In the classroom, routines support student learning and build efficiency. The same is true with online and distance learning.

At a time when students — and parents — may be feeling a little anxious, overwhelmed, or uncertain about the new school year, routines can provide a sense of structure, stability, and control. Routines let students and parents know what to expect and when. This predictability not only reduces stress, but it improves students’ learning and their relationships with their teachers.

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Here are several ways to create more clarity and consistency in online classrooms, and help students feel at ease and valued in an online learning environment.

Clearly post routines and expectations. Students of all ages need explicit instruction regarding the “how to’s” for each teacher’s online classroom. Providing daily or weekly to-do lists can answer common questions and help online learning work more smoothly.

About the Author:

Judy Zimny, Ed.D., is the vice president of the National Institute for STEM Education.


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