Remember when our maths teacher took our PT period? At that time, all the students had glazed eyes, doodled papers, and a half-hearted will to study. When student engagement is low in your classroom, it can be noticed easily. So, how can you create a classroom that is full of positivity, encouragement, and excitement for learning?
There are numerous student engagement tactics you can implement in your classroom to instill positive learning and foster a healthy school culture.
According to research, engaged students are more likely to fulfill behavioral expectations, be kind to their peers, and perform well academically.
This blog will cover the following topics:
- What is student engagement?
- Why is it important?
- 6 student engagement strategies to use in schools
What is student engagement?
Student engagement occurs when students arrive at class and are eager to learn, participate in learning, and have a positive attitude.
Student engagement can be classified into three types:
- Behavioral - It occurs when students behave appropriately and do not act out. They bring everything they need to class, listen to directions, work diligently, and participate in class discussions.
- Emotional - Students feel like they belong to the school community and are excited to be there. They welcome you with a smile, interact with their peers politely, and look alert during your lessons.
- Cognitive - Students are motivated to study and think deeply about the subject matter, which is also known as cognitive engagement. They pose challenging questions and frequently go above and beyond when completing projects.
Douglas Willms, director of the University of New Brunswick's Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy and a member of the US National Academy of Education, defines student engagement as:
"A long-term attitude towards learning — viewing learning as enjoyable and vital, seeing the benefits of working with and operating as part of a team, and being a part of a social institution." Those, in my opinion, are vital lifelong abilities."
Why is student engagement important?
Student engagement is significant as it is associated with higher levels of student accomplishment. Hundreds of studies conducted since the 1980s have demonstrated that when teachers adopt strategies to attract students' attention and actively involve them in the learning process, student achievement increases dramatically.
Disinterested students are less likely to interact with the teacher, have lower exam scores, and have more behavioral concerns. Engagement, regardless of socioeconomic level, can predict students’ progress and behavior.
According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses academic attainment and student involvement worldwide:
"Students who are highly engaged and effective learners are more likely to be proficient in maths, and those students who are inclined towards education, they attend school consistently and have a positive attitude towards learning."
According to a report published by Willms in 2011, “As children progress through school, they develop social skills and motivation, which lead to academic performance, and academic achievement leads to even greater motivation and social skills. Learning and engagement go hand in hand.”
6 Student Engagement Strategies to Use in Schools
Is engagement in your classroom a "nice-to-have" or a "must-have"? Consider the following 6 ways for enhancing student engagement.
Performance assessment allows students to participate actively in the learning process, which experts believe boosts engagement. Students can choose their topic or the best manner to demonstrate their understanding in assessments. Many students like the idea of performance evaluations because it creates a sense of healthy competition among them.
With Teachmint, you can assign homework to students and assess the same conveniently. You can also assess their performance easily and communicate with students about their assessments.
When students work together to create a performance evaluation, they have a better understanding of the standards and performance outcomes that are being taught and assessed.
Classroom Management Strategies
Distractions divert students' attention away from the lesson and hinder their learning in a large classroom. Classroom management strategies assist you in creating a disciplined environment in which students are encouraged to present their best selves to class. Although it may appear counterintuitive, rules and routines in the classroom can reduce distractions and improve the learning process.
Some of your students may find it difficult to sit still for an entire class. Active learning tactics encourage students to engage with the lesson in a variety of ways. As a bonus, many active learning strategies enable students to collaborate with their classmates to solve a problem, discuss a topic, or drill down on a new subject. This gives students various entrance points into the class and engages them in their learning.
Sometimes, student engagement may not be good while taking an online class. There might be some doubts that a student has and want to convey to you. To solve this problem, Teachmint has introduced a “hand raise” feature where students can notify the teacher that they have some doubts or want to add more information to the topic. With this feature, student engagement can be improved.
Use of Multimedia
According to research, one benefit of multimedia learning is that it takes advantage of the brain's ability to form connections between verbal and visual representations of content, resulting in a deeper understanding and, as a result, supporting the transfer of learning to other settings. All of this is crucial in 21st-century classrooms because we are educating students for a future that will need higher-level thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration abilities.
A significant fraction of the human brain is dedicated to visual processing. Using multimedia in addition to text stimulates the brain. Student engagement and attention improve. Under these circumstances, students in a multimedia learning environment can recognize and solve problems more easily than in a scenario where education is solely accessible through textbooks.
Not every student enjoys the traditional method of learning. Reciprocal teaching strategies can help in such a situation, improving reading comprehension and even engaging students in language & art sessions! To predict, question, clarify, and summarize tiny portions of the material, use reciprocal teaching strategies.
Reciprocal teaching consists of four major components:
- Predicting what will happen in the text
- Inquiring about the text and asking who, what, when, where, why, and how
- Clarifying the content and recognizing ambiguous concepts or unfamiliar phrases
- Condensing the reading to its most significant portions and summarizing the content
Reciprocal teaching tactics revolve around the idea of "I do, we do, you do." To begin, demonstrate how the strategy works in front of the entire class. The students then practice in groups. Finally, they practice the skill independently.
What if you could encourage your pupils to become more involved? Gamification in the classroom is associated with greater student enthusiasm and engagement, according to a 2011 study.
To induce gamification in your classroom, especially in online classrooms, you can conduct polls or quizzes. With Teachmint, you will have the access to create live polls. With these live polls, you can easily increase student engagement. Through this technique, students will have fun while learning.
Where can you boost student engagement in your classroom? Are there any areas of your teaching approach where tiny modifications could make a significant difference?
Douglas Willms said, "Engagement necessitates that students realize their voices have been heard and that their opinions are valued."
Utilize techniques that engage students as active participants in the learning process. When students feel supported and encouraged, there is no telling what they can achieve!
Suggested Read: 9 Simple Mindfulness Activities for the Classroom