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9 Skills That Will Make You a Great Online Professor

Being a professor is no easy task. In today's world, it also means you need to be an online professor. Check out our top 9 skills that will help you in the virtual classroom.

March 24, 2022

Distance learning is becoming an integral part of higher education. Thanks to the growing number of online students, the massive open online course market will reach $61.8 billion by 2027.

The fast-changing learning environment is inspiring professors to reinvent their approach to teaching. Even if you've been working offline for decades, switching to virtual teaching doesn't have to be hard.

Most likely, you already have the majority of skills that make a great online professor. Let's take a closer look at what abilities are currently in demand.

1. Quick Grasp of Changing Technologies

Since distance learning requires the use of various technologies, tech-savvy professors have a much easier time adapting to the "new normal." From videoconferencing software to e-learning platforms, you need to know how to present learning material in the most digestible way possible.

Keep in mind that the toughest challenge of online learning is engagement. By leveraging the available technologies, you can keep your students engaged while simplifying the teaching process for yourself.

If you can't call yourself "tech-savvy," it's time to start learning. Knowing how to use Skype and Zoom is no longer sufficient. Go further to explore other e-learning technologies. Thankfully, top-notch programs usually have an intuitive interface, making the transition as simple as possible.

2. Good Use of Creativity

Creative teaching has always been in demand. Inspiring students' interest in your subject is the key to keeping their attention in the virtual space. Without face-to-face interactions, engagement can become much harder. That's why creativity needs a serious boost.

To become more creative and improve your online teaching skills, you may want to consider:

  • Connecting with other professors and learning their methods.
  • Beefing up your storytelling skills.
  • Practicing your creativity as often as possible.
  • Making creativity your daily goal.

Creative teaching prevents the virtual classroom experience from turning into boring rounds of transmitting the information.

3. Strong Communication

When it comes to virtual interactions with learners, communication skills need to rise to a higher level. The absence of body language requires more attention to communication planning.

To ensure engagement and prevent students from losing interest, professors have to rethink their strategies. You can improve communication by:

  • Using technologies to replace some verbal lecturing with visuals. The human brain processes visual data better than text. That's why it's important to limit the amount of text you share.
  • Providing feedback as often as possible.
  • Asking for feedback and opinions from students regularly.

If you already have strong communication skills, the transition to virtual learning is likely to be easier.

4. High Accessibility

Online teaching made it so professors are more accessible to students. Unfortunately, not all of them take full advantage of this newly found ability. Meanwhile, students suffer from a lack of feedback, communication, and interaction with their teachers.

The 21st-century professor needs to prioritize learning how to leverage technologies to improve accessibility. Fortunately, E-learning platforms usually make it simple to interact with students on-demand to streamline accessibility and the overall online education process.

5. Willingness to Learn

While all professors need to have appropriate credentials, some go the extra mile to obtain online teaching certification. Besides being an excellent addition to your resume, online teaching courses can help hone other skills that can help with distant learning.

When it comes to teaching, there is always something new to learn. Many online platforms like Udemy have courses for professors who want to improve their online teaching skills.

6. Supportive Qualities

Online learning can be frustrating. While some students welcome learning flexibility, others can't set the right pace for their studies. As a result, they fall behind and may even quit.

To prevent burnout and encourage learning, a professor should have supportive qualities. The ability to encourage students and help them through the tough times is in high demand.

Today, students all over the world have to deal with the new "normal," changing requirements, and lack of socialization. Without support from professors, getting a proper education can be a serious challenge.

7. Passionate Approach

Just as with offline teaching, online education requires professors to be passionate about their subjects. According to research, passionate teaching influences the students' willingness to learn directly. Passion can demonstrate the relevance and usefulness of the course and inspire students to dig deeper into the available knowledge.

If you can be passionate about your job and learn how to share your enthusiasm with your students, you can achieve excellent teaching results.

8. Patience

Online learning comes with a variety of issues that many students struggle to handle. A great online professor has sufficient patience to help students through the tough times without losing the passion for teaching.

Patience helps you identify potential problems by listening to what students have to say. This can improve the overall learning experience.

9. Ability to Motivate

Getting a higher education in a COVID-19 environment is a serious challenge. Motivating students to finish their education is becoming harder. A good online professor should know how to motivate their students to continue learning even as the world changes around them.

Keep in mind that a motivated professor means motivated students. If your students don't seem to be motivated, consider rethinking your approach to self-motivation.  

The Takeaway

To become a good online professor, you need to rethink your set of teaching and personal skills. From learning how to use the latest e-learning technologies to keeping students engaged, virtual teaching is hard work. 

With the right approach, it's possible to become an in-demand professor without losing yourself in the fast-changing environment. You can simplify your road to flawless online teaching by taking advantage of the right e-learning tools.

Classavo is a versatile teaching and learning SaaS platform that allows professors to improve their teaching game while engaging students online.  

Classavo is free for professors, so book a demo today!

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