Once you have the outline for your unit, you will need to put together individual lesson plans. In most online classes, a single lesson takes place over the course of a week, rather than in the two hours or less that is typical of a traditional classroom. This expanded length means that you will have to do more initial work for each lesson you present.
Most content for an online class is delivered through readings, slideshows, and videos. A mix is best, with an emphasis on the more visual components. You can either post all the content at the beginning of the lesson or release it over the course of the week. There are advantages to both. If you are taking an active part in moderating and interacting with your class, then delaying some of the content delivery can help you pace interactions and discussions. Making it all immediately available, on the other hand, means that students will be able to approach each lesson entirely at their own pace. Many adult learners find that preferable.
Activities and Assignments
It can be easy to allow an online classroom to slide into the pattern of deliver and discuss. However, this is not an effective teaching strategy. Students should approach the content in a variety of ways in order to better understand it. Tie at least one activity or assignment to each section of content delivery. This does not have to be time-consuming and involved. Make sure some activities take students away from your eLearning platform. Create assignments that involve applying skills or knowledge to the students’ home environment. Have the students actively assess or use content outside of the class, then report back. The more variety you have in assignments and activities, the more engaged students will be and the better they will learn.
Typically, assessment takes the form of quizzes, tests, projects, and papers. All these formats are also available to you through eLearning platforms. Almost all eLearning platforms have methods for creating quizzes and tests. While you don’t necessarily want to integrate an assessment aspect into every lesson you plan, you should include it in some. Assessments can be short and simple and should be designed to indicate how thoroughly the students understood the concepts and skills taught by the lesson.
Pacing is one of the largest challenges for online classes. Students will be approaching the class from many different schedules. Your lesson plan should account for this, while still allowing for constant forward motion. Work with students early in the class to identify when they usually plan to participate. Moderate discussions and release content on a schedule to help prevent the class pace from getting away from you.
Planning an online class lesson can be far more similar to planning a unit. The longer time period means that you can cover more content and do more in each lesson. However, you still need to account for the variations in student availability and timing. Be prepared to modify your lesson planning techniques if you see it is necessary.