Study and research have explained that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention span and helps them focus. This also motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking and discover meaningful learning experiences. Professors and teachers who switch to a student-centered approach from an instruction based approach typicallyincrease the opportunities for student engagement. This eventually helps everyone becomesuccessful and achieve the learning objectives of the course.
Promoting engagement through active learning
Active learning requires students to be present mentally and physically, as opposed to sitting and listening quietly. Strategies here are not limited to, question-and-answer sessions, discussion and debates, impromptu writing assignments and alsoexperiential learning events. If you wish to integrate active learning strategies into your course, consider setting clear expectations, effective evaluation strategies and provide helpful feedback.
Leading dynamic discussions
“Good” discussions can be a powerful method of driving student learning, but successful discussions rarely happen spontaneously. Being prepared might help you delineate a clear focus for the discussion and will set well-defined parameters. This then enable the class to address critical topics from multiple perspectives, progressively increasing students’ curiosity for course content.
Use Minimal-Supervision Tasks to Squeeze Dead Time
Tasks that require less supervision contribute to purposeful activity during moments that might normally revert to dead time. They are effective when passing out papers, when working with a small group of students, addressing students who are less competent or notorious, or assigning tasks to those who have finished an assignment before others.
Use Quick Writes If You Want Student Reflection
There are possibilities that students lose concentration during the class and are waning during your presentations, or if you choose to settle students down after a noisy teamwork activity. All you have to do is ask them to do a quickwrite, or a short journal-writing assignment.
Teaching on the lines of technology
Teaching methodologies should incorporate technologies, on the lines of interactive content, apps for self-study and personalized learning, adaptive tests, real-time feedback on progress and web-based tools such as blogs, online Q &A forums (quora) etc. These tools have a high potential for aiding a students learning in creative and innovative ways.
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