It is not only the schools, curriculum, and the learners who have to undergo changes in transitioning to blended learning. Teachers are also moving forward from traditional to adaptive learning. Although there are a lot of things similar between the traditional and blended learning set-up when it comes to curriculum and delivery, there are a lot of new things as well. Because of this, there are new roles that teachers need to embrace to grow professionally and to effectively teach despite of changes.
The Teacher as an E-learning Designer
Simply uploading a video and conducting video conference cannot be considered as an effective teaching methodology if it was not well-planned and well-implemented. Similar to the traditional learning design, teachers should always stick with learning objectives in conducting e-learning classes; Most importantly, if it is blended with face-to-face classroom sessions.
A competent teacher should be knowledgeable of the learning objectives of his/her subject expertise and designs learning activities aligned to it. All activities, all online sources, and all assessment tools should serve as stepping stones in achieving the learning goals.
The Teacher as a Technology Specialist
Clearly, technology is an inherent component of adaptive learning set-up. As much as it requires learners to techno-savvy, the teachers should be digitally competent as well. And as much as possible, they should be more competent than the students. As they’ve said, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Teachers can only maximize the digital competencies of the learners if they are digitally competent as well. Aside from the ability of the teacher to maneuver digital tools, teachers should also know how to solve technological problems that might hinder learning.
The Teacher as a Content Coach
Since classroom hours are less in blended learning classes, teachers should devote time in providing coaching to learners in engaging with online content and mobile applications. Additionally, they should encourage students to be open with questions so as to develop their communication and critical thinking skills. Teachers should also provide meaningful and constructive feedback that students can use in advancing their academic competencies and developing self-management.
The Teacher as a Social Director
There can be a drastic change in the contact between and among the teachers and learners once adaptive learning classes are implemented. There might be awkward moments in raising concerns and questions. Therefore, teachers should act as social directors or in simple terms, as “social butterflies.”
Since some parts of the learning will take place online, teachers should be familiar with the language students used in online environments without losing professionalism. They should establish a positive online presence so learners both have ease and respect for them. Online platforms nowadays serve as leisure activity from the students and it might cause them burnout if they need to be formal 24/7. Teachers should monitor and limit the engagement time of the students talking about school requirements so they can practice life balance and avoid burnout.
Lastly, teachers should establish a sense of community among the learners so they can feel their presence without physically interacting with one another.
The Teacher as a Managing Correspondent
Adaptive learning requires intensive reading and writing for the teachers. This is because of the quality feedback they need to provide to the learners so they can master content and complete standard-based outputs. The teacher should be good in managing the materials for the students to ensure that they are understandable and manageable considering the different learning styles. They should also be quick to respond when a student seems to be lost in the middle of blended learning classes. This way, learners will always be encouraged and motivated to complete requirements.