Online Learning: 5 Methods of Engaging Your Students

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The coronavirus outbreak forced schools to switch to remote learning. Instead of coming to school, students learn in front of their computer screens. A teacher starts a video call or uploads a video of the lesson.

The setup of online learning doesn’t work for many students. Some struggle with distractions around their homes. Students learning beginner piano lessons might have a hard time coordinating with their teacher.

As a teacher, the struggles of your students might frustrate you. But it’s possible to help them learn in an online setting. Here are approaches and techniques you can try:

#1 Teach Them How to Learn Online

One of the reasons why students struggle to learn online is because they are used to the traditional classroom setting.

In 2019, the California State University Channel Islands launched Learning Online 101. This class helps students practice using the required technologies for online courses. Students also learn the importance of time management and a strong support system.

A tutorial for online learning could be what your students need. Create a guide on how they can navigate the learning platform, participate discussions, and turn in requirements.

#2 Find Out What Your Students Like

Your first goal is to keep your students engaged and gain their attention. You can do this by learning what they engage in their daily lives. This will depend on their age range.

Look for what students their age talk about on social media. Learn what music, shows, and trends they follow. Using references to trending media and topics will make it easy for them to remember and relate to the concepts.

#3 Mix Up Your Learning Techniques

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Long lectures won’t work in an online classroom setting. Mix spurts of audio and video clips, discussion, and hands-on exercises in your lesson.

Don’t depend on your video lecture and text to get your lesson across. Add relevant images, videos, and animations to the lecture. Seeing visual aids will make it easier for students to retain concepts and ideas.

#4 Chunk Your Lessons

Avoid teaching one main topic in a single segment. Your students will most likely space out and be overwhelmed with the amount of information you’re dumping on them.

Instead, break your lessons into micro-modules. Break down your main topic into smaller topics and ensure that your videos are at least less than 10 minutes. If one topic involves a more thorough discussion, separate your videos for the concepts and the exercise.

#5 Motivate Students with Rewards

Rewards motivate students to learn and be consistent with their work. Create an online leaderboard of the top five performers of the week. They can be top scorers of a quiz, early-bird submitters, or other awards you can give out. Praising them after getting an answer right can also motivate them to participate.

Other reward systems you can try are:

  • Giving low-performing students a chance to redo an assignment
  • Displaying student work at a virtual Hall of Fame
  • Dropping the lowest quiz or grade
  • Giving extra time for an assignment

As we transition to the new normal, expect to meet your students online more than in person. This can be a challenge since it might be difficult to engage them online. With these methods, your students can enjoy their lessons and learn key concepts.

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