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Online Classroom Rules How to Establish and Make Them Effective

Building a Better Online Learning Environment: How to Establish Effective Classroom Rules

For many teachers, creating classroom rules that kids follow is a difficult task. As teachers, most of us are sure of setting expectations in the classroom. However, many times we struggle to pass on our message accurately and effectively to the students. Due to this lack of expectation setting, students fail to adhere to the guidelines that are laid down by the teacher. And all this leads to a poor classroom environment along with a new series of challenges for the teacher.

Do you know that 30% of teachers who resign from their jobs reported classroom discipline as a major challenge for quitting school?


Percentage of Teacher  Resignation due to discipline issues

Discipline problem in a classroom is bigger than we think. In fact, it can be really daunting at times. But the good news is that it is possible to create rules that students can buy in. And reduce these problems before they turn out to be unmanageable.

Read on to learn the best ways to create practical and highly effective class rules.  

What is the Need to Create Online Classroom Rules?

Rules and procedures are imperative to create an effective learning environment, especially when students need to collaborate with each other. Other than these obvious reasons, children also need to learn the importance of discipline. Because it creates a road to one’s success eventually in life. Experts have acknowledged that self-control and discipline support an individual to resist temptations. And this in turn helps an individual to succeed in anything that he/she does.

Well-established class rules also reduce problems like violence, verbal abuse, and physical assaults in the classroom.

One in three students is bullied by peers in school, i.e. around 32% of students face this problem.

Percentage of student bullied in schools

Post the pandemic, Indian students are already experiencing increased levels of psychological distress (due to fear, confusion, anxiety, and alienation, etc.).

Setting rules is the cornerstone of establishing a positive learning environment in any classroom (online school or a traditional one). In fact, we cannot expect a conducive learning environment and the best educational productivity without creating a disciplined classroom. Another great advantage of promoting positive classroom procedures is that it helps in boosting the individual learning capacities of students. And in this way, it also promotes academic success and helps in honing 21st century skillsets.

How to Create Rules for Classroom?

We all want a class wherein every individual is responsible for his/her actions. And setting classroom rules is the only way to achieve our desired results. There is a step-by-step procedure to set rules in the classroom.


The drafting procedure is based on the type of students you deal with in your class every day. You can simply segregate the list of students into different categories. And draft your rules as per the kind of students in your class.

Think Divergently

Once you have drafted all the necessary rules, try to preempt the kind of challenges that you might face while implementing these effectively. For instance, some children might find it difficult to follow rules in classroom. And there can be times when these problems will be highly genuine/serious in nature. Some children need to break the silence and ask for help more than others. While some others face medical issues and need more restroom breaks. Consider all these practical problems. And create a concrete plan for all types of students.

Add Creativity

Instead of using the mundane method of discussing rules with your students, try to add a creative dimension to it. Involve the students in the process. And make it fun by adding game elements to it. You can also create a build-up before you come up with the turning point of the announcement. Let the class be excited about the new task. And introduce new rules to the students by actively involving them in the finalizing process.

Finalize Rules

Once you and your class brainstorm through the rules, ensure that everybody is on the same page. Finalize these rules and repeat these to the students. You can also ask some volunteers to make charts/posters or danglers for the study room. Once again, all this can be a fun process. The core idea is to involve students. This develops a sense of responsibility/ownership in them. And largely helps in adhering to the laid rules.

How to create online classroom rules

How to Teach virtual Classroom Rules?

There are various ways of teaching rules in the classroom. But the best way to introduce these rules is through games or activities. Teachers can add a lot of creativity to these activities. Adding a fun element helps students to learn these rules. And it also creates a positive attitude towards following these. Because students feel involved and also learn to reflect upon and analyze the benefits of these rules.

Game-Based Strategy

Use guessing games to label behavior that is silently performed by any one student. All other students can guess the action. And later give it a thumbs up or thumbs down silently. The entire activity is completely noise-free. But at the same time, it is highly effective for teaching classroom rules for students.


As parents/stakeholders, most of us already know the meaning of reinforcement as a favorable condition that promotes chances of desirable behavior. Just to add in here, a related research proves that positive reinforcement techniques help in teaching appropriate behavior and social skills to students. In fact, positive reinforcement also helps in improving one’s academic performance.

You can make use of these techniques. And reward students with some extra play time, or free time to teach rules in classroom. If you introduce all these interesting elements right from the start, your class will be motivated to follow these procedures well. Always appreciate the students for their desirable behavior. And tell them that they are capable of maintaining good behavior in the future.

Positive reinforcement

Picture Boards

The next fun way of teaching class rules is to create charts or picture boards with sketches of students following rules. Schools that allow clicking pictures can make of this facility and create a collage of assorted pictures. For others, students and teachers can make sketches and add names to pin up on the zoom screen.

Buddy System

You can pair two students or more in a way that each pair has a child who adheres to rules well. Let the kids be together and learn the desirable ways of following class procedures. In the next round students who learn these rules well can be shuffled as mentors for others. In this way, all students will be motivated to take up the role of mentors. And very soon the class will be more disciplined and self-motivated to behave well.

Random Clues

Another effective way of teaching rules in the classroom is to give random list of actions that depict a particular behavior. Let the selected student answer which actions are desirable and pinpoint the ones that are against the virtual classroom rules for students.

How to teach fun classroom rules

Final Thoughts

There can be many fun ways of implementing online classroom rules for students. But it solely depends on the teacher, and how he/she unleashes the opportunities of adding fun and creative elements in this process. Remember that students will learn and follow all these procedures if they are actively involved and enjoy being a part of it. And once this is done, you can easily transform your classroom into a happy and joyous learning space.

Hope the points mentioned in this article helped you to learn the ways of creating these procedures. So go ahead and create some practical rules for classroom, and do not forget to bring these to life with your creativity!

Thanks for Reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are golden rules in a classroom?
    Golden rules set the right expectations to build mutual respect and help students to reflect on their actions. Many teachers make use of golden rules like ‘treating people the way you want to be treated’, ‘seeking permission to leave the class for any reason’, ‘Sorry and thank you as per the requirement’, ‘taking care of a borrowed item and returning it well in time’ etc. 
  • How can a teacher control the classroom?
    A teacher can control the classroom through effective techniques like creating rules, establishing strong relationships, and involving students in all processes. In general, it is better for a teacher to set the right expectations at the beginning of the academic year/session. This helps in minimizing discipline problems from the beginning.
  • What are the 10 principles of classroom management?
    The 10 principles of classroom management are as follows:
    • Setting the right expectations
    • Staying consistent in your approach
    • Collaborating with the parents for better results
    • Supporting students in following rules
    • Creating plans for the holistic development of students
    • Nurturing mutual trust and respect
    • Fostering opportunities for interactions
    • Aiming at positive relationships
    • Staying away from a judgmental approach
    • Promoting well-being

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