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As the strength of an online class increases, the tactics of dealing with the students must be changed in order to get the best results. Managing large online classes and the small ones alike may not be possible due to a number of reasons. So, here's a short guide to help you understand large class management in an online course effortlessly.
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Organizing the Students into Study Groups
Whenever the strength of an online class increases substantially, dividing the students into a number of study groups often turns out to be a nice idea. However, you must make it a point to let them know that you’ll be closely observing all the study groups, so that everybody actively participates in these discussions. More so, you can ask them to post summary of the discussion, which may be made accessible to the class-wide discussion area later-on.
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Give/Post Combined Answers
In a large online classroom environment, it often happens that multiple students come up with similar questions. However, answering each and every question posted by the students may lead to unnecessary wastage of time. Therefore, it is a good strategy to combine multiple questions posted by a number of students and give out a common reply addressing all their queries in a compact form.
However, at the same time, you must not forget to address any of the minor queries posted by any of your students. And, you should also encourage your students to post/ask cross-questions to clear all their doubts regarding the topic.
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Introduce Peer Reviews
Sometimes, it may get simply too hectic to review all the reports and submissions made by all the students in an online classroom environment. And, during such times, the concept of peer review turns out to be a vital aid. Making the student review others’ work not only helps them in mastering administrative and supervisory capabilities, but also brings down your work load too.
Moreover, introducing the concept of peer review to the young guns early on, can greatly help them in getting tuned with the corporate environment in near future (where peer review is very common).
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Give Group Assignments
As discussed earlier, going through all the individual assignments and project reports can be troublesome and rather too hectic. Therefore, it is advisable to make group assignments and have the students prepare common reports. However, you must make sure that you give marks on group effort as well as individual effort of every student in the group; this will prevent some of the students from avoiding hard work as others can get the job done.
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Organize Regular Quiz and Questionnaire Sessions
A large online class can get too boring at times, and students always need refreshers every now and then. The questionnaire and quiz sessions can provide that much needed break in these large classroom environments. Organizing a quiz/questionnaire on a weekly basis can help the students in developing interest towards the topic and getting regular clarifications on the current topic.
During these sessions, you can also find out the less-interactive students, and find out their problems. Sometimes, many of the students may be pretty good at writing and answering questions in written form, though they may not participate actively in such interactive sessions.
The main aim of organizing these sessions must not be to find out the brightest of the students in the class, but rather to figure out the ones that need more attention.
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Use Detailed Grading Rubric to Provide Feedback
Last but definitely not the least; unless you give necessary feedback to all the students of your online classroom, even the best lessons may go in vain. Remember, your students will take interest in a test only if you provide them with a detailed feedback and intimate them about the areas of improvement and help them understand as to how they may be able to correct their mistakes.
You should come up with a detailed grading rubric for providing feedback and give individual feedback at least once a month to all the students, to make your online class highly effective.
Following these 6 vital tips on large class management can definitely help you in improving the effectiveness of your online classroom programs. In case you're new to the world of online teaching, here's a list of pitfalls to avoid.