When we think of student engagement in learning activities, we often think of it as being represented by good behavior (i.e. behavioral engagement), positive feelings (i.e. emotional engagement), and, most importantly, student thinking (i.e. cognitive engagement) (Fredricks, 2014). This is due to the fact that students may be behaviorally and/or emotionally invested in a given activity without actually putting forth the mental effort required to comprehend and master the knowledge, craft, or skill that the activity promotes.
Moreover, engaging students in the learning process has been shown to improve their attention and focus, motivate them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills, and promote meaningful learning experiences. Instructors who use a student-centered approach to instruction increase student engagement, which helps everyone achieve the course’s learning objectives more successfully.
In light of this, research suggests that taking into account the following interrelated elements when designing and implementing learning activities may help increase student engagement on behavioral, emotional, and cognitive levels, thereby positively affecting student learning and achievement.
11 Best and Easy strategies on how to engage students in the classroom learning
1.) Take an interest in your student’s interests.
Find out what your students are already interested in and incorporate it into the learning process. Using mathematics as an example, students could chart their progress in a video game over the course of a week. You could even ask your aspiring social media influencers to estimate their number of Instagram followers. Knowing what excites your students does more than just keep them engaged. You’ll also develop strong relationships and rapport.
2.) Really Learn About Your Students
According to research, when you build relationships with students by getting to know them and allowing them to get to know you, they learn more. You will be better able to connect class content to their lives if you are familiar with their backgrounds and interests. You’ll have more fun teaching.
3.) Think Pair Share
Students reflect on something, talk with a partner about it, and then share it with the rest of the class when they’re ready.
Tell students to jot down three questions or points that the lesson has raised thus far. Ask students to identify three things they already know about the subject and write them down as bullet points if they’re about to dive into new material.
5.) Interact with students in the classroom
Your students may become bored quickly if they are only listening to you speak unless you are a truly exceptional presenter. Involving your students in discussion is a tried-and-true way to keep their attention and effectively manage a classroom.
6.) Asking some good questions
One of the most effective ways to assess your students’ comprehension is to ask them questions. Asking or allowing your students to ask questions is one of the most effective ways to assess their understanding. Allow students to voice their opinions on contentious issues. As much as possible, you should let your students participate in class. For struggling students, interactivity is essential, and it can also be used to engage advanced students.
7.) Using Technology
Technology piques the interest of most people, including adults. Students enjoy playing with electronic devices such as tablets, phones, and computers. When used sparingly in the classroom, technology and videos can be an effective way to engage students in the lesson. If you choose to use technology, make an effort to connect it to learning rather than allowing it to become a source of distraction.
8.) Collaborating and working in groups.
Collaborating in small groups provides a welcome break from solo bookwork for students. They’ll benefit from each other’s viewpoints and ability to communicate their thoughts. When it comes to organizing group work, trust your instincts and your knowledge of who gets along with whom. Allowing students to work with friends may generate the buzz you need for more productive activity, while engineering the groups may avoid troublesome partnerships.
9.) Encourage your students to move around
Get your students moving if they can’t sit still for an entire lesson. All of that pent-up energy can be directed toward a learning activity that gets them up and moving. Invite students to the front of the room to collaborate on a whiteboard. During an activity, have students rotate through various stations around the room. Students should be divided into groups or arranged in different areas of the room. Students who are sluggish or tired respond well to movement. They will be more alert for the next phase of learning if they engage in some light physical activity.
10.) Show your concern for students.
Celebrating student accomplishments outside of the classroom is an important part of maintaining the rapport and engagement you’ve built from the beginning. I keep up with campus news and events, and I use LinkedIn to connect with students. I’ll send a small note of congratulations when I learn about their accomplishments, such as landing a new job or internship. And they are eternally grateful. Engagement, in my opinion, also entails demonstrating your concern for the students.
11.) Allow students to make decisions.
Do your students have any say in what takes place in class? The class will feel valued and respected. When you involve students in decision-making, they will feel valued and enthusiastic. For example, you could give students the option of doing a project on dinosaurs or modern reptiles for the subject. Students, no matter how young, have suggestions for how to improve the learning environment. You can do this without handing over control by giving them options to choose from or creating a decision-making activity.