Top 6 tips for keeping students engaged in online learning
The pandemic has brought many changes to the academic environment, and with many schools continuing in a hybrid system that includes online learning, teachers are now facing new challenges. One of which is how to make sure your students remain engaged and interested in the lesson, even when behind the screen. Here are 6 tips to keeping your students’ attention.
1. Make sure you get their attention at the start:
Getting your students attention right at the start of the lesson will center their mind into the learning environment and help focus them for the lesson ahead. Try having an interesting background, use a funny filter, or simulate a classroom in the background if you’re working from home.
Start the lesson with an interesting greeting and get them involved in it, such as reciting a poem, singing a song, start with a fun game, or get them to say good morning all at the same time.
2. Create interactive lesson plans:
When creating your lesson plans, consider how you can involve your students in a way that makes them an active participant in the lesson, without having a choir of voices which over video call can be quite overwhelming. Apps like Kahoot, Blackboard Learn, and Nearpod, are great for creating interactive lesson plans that involve different games, question and answer sections, and more will help create a stimulating learning environment where the students feel involved.
3. Involve your students in the lesson:
By making your students active participants in the lesson, offering them an option to take part in some of the decisions made in the lesson, you can keep them engaged and make them feel empowered. Consider offering a choice of two subjects to learn today where possible, two stories they can read, two math problems to solve, or any other option that is relevant to your lesson. If they chose the topic they want to work on that day, they are more likely to stay interested in it.
4. Use breakout rooms to engage students with each other:
In a physical classroom setting, students get to interact with their classmates throughout the day, but in an online setting they are missing out in that social interaction. This is why involving students in groups is now more important than ever. Create little pocket assignments such as mini discussions, or problems that need to be solved collaboratively within your lesson that students can work on together in breakout rooms to allow them to continue to interact with their classmates
5. Allow them to feedback how they are feeling:
Asking your students how they are feeling at the beginning of the lesson is important for their emotional and social learning and will help grab their attention at the start, but it’s also important to create a communication channel with your students where they feel like they are able to express their thoughts about class. Consider creating digital suggestion box where students can send their feedback about the lessons. If there is a suggestion that you think can be easily implemented, make sure to bring it up in the lesson to discuss with the class and look into adding it into the lessons. If a student raises a personal concern, make sure to follow it up with them, just as you would in a face-to-face classroom environment.
6. Make sure to celebrate your students:
Just like in a regular classroom environment, students would like to see their successes get noticed. Make sure to include this celebration in your lessons. You can create a virtual celebration board using stickers, photos, or emojis to represent the “gold stars” that would traditionally be added to a physical board in a classroom. Showing your students that their hard work gets noticed and praised will motivate them to continue to participate. Make sure to include everyone in these celebrations so that even those quiet kids don’t go unheard and celebrate the small wins for building confidence.
These were just 6 tips on how to engage your students in an online learning environment, and we hope you find them helpful. Have you got the best trick for online learning? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram!