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On opportunity to reflect on and retool your presentation style
Disruption is difficult, and the move to online teaching is no different. No matter how many tutorials and guides you read to improve your skills in using the online interface, there is just something different about online presenting. The move to online teaching imposes new challenges, and a presentation style relied upon for in-person teaching may not translate so well to the small screen.
However, just like any new experience, moving to online teaching provides opportunities to retool and reflect, providing opportunities to consider how you deliver your material and come across to others, as well as how to engage students through the class. Not does the change force you to refocus on your delivery of the material, but class recordings enable more easily reflect on your progress.
This article explores how Masterclass – a platform of professionally produced online instructional material from some of the most respected experts in their fields – can be an invaluable source of inspiration when transitioning online.
Learning communication advice from some of the most experienced presenters
Some of the most directly valuable classes in Masterclass when considering transitioning to online teaching are courses focused specifically on communication. Classes by Robin Robers and Neil deGrasse Tyson – both incredibly experienced presenters – both explore how to craft and deliver engaging material. While everyone’s presentation style is quite, and it’s never advisable to look to replicate someone else, there are valuable perspectives that you can learn from.
Raising the aspiration bar of online teaching
Potentially just as valuable as gaining advice on communication style, is that Masterclass also helps raise aspirations of what is possible when teaching through an online medium. Their classes can be considered exemplary in their professionalism, and the clarity in which the content is presented. While not clearly not all aspects of the presentation are replicable in a live class environment, there it is still valuable in aspiring to a similar standard of delivery and incorporating adjustments based on the material to enhance the overall class experience.
The role of storytelling in teaching
Beyond communication style, Masterclass also offers courses in storytelling, including from Malcolm Gladwell, perhaps one of the most distinguished writers at converting academic insight into accessible material. While storytelling is no replacement for course content, consideration to the narrative, and how best to structure it, may help in capturing interest and memorability of classes.
Investing in yourself
Probably the best way of looking at Masterclass is an investment in yourself, and, particularly if you are motivated to deliver the best course experience possible, it is likely to be a very worthwhile investment, with benefits that transcend throughout the presentation arena; clear, engaging, and authentic communication is such a valuable skill to develop. Masterclass costs $15 a month (billed annually) and includes over 70 experts in their field delivering courses of approximately 4-5 in length. For maybe some of the most polished educational material, the price is reasonable, and a fraction of what students are typically paying in class enrollment. Thus, whether the expense can be justified under a faculty budget or not, the overall cost is modest relative to the learning available.
From connection and internet issues to microphone and webcam problems, there will inevitably be at least some technology issues during your Zoom classes. This article and its accompanying student-companion, is intended to help you to provide support to students who are having issues connecting to your Zoom call.
While remote, unsupervised exams are inherently difficult to supervise, there are approaches that can reduce the risk of integrity issues in an online environment. This article explores approaches for enhancing the entirety of remote examinations.
For large online classes, in-person teaching assistants can be a useful resource can to resolve in-class issues and improve the flow of the class. This article examines possible uses of Teaching Assistants in the online format, as well as how to set up Zoom so that they can take on these responsibilities.