What is the role of an online teacher?

What is the role of an online teacher?

Check out what the main responsibilities of the educator are and learn how to teach classes online

For several years, the main role of the teacher was simply sharing knowledge, since they considered the sole holders of information.

However, gradually, people came to realize that the participation of all those involved in the teaching and learning process was very beneficial.

With this interaction, students are able to share their own experiences and knowledge and the role of the teacher is also to mediate the discussions generated in the educational environment.

With distance education (DE), this role is no different.

There is a belief that the teacher’s role is not as important in online teaching. But the truth is that it’s key: to put knowledge, technology, and students together.

If you still have questions about the importance of the online tutor, read on:

The teacher’s role

Despite the different learning environments, online and face-to-face teachers have some common tasks.

Sharing knowledge

The first and most well-known responsibility of the teacher is to share with the students their knowledge.

Whether in a classroom or an online course, the tutor needs to be an expert in their area to be able to share his or her knowledge in a way that’ll sink in.

But don’t think that just knowing everything about the subject you want to teach is enough to succeed as a teacher.

The good educator is the one who can pass along his knowledge in a clear and didactic manner.

Instructing

Even if you plan really good, thought-out classes, some questions will certainly come up during the course.

Therefore, another responsibility of teachers is to know how to instruct their students and answer all those questions. And even if they don’t know all of the answers, it’s the role of the educator to find these answers, so as to help the students in the best possible way.

Another way of teaching is to advice students to seek knowledge from other sources. But remember to show that all research must be done with a critical eye and that bias in analysis must be taken into account.

Awakening students’ interest

The classes should be interesting to the point of awakening in students the desire to continue learning, especially when we talking about online courses.

In a conventional classroom, teachers needs to keep the student’s attention so as to avoid distractions that’ll make them lose focus on learning.

Because they are physically present in the same environment, this task is easier, especially because the classroom is built having that in mind.

Whereas in the virtual learning environment, there are distractions like social media, videos on YouTube, blogs and other sites that are beyond our control.

That’s why it’s important to create well-structured, interesting lessons to keep your students’ focus on the content you’re sharing.

Develop activities

Creating activities after each module is one way to boost learning and to find out which gaps still need to be filled.

This is because, when assessing students’ responses, the teacher can understand which questions haven’t been answered yet and can therefore think of ways to answer those questions.

So even if you teach virtual lessons, it’s important to create some sort of evaluation system, even if it’s only for the student to realize at what stage of the learning process he is at.

The difference between online and face-to-face teaching

The characteristics we’ve mentioned are common to all teachers, whether they teach online or face-to-face classes.

However, there are indeed some differences when considering online teaching. Check them out:

Greater reach of content

Unlike in the traditional classroom, on DE, the educator manages to convey their knowledge without being present at the same day, place and time as the students.

This means that classes can be attended by several people at the same time, anywhere in the world and at any time, as long as they have access to the internet.

Therefore, the content taught by online teachers has a broader reach than that of face-to-face teachers, since they are limited to a physical environment.

Work from anywhere

Creating an online course enables teachers to work from pretty much wherever they want.

As being in the same place as the students is not a requirement, it’s even possible to record the lessons and then make them available on a digital platform.

Anyone can teach online

To become a face-to-face teacher, you need may a certificate in a specific subject, such as English, social sciences, law, and so on. That is, it’s necessary to go to college and specialize in a specific area.

The DE teacher doesn’t need to have a specific academic background.

Of course, if you’re a teacher already, it will be much easier to record your lessons, because you’ll probably feel more comfortable in front of the cameras.

But even if you’ve never taught before but you have skills in any given subject, be it crafts, cooking or music, you can create your online course and teach online.

So, if you have something to teach and if you’re able to share that knowledge in a dynamic, clear way, you can and should create your own course and work on the internet.

Teach what you love

We mentioned in the previous topic that anyone can be an online teacher, right?

That’s why anyone who teaches online can teach any subject they are experts on, in other words, you have the chance to do what you love.

Traditional teachers don’t necessarily like everything from their area of expertise.We all have our preferences, and someone with an English degree may identify more with text interpretation than with discourse analysis and grammar, for example.

However, if you are hired to work as an English teacher at a school, you know you’ll have to teach all the content scheduled for the year. That is, you will have to give grammar lessons, even if this is not what you really enjoy teaching.

The online teacher’s job is to pass on all their knowledge to those who purchase the courses, but that does not mean you have to teach something you do not like.

Also considering the English teacher situation, if they want to, they can create an online course focused only on text interpretation. Or, if the person has a hobby, like playing the guitar, for example, he can dedicate his classes to teaching music and he may not even want to work with English anymore.

The most important thing is to choose a topic that you master, so you can create a complete course on something that you actually enjoy.

The constant use of educational technologies

Several schools have been using various educational technologies in their teaching, but it’s a lot easier to see them in online courses.

DE teachers need technology to share their knowledge. That’s why they make use of these resources a lot more and are able to use them in various situations throughout their classes.

Creating diversified content

The role of online teacher is to attract the attention of those who are watching their classes so that the person sees all the content from beginning to end.

In addition to creating eye-catching videos, with interesting and well-explained information, the teacher can develop different types of materials for the students, mainly with the support of educational technologies, which we mentioned previously.

Among the various options we can highlight:

Regardless of the type of material you choose to create, be sure to take your students’ profile into account to know exactly what will please them.

Possibility of making improvements

In a traditional classroom, there is schedule and a class plan that needs to be followed, so it’s quite difficult to change the method or what is going to be taught, especially during class.

Every teacher has the duty to keep on studying and remain up-to-date with teaching techniques. The difference here is, that with online classes, these improvements can be applied as soon as the teacher receives  the feedback.

Online classes also follow a schedule, especially if you want to direct the learning experience. But those who create content for online courses can always modify something if  they realize that the material provided is not so complete and attractive as it could be for students.

How to become an online educator?

Now that you’ve understood the role of the teacher and seen that anyone can teach online, it’s important to know how what steps to take:

Let’s go through the main points you need to to keep in mind before you start:

1. Choose a subject to address

Anyone can teach online, but as long as they have something to teach.

It’s not enough to just be willing to create an online course, you also need to have a skill that can be taught and on top of that, people actually need to be interested and want to learn that skill.

2. Know your audience

It’s no use creating a course if there is no demand for what you teach.

So before putting your classes on the internet, make sure there are people interested in the subject you are going to address.

Search through social media, create a blog or a YouTube channel with your course theme, and see if there are people looking for information about it.

3. Create a script

Even if you know everything about the subject you are going to teach, it’s very important to write a script before recording your videos for the classes.

With a lesson plan in hand, you’ll be able to target the best content of each video, and you won’t forget to address any topic while recording.

We are not saying you should write everything that you are going to say in the shoot, since this may cause your content to seem unnatural or even far-fetched.

But try writing the main topic of your videos so that your content has a logical order that makes sense when people are studying.

4. Shooting your videos

Quite often, people have an interesting subject to teach and an audience, but they can’t start creating the videos because they don’t know how to start recording.

It is likely that your first videos won’t come out exactly as you’d imagined. But if you don’t start shooting them, you will never know whether or not you can work with online courses.

You can hire a videomaker to help you with this task. There are even professional freelancers that you can hire and some studios that offer this type of service.

However, if you don’t want to invest in hiring a person early on, we suggest you think of 4 things to begin with:

  1. Choose a good camera to record the videos;
  2. Choose a good quality microphone ;
  3. Choose the appropriate setting to record the videos;
  4. Think about the lightning in the set.

If you clicked on the links above, you’ve certainly realized that you can start producing your videos with basic recording materials.

Gradually, you can invest more and, perhaps, even hire a person to help you in the future.

5. Edit your material

After recording lessons, you need to edit them to cut something that should not be in a particular video, insert subtitles, put a song, and more.

We know that it’s not everyone who knows how to edit a video.

6. Choose an online courses platform

With the entire course and videos ready to go, it’s time to choose a platform to host it.

To provide a complete experience for your students, the platform needs:

  • To be responsive;
  • To offer a good virtual learning environment;
  • To be customizable;
  • To be safe;
  • To support multiple content formats;
  • To enable communication between teacher and students;
  • To offer great value for money.

If you have questions about this subject, check out our post that teaches you how to choose a good platform for your online course.

7. Promote your product

The last step to become an online educator is to promote the course you’ve created so that people are aware it exists and consequently, buy your product.

There are several ways to do this and digital marketing is here to show you that this kind of advertising really works.

There are well-known strategies, such as:

But we do have an extra tip for you: Affiliate Programs. By using them, you’ll have sales experts selling your material in exchange for commissions, and you’ll be the one to set the percentage of that commission.

So, be sure to read our post that explains in detail how an Affiliate program works.

Become an online teacher

Now that you know all about the teacher’s role and know what it takes to become one, why not take the entrepreneurship road on the digital market?

Lots of people are constantly looking for ways to work with what they love while also working from home. If that’s your case, you’ve certainly realized that creating an online course is a great option.

Try to think of something you do well and have a lot of knowledge in and could possibly teach other people how to do it.

Talk to those around you and see if they’d be interested and what you’d teach.

In case their feedback is positive and you’re motivated to take on this challenge and start working online, be sure not to let the opportunity slide.

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