CREATED: 14.06.2024UPDATED: 19.06.2024

Online Teaching Skills to Know to Be Successful

Online Teaching Skills to Know to Be Successful

Accessible, convenient, and potentially quite lucrative, too, online teaching is a popular modern profession. There are lots of ways to go about it, from setting yourself up as a freelance tutor to selling educational video courses online.

But, whichever option you choose, you’re going to need certain skills to succeed. That’s where this guide comes in, looking at the most crucial online teaching skills no teacher should be without.

10 Important Online Teaching Skills

From clear communication to creative thinking, it takes a lot to be an efficient, effective online teacher. Here are 10 of the most essential online teaching skills to work on and master.

Communication to Effectively Teach Skills Online

We’ll begin with arguably the most important of all online teaching skills: communication. As a teacher, you’re going to do a lot of talking. You’ll be giving presentations, explaining concepts, answering questions, and so on.

As such, this sort of work demands a certain level of clarity and communicative ability. You have to be able to get your points across through both verbal and non-verbal means, being responsive and understanding when conversing with your classes.

Time Management

Time management is also crucial. In fact, a lot of leading courses to improve teaching skills focus specifically on this aspect. It’s easy to see why, as teachers often have hectic schedules. They have to not only do their lessons but also prepare them, manage their schedules, handle homework, etc.

With so much to do each day, it’s vital to be able to manage your time effectively. You have to be organized, setting out your daily “To Do” lists and weekly schedules, and sticking to them. Without this skill, you may struggle to keep up with your tasks and quickly fall behind.


online teaching skills: Adaptability

The world of teaching can be quite unpredictable and surprising. Indeed, many teachers often say that every day is different in this line of work, and every student is unique, with their own personality, character, and learning processes. It’s up to you, as the teacher, to adapt to them.

As an example, imagine you’re an online English tutor. You’ve got one student who is only 10 years of age, just learning the basics of the language, and another in their mid-40s, who needs to improve their English for business. Obviously, you’ll have to adapt accordingly to meet their varied needs.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Students often look to teachers for feedback, both positive and negative. They’ll often need to hear when they’re doing well, as well as be told where and when they need to improve or perhaps look at things a different way.

So, feedback – both giving it and receiving it – is also important for anyone who wants to teach skills online. Being able to acknowledge and accept feedback and constructive criticism can help you learn and grow, rather than rigidly or stubbornly sticking to systems that don’t quite work as intended.

Technological Online Teaching Skills

Technological Online Teaching Skills

You don’t need much to teach online. In fact, a computer, mic, and webcam are all you need to start hosting classes. But, beyond that, there are plenty more programs, apps, and tech tools out there that can help you with everything from planning lessons to making money from selling educational videos.

As such, it’s recommended to at least have a certain level of competence when it comes to technology. Knowing how to prepare PowerPoint presentations, for instance, can help you deliver your classes in an engaging way, and being able to efficiently research subjects online will save you time in lesson prep.

Engaging and Motivating Your Students

Think back to the best teachers from your younger years. It’s highly likely that they were motivational and engaging people, as many of the best teachers seem to have a natural talent for getting students interested in whatever they have to say.

If you can grab and hold a student’s attention, you’ll find it much easier to share your knowledge with them. So, being a motivational and engaging speaker is another of the many online teaching skills you might like to work on, either through practice, training, or following the examples of other teachers.

Research Topics and New Ways to Teach Skills Online

We’ve already briefly touched on the importance of research earlier on. But it’s such a crucial skill, that it deserves its own separate section, as you may spend lots of time in between lessons researching ideas, teaching methods, trends, and creative concepts to share with your students.

Thus, you need to be a skilled researcher, able to use a range of tools and resources, which can include online encyclopedias, news articles, journals, videos, and other forms of media. The better you become, the easier you should find it to prepare fun and fulfilling classes.

A Growth Mindset for Continuous Learning and Self-Improvement

online teaching skills: A Growth Mindset for Continuous Learning and Self-Improvement

Having a growth mindset is all about being willing to keep on learning, growing, and improving as you get older, rather than settling into your own ways or assuming you have nothing more to learn. It’s effective in all walks of life, but especially in the field of teaching.

Adopting this kind of mindset will help you continue to improve and adapt your teaching methods as time goes by, ensuring your approach remains relevant, up-to-date, and impactful. It also allows you to embrace new technologies and innovations that can support your teaching and help you better connect with students.

Self-Promotion to Build Your Reputation and Gain Students

Online teaching is a very popular field at the moment. It’s accessible to almost everyone, and it can be a convenient and efficient way for people to pursue careers from the comfort of home, or set up their own little side hustles for a secondary income.

As such, it’s a very competitive field. There are millions of students out there, but you may have to work hard to attract your first few and encourage them to pick you over all the other teachers and tutors. So, as well as being able to teach skills online, you may also need the skill of self-promotion, marketing yourself through your resume, online profiles, and other resources.

Creativity and Out-of-the-Box Thinking

The best teachers are often creative people. They like to think outside of the box and come up with fresh concepts and innovative ways to engage their students. So, if you’re a naturally creative person, that’s one of the very best online teaching skills to focus on and set you apart from everyone else.

Teachers often have to flex their creative muscles to make lesson plans, homework assignments, presentations, and learning resources. By being imaginative and coming up with out-of-the-ordinary ideas, rather than cut-and-paste concepts, you may find it much easier to be successful.

How to Improve Your Online Teaching Skills

How to Improve Your Online Teaching Skills

We’ve seen some of the most important online teaching skills. Now, let’s look at a few ways you can work on them to develop your own teaching skill set.

Take Courses to Improve Teaching Skills

Obviously, one of the easiest ways to learn any new skill is via conventional education. There are courses and classes you can take to hone your skills at any age, including some of the most important online teaching skills, like time management, technology, and communication.

Even if you’ve got a busy lifestyle, you should be able to find courses to improve teaching skills online that you can follow at a pace that suits you. Or, if you prefer more hands-on, active learning, look for classes in your local area that let you meet other aspiring teachers and learn alongside them.

Practice as Much as You Can

Practice makes perfect, as the old saying goes, and there’s a lot of truth to that. The more you practice certain skills, the more they’ll grow. With patience and commitment, it’s possible to become more proficient in any of the skills listed above, and dozens more.

Even skills you find naturally tricky can be improved with practice. You might find it hard to communicate, due to an introverted personality, or you may struggle with technology, for example. But, if you keep at it, you’ll surely get better over time.

Seek Feedback

We touched on the concept of feedback earlier on, and it’s a great source for education and self-improvement. Especially early on in your online teaching career, try to seek feedback wherever you can, asking students for their thoughts and suggestions.

You don’t necessarily have to act on all feedback. Each comment won’t be equally valuable or relevant. But, by listening to what your students have to say, you can gradually understand what you’re doing well and where you might need to improve.

Build Your Online Teaching Skills to Be the Best Teacher You Can Be

Communication. Research. Creativity. Time management. There are many online teaching skills that set the best teachers apart from the rest. You don’t necessarily have to excel in every single one. But, by working on as many key skills as possible, you’ll stand the best chance of being a truly successful online educator, whether that be in classic one-on-one tutoring sessions, group classes, or other means, like selling video courses.

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