Recently, I have been doing a lot of translations of students’ comments and noticed certain patterns in the responses. So, with the permission of the management I put together the “TOP 10 COMPLAINTS OF ONLINE STUDENTS” or in other words “What should teachers be aware of when teaching online!”

1. Teacher does not care

Students do feel when the teacher is not really listening to them. With the advancements of modern technology the distractions are everywhere. Mindless browsing is easier than correcting boring mistakes, but let’s not forget that we are at work and the objective is to finish the class and get paid, but actually to help the student!

2. Start too late or finish too early

Everyone is busy. Time is money.  Being late means you don’t respect the other person’s values. Finishing too early means you don’t really care about the student.

3. I cannot speak up

It is very difficult to speak in a foreign language. Students have to consider so many things in their heads at once. Sometimes teachers do forget that. They ask difficult questions and when faced with silence instead of a response, try to fill the void by themselves. As a result, the teacher talks too much, and the student does not improve. Be patient, move step by step, allow the students to express their ideas, adjust your pace to the one of the student.

4. I don’t know the words

When you feel that the student is struggling to find the right word, suggest it. Type it out in the chat window, type out the right usage, the wrong usage, the synonyms, etc.

5. I seem to be stuck

No improvement can be really disappointing. Encourage, motivate, guide. Setting up a goal can help increase motivation. Think, what kind of objectives would benefit your student and nicely suggest them.

6. Teacher looks untidy

Messy hair can be charming when you are on a date. Dirty t-shirt is not charming at all. Being a teacher means being a role-model, let’s try to keep that in mind. Teaching online does not mean teaching in your pajamas.

7. Teacher is too critical

We all have opinions about the world and we are free to express them, but do we really want to loose a student just because we are sure we are right? When the opinions are forced, traditions criticized, politicians blamed, people do feel uncomfortable. Correct mistakes gently. Disagree calmly. Consider the differences in cultures carefully. 

8. Outside distractions

Students paid for the class and expect to be the center of your attention during the limited class time. Crying kids, secret snacks, notification beeps, postmen, even construction noise on the teacher’s side of the line can be really irritating.  

9. Lousy body posture and gestures

Propping up your chin with your hand or yawning show that you are bored. Would you want to learn from a teacher who is bored with you? 

10. Teacher cannot use the technology well

If the class is online, the teacher is expected to know well how to use the appropriate software and hardware. “My camera is off for some reason” is a lame excuse for bad preparation. Same goes for not knowing how to screen-share, send a file, accept an contact and etc. Blind-typing is essential and helps the teacher to type the class notes into the chat window without disturbing the class.

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