The importance of body language for students in an online classroom cannot be undermined. When teaching online, one of the biggest challenges for teachers is to grab attention. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms, online classrooms give little scope of interaction. Teachers are just one ‘Leave’ button away from being ‘closed’. So, it’s important for teachers to ensure that they are catching the attention of the students.
There’s more to teaching than just words and displays on a board or screen. Teachers need to pay attention to body language in teaching. It is one of the most influential aspects of communication. In fact, two-thirds of all communication is said to be non-verbal. Smiles, nodding of head, movement of hands and legs, the list is endless. It has been shown that positive body language in teaching motivates and engages students in the classroom. In light of the importance of body language, here’s how teachers can use body language in teaching effectively.
Leverage the Power of Gestures
To keep an online session alive, teachers should not overlook the importance of body language in presentation. It is proven that retention rates are high when teachers use nonverbal cues through body language. For instance, teachers can use hand gestures like closing the first when they want to stress on the importance of something. Using gestures makes the concepts more memorable.
Smiling is critical for teachers. Students are able to better connect with teachers who smile when teaching. This is built on the premise of importance of body language for students. In fact, students communicate more with teachers who smile. This is the importance of body language! When taking a class online, smiling should be integral to your body language in teaching. Otherwise, it may send the wrong signals for the students. For instance, if you don’t smile when a student is answering a question, he may feel you are not encouraging or approving his answer. It could demotivate him from responding in class at a later time. Because of its positive and negative effects, the importance of body language should be well understood by teachers.
Speaking With the Eyes
When we talk about the importance of body language in presentation, eyes are often given the utmost priority. That is because eyes are the first connection we make with listeners. They are a critical aspect of body language in teaching. When teaching online, make sure your eyes are not glued to the screen or to the content you are referring to. Do not stare at your students but rather look warmly at the camera.
Voice modulation is another essential aspect of body language. Teachers can use voice modulations while talking to students to stress on certain aspects of the conversation, or to bring out the nuances of the content.
Using the Upper Torso
When teaching online, teachers often use only the hand or arm gestures. However, it’s a better idea to use the entire upper body like shoulders and chest. For example, teachers can raise their shoulders while asking a question.
These were some examples of the importance of body language in an online classroom. Make sure you incorporate fun gestures like thumbs up, or thumbs down, smiles, claps, shoulder raises and nods when teaching in class. Students enjoy learning from teachers who are more animated during their conversations rather than teachers who merely speak and stare at the screen! Keep reading for more such tips on taking online classes, like importance of body language, smart classroom management tips, and so on. These will come in handy when taking live classes on SuperTeacher, the best app for online classes!