While online classes have their advantages, there are certain challenges that teachers face on an ongoing basis. Several schools have switched to online lessons due to the pandemic. This has led to students taking virtual classes, saving them from the risk of going outdoors during a pandemic. Teaching online is convenient, however it does have its own challenges for teachers.
One of the main problems that teachers have to deal with online is student attendance.
In school classrooms, it was easy to spot students and know if they are present. But in online classes, there are not many ways of tracking student attendance. While several students take online lessons seriously, there are many others who try to escape lessons online. Just like students bunked classroom sessions, bunking continues even in the online scenario. The only difference lies in the handling of students who bunk. It was relatively easier to identify such students in classrooms. But in online classes, teachers have to be smart enough to handle the ones who bunk frequently.
Why Do Students Bunk Classes?
Before we dive into practical measures to handle students who bunk, it is important to know the psychology behind bunking. Most often students bunk classes because:
- They don’t enjoy the subject
- They feel fatigued and overloaded with studies
- They don’t find the class interesting
Whatever the reason may be, bunking classes has never helped any student. It has in fact, only been a troublesome matter to handle for teachers.
Here are some effective ways of handling the ones who tend to skip online classes:
Role Reversal Techniques
This has proven to be one of the most effective techniques of encouraging students to be physically and mentally present in class. Exchange roles with the students. Let them teach one portion of the subject online for a day. As a teacher, you take up the role of a student. This role reversal will help such students understand how much effort goes into teaching a subject. Most likely, they will understand, empathize and thereby start being regular in class.
Live Reading Sessions
We all know that when we read things out loud, we pay more attention. On the same lines, incorporate live reading sessions into your daily class routine online. This will help students stay awake and energetic during the online class. Make them read a part of the textbook to the class and observe if the others are paying attention or not. This will help irregular students feel valued in the online class. The whole point of reading out loud is to help them enjoy the learning process. Once that is done, they will start being regular in class.
Healthy Online Debates
Students love to talk and discuss. Utilize this quality to make them more productive. Assign debate topics to students, especially those who bunk online classes. This will coerce them to research on the topic accordingly. You will soon notice a rise in their attention levels in class. They will realize that they feel much better when they are active in the class.
Break the Monotony with Creativity
Yes, most students love drama. We all know that. Give them an outlet to vent their study loads in a creative way. Students usually bunk classes as they feel the online class is monotonous. Enacting plays based on the concepts will help them enjoy the lessons online. On video conferencing platforms, guide them to present their concepts in a fun way to their classmates. For example, skits that require them to represent science elements or numbers. This technique could even be scaled up to higher classes with Physics concepts and equations. This will boost their team spirit and help them find reasons to be regular in class.
Understand The Reason Behind their Absence
Every action is a reaction to an action. When you analyze a student who is bunking, try to figure out why one is doing so. Are your online classes not interesting? Are you probably repeating content? The reasons could be multifold. Therefore, don’t judge students and label them in the online class. This will only demoralise them further. Instead, understand that they are still growing and learning. Also remember how you were as a student yourself in your school days. This understanding will help you handle them with patience and love.
Teaching online requires as much patience as teaching offline does. With online platforms, the best way to engage students is to use interactive content. Online teaching platforms like SuperTeacher have ready-to-use content for teachers to use in online classes. With consistent efforts to make online classes engaging, it is definitely possible to make students understand the importance of attending classes regularly.