In the last few years, online teaching has taken a new dimension and become a dominant, and most efficient form of delivering classes to students across the world. Even though this has been the best solution to what Covid-19 has unloaded onto the education sector, some things were left to be discovered and best managed by teachers themselves. Switching to online platforms has required them to develop new skills and redesign their schedules to be able to bear the workload that has been brought on. According to some researches, some teachers consider online teaching to be advantageous due to the flexibility of their schedules (McKenzie, Mims, Bennett, & Waugh, 2000), while others find themselves feeling very stressed due to the sense of obligation to always be at their disposal for students, no matter the time of the day (McKenzie et al., 2000). In order to avoid the emotional breakdown and burnout that is very likely to happen when working under a lot of pressure, teachers must develop effective time-management skills that will help them better manage their schedules and find a balance that can be desperately needed when work gets too much.
There are several differences between delivering classes in-person and online, especially when it comes to planning for the course, interacting and presenting the material to students. Having said this, teachers delivering online classes have to be well-prepared beforehand to manage the class timely and in an effective manner. A group of instructors teaching online courses at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business have provided a few strategies for time management in online teaching. One of the strategies that can help with saving time in class and sticking to your schedule is to write all information to be delivered online clearly and concisely. Reading over it before starting and having a 5 minutes time frame for everyone to immediately ask for clarification can save a lot of time and can address individual questions that other students might have had as well. (Major, 2022) Consequently, it is important to organise materials in easy-to-follow order which would further mitigate confusion and time lost on explaining. Materials should be organised in weekly modules, with guidelines on how to use each one and optional reading clearly labeled to not overwhelm students with unnecessary information. Additionally, it can be very helpful for teachers to take some time to schedule announcements and tasks in advance, so as to not stress over them when they are due (Major, 2022). Being clear and emphatic with deadlines is very important, as well as allowing for flexibility that will provide students with necessary feedback and give you time to go over their work without the pressure of delivering the grade on time. To avoid feeling guilty for not giving the students time needed to revise, setting clear expectations for feedback will do teachers a favor, and stop students from thinking they are available to answer at any time of the day (Major, 2022). Giving feedback through audio, video and virtual time-framed meetings can help tremendously with time-efficiency, as well as using CMS technical tools can increase the overall productivity in class delivery. What doesn’t hurt to try as well as a teacher is to exchange materials and ideas with other colleagues from the department to gather information and expertise that can be applied across multiple classrooms. This can help in generating personalised advice and strategies from the group of teachers who work in similar classrooms and have already tried out techniques that may work well for the teacher and their students, as well.
Teaching online can be overwhelming and stressful for both teachers and students, but by developing a consistent routine and utilising the strategies that we mentioned above, teachers can help themselves, avoid the pressure of not achieving quality results and utilise the flexibility of online teaching formats. Taking into consideration the time and focus that is crucial to prepare for online classes, teachers must work on developing skills that would enable both them and their students to find the balance they need and set boundaries that stress can often overstep.
- Major, C. H. (2022, February 8). 8 Time Management Tips for Online Teaching. The K. Patricia Cross Academy. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://kpcrossacademy.org/time-management-in-online-courses/
- Bonk, C. J. B., Shi, M. S., & Magjuka, R. J. M. (n.d.). Time Management Strategies for Online Teaching. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning.
- McKenzie, B.K., Mims, N., Bennett, E. & Waugh, M. (2000). Needs, Concerns and Practices of Online Instructors. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 3(3),. Retrieved September 19, 2022 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/90068/