Even if the pandemic is not quite over, the return to class and the end of the school year which is approaching give us the desire to believe that the back and forth between distance education and school will be on hiatus. soon. However, distance education has a proven track record and some institutions will continue to offer hybrid or fully online scenarios next year.
So far, what do we learn about how to maintain a connection with students at a distance? It is by deploying a “3D” benevolence that we promote a positive relationship! What are these "3D"?
GIVE: never too much
Video links, documents to read, digital resources, tutorials, feedback, comments, tips… A student who has a well-stocked toolbox will be able to achieve goals more independently and with confidence. A student who learns outside the classroom has an advantage in knowing himself better as a learner in order to target effective methods. By having access to different content, he can test and learn how to work optimally for him.
However, it is important to classify the resources so that they are clearly linked to the content. For example, if the lesson covers the basic sentence and you provide video links for each of the components, web pages to consult as well as interactive exercises to perform, you must ensure that each content is paired with the intended learning objective, such as locating the subject, the predicate or the complement of the sentence. How? 'Or' What? In table form, in a subcategory on the class sharing platform or in a Digipad, for example.
DESCRIBE: Prevention is better than cure
During a coaching workshop, Marius Bourgeoys from EDU squad said: “to be clear is to be kind”. This is probably true in all contexts. Nothing is worse for a student's engagement than an imprecise or difficult to interpret instruction.
How to make instructions clearer? For example, by providing the student with relevant references that can support him, by offering him a video instruction with a checklist or by providing instructions in writing. When students have to work on a production for several periods, it is useful to ask them to send the evolution of the production at different times in order to guide them and give them feedback.
ASK: as a team, we go further
When you receive your invoice in a restaurant, it often contains a message inviting you to complete an online survey in order to give your opinion on the quality of the service received. Why not do the exact same thing in a school context?
Survey your students by asking them questions such as:
- Did you like the video I shared yesterday? Was it clear, too long, too short?
- Is the application chosen to carry out the written production easy to use? If not, do you have another one for me?
- What do you like to read on the web? Do you know of a good news site?
- Which platform do you prefer between Google Forms and Quiz to perform a review?
One of the main challenges when students are not physically in class is to foster their engagement. By giving them tools, describing their expectations and asking them for their opinion, the teacher leads them to take a more active part in their learning and thus leads them towards commitment.
Finally, benevolence is also “3D” because it is real! Students need to be put at the forefront and be an integral part of every thought and choice made by their teachers. You have to look beyond the programs, Meet / Teams / Zoom, obligations, schedules. You have to see humans who adapt and who are, all in all, quite resilient and above all wonderful.