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One of the biggest challenges with teaching online is keeping students from getting distracted. Here are three tips for keeping student distraction to a minimum: 

  1. Ask lots of questions. Students should be engaged every 7-10 minutes in an online class at a minimum. This means asking all the students questions they can reasonably answer. Sometimes these questions should directly relate to the content you are teaching, and other times they may just be quick check-in questions to make sure your students haven’t picked up their phones. Students want engagement, and they need more of it in an online class. 

  2. Use a variety of content. It is harder for students to focus on the person over the screen in an online class, so keep their attention by using interesting slides, music, clips from videos, activities, and other fun resources.  

  3. Address the “elephant in the room” at the beginning of class. If you ignore the fact that your students might get distracted, they will definitely get distracted. Plan lots of breaks for your class and tell your students the break schedule, then ask them to close their other browser windows and put their phones away.  

Keeping distractions to a minimum is a challenge, but with the right techniques, it is possible to run an engaging online class that keeps students interested. If you are interested in learning more about these tips, the Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT) program can help you elevate your online classes and keep your students engaged from start to finish. And, MCCT is pre-approved by the ATD Certification Institute to offer educational programs that can be used towards initial eligibility and recertification of the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) credentials. 

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