Nia M Wardani | A Logbook of Life Discoveries

Revise Classroom Rules for Online Distance Learning

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Today is the last day of my holiday (which doesn't feel like holiday because we still had many things to do during this two weeks off). Professional development trainings for teachers will begin on Monday, and English matriculation for new students the next Monday, then I will be expected to begin teaching the rest of the classes on 15th of July. Well, that's just about two weeks left.

As usual, in the beginning of the academic year, there are lots of things to prepare. Annual plans, lesson plans, assessment plans. Also welcoming activities for students, adapting student to new study pace after long holiday.

There used to be many activities we can do in the class for fun welcoming, but we we will be doing everything online this semester so I still don't have any idea what kind of activity I should do on the first day of school.

What I am sure about the first day, I am going to hand the syllabus for the semester and also discuss one of the most important activity in the beginning of the year: The Classroom Rules.

You might have read my previous post about Democracy in the Classroom Rules. Since the time I posted it, of course, I already made some adjustment about the Classroom Rules. The same method does not result the same way for each class, so I made some change. For example, I can just begin with blank paper/board for high school girls classes, but I need to made it a type of selecting condition, rules, and consequences for middle school class to work. Also I need to add the extra guidelines that the classroom rules must stay inside the restrictions in the school rules before hand.

Especially after COVID-19 strikes the country and we are all forced to study and teach from home, experiencing how home based learning work for us, I absolutely wants to give more emphasize on certain aspects.

1. Student readiness for the class

With 24 students in 24 different houses and different conditions, conditioning the class is totally different than that when we are in the same room. Even when we were in the same room, it takes time for me to attract students attention and making sure that we are focusing on the lesson at the moment. During online distance learning, there are more variable to the condition: family, lighting, outfit, internet access, let alone the bed. Sometimes I found students has just woken up still in pajamas already attending the video conference. Not only it will distract themselves from focusing in learning, but also distracting their classmates and also their teacher.

2. Usage of chat box

Several cases I found during the video conference in class, some students somehow feel comfortable doing conversation in the chat room with other students about other topics than being discuss, while the rest of the class is having discussion in the conference. I don't know, they might feel chat box feature in the video conference platform is just like their chatting apps in their smartphone (?)

3. Copy-pasting, plagiarism, ethics in citing external resources

Since 100% of students work now is done online, it must be very much tempting for students to do copy-pasting/plagiarism for completing their work quickly. I can't blame them completely because, indeed, the education about plagiarism is still very uncommon in our country. Even adults do it shamelessly (just check some article about the same topics in the web, you'll find many websites with completely the same words in the articles). And it is never too early to teach them about this. They can actually feel the sadness when someone else is copy-pasting your work in seconds, while you work for it in hours or even days.

4. Respecting others in speaking, in listening, and in action

This is the main point for the whole classroom rules anyway. Students need to learn to respect other people in any situation that happens. Being polite and encouraging. Behaving in positive manner.

Those are all what they are going to bring to the society. More important than grades, more important than understanding the subject. Just to be a good respecting human.
Nia M Wardani
Hi! Call me Nia. I discovers interesting things in life and I love to share them with all people around the world.

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