very human to communicate their expectations to the learning process.
  • The teacher's camera is usually on, it supports the learner, but it also puts the teacher in focus.
  • Organize the learning process so that there are times when a visible video presence is not absolutely necessary, such as group work, student presentations, screen sharing, and so on. In the meantime, turn off your video and, if possible, the sound, and try to relax.
  • Schedule screen-free breaks as often as possible: for example, every 45 or 60 minutes. Let students know in advance when the breaks will take place so they can plan their personal activities. Encourage students to do eye and gymnastic exercises during the break.