Off2Class has added functionality to allow teachers to assign homework for online lessons.
At the end of an online class, you have the option to assign homework to your students and take up their answers, with the answer key, at your next online lesson!
You’re winding up your online lesson with a student who asks, ‘What can I do before our next lesson?’ Homework. Post-lesson activity. Self-study. Whatever you call it, the request for further study materials to complete before the next lesson can be problematic for online teachers.
It can be a challenge to assign homework for online lessons. Some of the reasons are relevant to all tutors and teachers, while some are particular to those of us who teach in a virtual classroom.
I am not going to debate here whether homework is valid for students. I believe that a post-lesson activity is valid when:
- the teacher sets relevant materials
- the student makes the effort to complete the homework, and most importantly
- the teacher and student review the homework together in a timely manner, and in a way that allows the student to auto-correct though guided discovery (rather than just receiving a grade)
My online students (and their parents) want homework…
As an online English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, my students and my students’ parents (of my younger learners) are enthusiastic about homework. However, assigning a relevant activity that can be submitted and reviewed online has always been a bit of a tiresome chore.
Not long ago my business partners and I started to load our ESL lesson content onto our site. The site provides step-by-step lesson plans aimed primarily at online ESL tutors, though our user base includes a large proportion of educators teaching students in person.
Recently, we decided to complement each of our ESL lessons with homework. The homework can be assigned to students immediately after completing the lesson. We’ve also built a student management module in our site to mimic the steps that a teacher would take in a physical classroom:
- A teacher enrolls a student into the classroom on our site and teaches the lesson
- At the end of the lesson, a prompt requests if the teacher wishes to assign homework to the student
- An email form is automatically populated with the student’s (or parent’s) email address and the teacher can decide when the homework is due
- The student logs in to the site and completes the homework online (no download, no printer and no chance that the dog will eat the homework)
- The student can save and return later to complete the activity, and submit the work once completed
And here’s what we think is the genius bit… at the beginning of the next lesson, the teacher launches the student’s answers so that further learning can take place. The system allows the teacher to see the student’s work alone, the answer key alone, or the student work next to the answer key, which promotes real auto-correction and progression of learning: