We see that it is important to foster a learning environment in which students feel safe, relaxed, as well as willing to take risks, especially for learners who may have had negative experiences in traditional classroom environments as well. We know that students often describe supportive learning environments as expanding their sense of family as well as enhancing their self-esteem, which, when combined with increased literacy skills, help students take more chances in pursuing their goals as well.
We see that Online teaching can help them attain supportive learning or not. There are some ways to create a supportive learning environment for their students. They must work on building a strong classroom community. We see that the adult education classroom can play an important role in helping students build stronger as well as larger networks. We see that classrooms provide students and staff with friendship, skills, as well as contacts beyond their immediate communities.
We see that intentionally building networks in the classroom can create meaningful, as well as supportive relationships among students as well as teachers. They must use pair work, as well as small-group and whole-class activities, beginning the first day of class to help students get acquainted, as well as providing ongoing opportunities for students to form connections with students they don’t interact with as frequently in the classroom as well. They must also provide students with opportunities to share their backgrounds and cultures. They must also seek to connect students with the greater community, as well as through field trips, current events discussions, bringing guest speakers, etc. They must also work on building self-esteem and self-efficacy. We see that students’ determination and belief that they can achieve their goals are important factors in their persistence in ongoing learning as well.
We know that adult learners may have negative feelings about themselves due to failure experienced in their lives, due to dropping out of school, losing a job, or not being able to read or write well enough to complete a job application or read to their children as well. They must also ensure that students experience success at their first meeting so the first experience is a positive one.
We see that it may be appropriate to start with material that is slightly below the student’s level. They must also be patient as patience is an extremely important characteristic for any teacher or tutor of adults as well. We see that adults can often take a longer time in the learning process because of various learning barriers, but this does not mean they aren’t motivated to learn as well. They must accept their student as he/she is and respect/her values even if they differ from them as well. They must also believe in their student as well as he/and she will begin to believe in him/herself. They must make sure to memorize the names of all their students within the first week of instruction. They must also make sure to use students’ names frequently. We see that if their students are English learners, learn a few key phrases in their native languages to model that it is acceptable to struggle with pronunciation as well as language learning. They must also make sure to use positive nonverbal communication as well. We see that nonverbal messages are an essential component of communication in the teaching process as well.
We see that it is not only what they say to their students that is important but also how they say it. We see that an awareness of nonverbal behavior will allow them to become better receivers of students’ messages as well as a better sender of signals that reinforce learning as well. They must also make sure to keep eye contact. We see that teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication as well as convey interest, concern, warmth, and credibility.
We know that facial expressions are important too. We see that smiling is a great way to communicate friendliness and warmth to students. Another important thing is gestures. We see that a lively and animated teaching style captures students’ attention, makes the material more interesting, and facilitates learning as well. They must head nod and also communicate positive reinforcement to students as well as indicate that they are listening. They must also work on posture and body orientation. They must also work on standing erect, but not rigid, as well as leaning slightly forward to communicate to students that they are approachable, receptive, and friendly. We see that speaking with their back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided, as it communicates disinterest. They must also take care of proximity.
We see that cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with students. They must look for signals of discomfort caused by invading students’ space, which include rocking, as well as leg swinging, crossed arms, tapping along with gaze aversion. They must also focus on Paralinguistics such as tone, pitch, as well as rhythm, timbre, loudness, as well as the inflection in the way they speak should be varied for maximum effectiveness as well.
We see that students report that they learn less as well as lose interest more quickly when listening to teachers who have not learned to modulate their voices as well. They must also make sure to use humor as well, as they develop the ability to laugh at themselves and encourage students to do the same. We see that humor is often overlooked as a teaching tool as well. We see that it can release stress and tension for both instructors as well as students and foster a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning. We see that motivation is a key factor in student success, as well as whatever level of motivation their student brings to the learning environment, will be transformed, for better or worse, by what happens when they Teach online.