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Troubleshooting when teaching online lessons

Posted: Thu 29. Apr 2021, 09:48
by HellyDouglas
We've all heard the nightmare stories of online lessons from hell! Despite our best plans, things can do wrong when we're teaching remotely. Preparing for common problems means you can recover quickly and get your lesson back on track.

Simple preparations include:

    Sharing resources before the lesson so they already have the links they need
    Being realistic about the equipment your students have at home
    Asking students to access assignments and open everything before the lesson starts
    Checking games and activities are compatible with all devices
    Testing everything works before the lesson

If/ when things go wrong, it's helpful if students have a process to follow independently without needing your support. That way you can keep teaching without being disrupted.
e.g.
    Re-join the lesson on mute and raise hand/ use chat bar to explain that they've missed something
    Having a buddy they can email who can alert you if they're stuck in the waiting area (we've all accidentally left students there!)
    If they shut down a website, they have the link to open it again without you having to re-send
    An information guide with screenshots to show them how to navigate back to the lesson if it's on a platform like Teams.

If things do go wrong in an online class it's usually that you can't access a website you planned to use, or a shared platform area. It's worth always having a simple back up plan you can default to if this happens. For me, it's a series of starter tasks. I can share one of these and it gives me time to quickly change what I'm doing. I can then revert to an empty slideshow and use my Wacom pen to write and draw as I teach.