As we move further into 2021, many students are optimistic about getting back into the classroom once they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. So we decided to let you in on the top online teaching trends of 2021.

Students of all ages are excited to see their peers in person to build relationships and learn together – which is much needed after spending so much time learning exclusively from behind a computer screen.

However, this does not mean that the shift back to in-person learning will be sudden and painless. If you have been checking in with our blog, you might remember that many in the education industry expect blended learning to be popular in the post-pandemic future.

This means that now is the time to keep developing your online and stay on top of trends in the industry. We have kept our ear to the ground, and are now sharing our top 3 online teaching trends for 2021.

So pay attention, class is in session.
The Microlearning Revolution

Top Online Teaching Trends of 2021

The first trend on our list is part of a “less is more” philosophy that many educators have adopted since we have learned more about the negative effects of learning in front of a computer screen for days on end.

The fact is, many students are struggling with decreased attention spans in their online classes, and the solution can involve finding ways to break up content into bite-sized pieces.

Microlearning is defined as an educational approach that organizes course content into small learning units that have just the amount of information required for a student to achieve a goal. This allows students to learn at their own pace and reduces the need to process large amounts of information.

Language learning app Duolingo is a great example of how microlearning can work. App users are encouraged to sneak in small 15-20 minute lessons while they are commuting or taking a break from work. These short, frequent training sessions make it easier to stay consistent, since they are less grueling and align with the average working memory capacity.

Studies have shown that microlearning results in higher engagement rates and efficient transfer of learning. It is becoming increasingly popular with universities, online course builders, and corporate trainers for these reasons.

How can you implement microlearning into your online course? Reorganize your course content into small learning units and learning activities, and explore some popular microlearning platforms which can be used to set up activities like flashcards, social learning, and games.

Experience Personalized Learning

Top Online Teaching Trends of 2021

Institutions like universities and training colleges have had a big challenge to face since transitioning to online learning in 2020. Many of the things that students valued the most about in-person education weren’t going to be possible anymore.

This includes peer-to-peer problem solving, hands-on learning, and on-campus services. Many students felt they were getting a raw deal with the new learning environment. First, institutions needed some time to transition fully to online learning and work out the kinks of their newly-minted e-learning platforms.

And then they needed to figure out ways to offer additional value to their students. Personalized learning is a perfect example of this.

Personalized learning can be a nebulous term. For some teachers, it is adaptive software that adjusts to each student’s preferences or skill level. For others, it means allowing students to choose how they present their learnings, so that it shows off their unique talents.

The core idea is this: it can be difficult to personalize learning for every single student in the classroom. But when you add online learning and increased access to technology into the mix, suddenly it seems much more doable.

Your online class can use personalized learning to gauge student’s pre-existing learning with diagnostic tests, design project-based learning (PBL) modules for students with unique learning styles, and many other in-class applications.

The most important thing about personalized learning is that technology is used to support the educator, not the other way around. These methods are especially helpful for evaluating where students’ existing comprehension levels are so that they can be better served by teachers.

Gamification: For Retention and Engagement

Top Online Teaching Trends of 2021

Gamification comes up a lot in the DaDesktop blog. This is because it is one of the most effective ways to boost retention and keep students engaged in course material by “hacking” the dopamine release that comes with competition and achievement.

This online teaching trend has been extremely popular in all settings, including online corporate training, primary schools, and online course builders.

You can implement gamification-based learning into your classroom by trying out platforms like Kahoot or other popular tools or keeping a running leaderboard of student performance throughout your online course.

Just remember that a big part of gamification is implementing some sort of reward system. Sure, some students may be motivated by virtual badges or certificates, but a real-life reward like a gift card can be even more effective.

Gamification is especially effective with disciplines that rely a lot on memory like language learning. That being said, it is fair to say that it can be implemented into almost every subject area in some way.

Supercharge Your Online Teaching With These Trends

Top Online Teaching Trends of 2021

It is important to stay on top of changing trends in the online learning world so that you can offer the very best learning experience for your students.

But even if you are implementing these strategies correctly, you need a good online learning platform to back you up. That’s where DaDesktop comes in.

DaDesktop makes it easy to implement microlearning, personalized learning, and gamification with our industry-leading features and helpful customer support team.

Our customers rave about our slick video conferencing and breakout room features, along with unlimited slide sharing and text communication. We have optimized these features to allow you to teach in a blended or fully online environment.