In the current age of remote learning, it can be harder to promote and maintain student engagement. After all, face-to-face learning feels so much more personal, and it’s easier to control. However, there are four main steps that you can take to get students more invested.
Energizing Learning Differences
Likewise, people don’t just learn differently, they also differ in how they share evidence of what they know.
Make course content available in multiple formats. All people learn differently – video and audio files are just as important as printed materials. This includes visual representations of content and infographics detailing content specifics. Social media can also be used to push content, reminders, and deadlines. Student leadership can carry the responsibility of social media.
Likewise, people don’t just learn differently, they also differ in how they share evidence of what they know. Accepting a range of formats for proof of what is learned can amplify student engagement. Students are becoming experts in many areas outside the classroom, and these can be moments for your students to shine.
Creating Content Relevance
The more relevant to the real world the coursework is, the more interactive the learning will be...
Marry the coursework with the community as much as possible. The more relevant to the real world the coursework is, the more interactive the learning will be, and thus there will be more potential for student engagement. An example might be finding local publishing venues, visiting the site, and interviewing owners of the shops. Local TV and radio stations might provide insight into how the consumers of their content also shape the tone and format of their content.
'Gamify' learning activities by co-opting the digital practice of badges and certificates that celebrate attaining particular skill levels.
Nothing replaces the effect of strategic, timely, and useful feedback. 'Gamify' learning activities by co-opting the digital practice of badges and certificates that celebrate attaining particular skill levels. These can translate into formative assessments, allowing students opportunities to course correct their knowledge and skill sets when necessary. Additionally, these gaming qualities can also become excellent ways in which students can prove what they know. These kinds of formative assessment practices coalesce the knowledge and skills being applied. Self-assessment instruments can be core to students owning their learning process and cementing their understanding by being able to discern improvement.
Teachers are cautioned to be selective in what they implement in the very new and sometimes exhausting expectations of their current work.
Teachers are cautioned to be selective in what they implement in the very new and sometimes exhausting expectations of their current work. Select one or two new teaching/learning strategies, practice these, and apply them with regularity. Once they are natural fits, add one or two more. No one is expected to perfectly implement everything. Doing a few things very well provides the consistency in teaching every student deserves.
As you implement this advice, be sure to be kind to yourself and to your students – the online learning format is new to everybody, with students and teachers alike trying to acclimate. Remember, you’ve got this!
Lucy McHugh, Yearbook Leadership Mentor
Lucy comes to United Yearbook Printing via a 38-year career in public and private school education. She was a former yearbook adviser at Xavier College Preparatory High School. She earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska in 2000. And in 2014 earned a Certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. Lucy taught K-12 Art and was awarded the 2001 Nebraska Art Teacher of the Year, and in 2010 she was awarded Nebraska Elementary Art Teacher of the Year. Most recently Lucy was awarded the 2017 CA High School Art Teacher of the Year.