Students learn best when they are engaged in the learning process. It may even be argued that students who aren’t engaged in the learning process learn very little. In in-person classes, it’s very easy for teachers to try to engage students. After all, the class is physical, and teachers can easily enforce engagement.
However, that’s not so for online classes. With online classes, it’s a lot more difficult for teachers to get students engaged. But it’s certainly not impossible. Here are some tips you should follow if you want to get students to engage more in online classes.
Provide Active Learning Opportunities
Most educators assume that online learning involves teachers sitting in front of their computers – miles away – and students doing that in their homes. Of course, this may be true for a vast majority of online classes, but it isn’t necessarily so.
If you want students to get involved with learning, you’ll have to provide something they can get involved in. After all, they aren’t just going to start talking over you as you teach— you need to provide opportunities for them to actually speak and thus get involved.
For example, you could ask students to interview personalities relevant to the course being taught. You could assign case studies and force them to work in groups. You could ask them to hand out questionnaires to their family members. There are so many things you could do— you just have to open your mind.
Always Provide Feedback
It’s not enough for students to be engaged in a lesson. Teachers must be as well. If you want to encourage more students to be engaged with your lectures, you have to provide timely feedback to encourage them. When students ask questions or face difficulties, you must work to fix them as soon as you can. It’s also important that assessments (like tests and quizzes) are graded quickly, and that students don’t have to go through one assessment without getting an answer from the previous one.
Add Social Media To Courses
Social Media has become more important than ever before in our lives. These days, people spend extraordinary amounts of time doing nothing but catching up with trends and communicating with others on social media. The same goes for students. Outside the classroom environment (whether physical or virtual), they spend loads of their time on social media networks like Instagram and Twitter.
One way to increase engagement among students is to add elements of popular social media networks to online learning. For example, you could add a Twitter badge to the course homepage. You could utilize hashtags, and you could generally encourage a free attitude towards academic content.
Make Self Assessment Possible
Most educators do not know about the benefits of self-assessment. Of course, it could be argued that self-assessments aren’t very accurate, and maybe useless for understanding the progress of a student. But that’s not entirely true. Allowing students to self-assess themselves can be a test in itself, that tells the teacher just how far along with the class generally is. Additionally, it’s an avenue for engagement that almost every student would gladly take.
This is probably the most basic tip you could get— but it certainly works. When you reward a behavior, you tend to see more people exhibiting that behavior. So if you want more students to engage with your lesson, you need to reward those who do.
The reward can come in many forms. For example, you can work in a league table of points into the online learning platform (platforms like DaDesktop can help you set something like this up). That way, you can add points, deduct points, and reward the winner of the league at the end of the term. You could also get certification badges. It all depends on how flexible your online learning platform is.