Importance Of Creating An Inclusive Virtual Classroom

A virtual classroom involves learning, teaching, engaging and communicating with students through an online setting. A virtual classroom can also be better known as virtual learning.This type of learning can be done through videos, which allows participants to join in and be connected at the same time. Universal design for learning (UDL) is a teaching technique that is aimed at all students including those with attention issues. Inclusive learning and universal design for learning (UDL) works well together as it creates a form of teaching that provides an opportunity to succeed by meeting the needs and desires of students.

The characteristics of a virtual classroom:

  • Convenient
  • Flexible learning
  • Self-paced
  • Collaborative and interactive
  • Learning in the comfort of your own home/ space

Tips for creating an inclusive virtual classroom:

Virtual learning can often be impersonal leaving students feeling isolated. There are various ways to create a space that has students feeling more connected.

Be welcoming

We often want to feel comfortable when coming into an unfamiliar space. By creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere, students can get to know each other virtually which creates a sense of comfort. By having a supportive environment, allows students to feel motivated and achieve desired results.

Set common ground rules

Rules govern our behaviours and create a sense of control. This would be an important step as it teaches us to respect each other’s boundaries.

Outline and communicate expectations

It is always important to start off by explaining the expectation of the lesson set out for the day. This allows students to have a sense of flexibility and control over their schedule and work towards the mutual end result for the day.

Adaptability

There will be a great sense of autonomy amongst students and teachers have less control over the behaviour of their students. However, teachers have visual control over the whole class. If there are any disruptions or problems that may occur, the teacher can arrange a one-on-one with the student/s to resolve the issue at an appointed time.

Embracing cultural diversity

Each student has their own unique identity and ethnic background. Be open to getting to know your students personally and build an inclusive classroom culture. Set clear rules regarding how to treat each other with respect.

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