Increasing Student Engagement: Strategies & Ideas

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  • 0:03 Student Engagement
  • 0:38 Student-Centered Environment
  • 2:54 Think Outside the Box
  • 3:40 Reciprocal Teaching
  • 4:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Marquis Grant

Marquis has a Doctor of Education degree.

This lesson highlights ways in which you can increase and maintain student engagement in your classroom. It explores group work, hands-on activities and other possible features of a student-centered environment.

Student Engagement

Many teachers complain about lack of student motivation in the classroom. As a teacher, you might need ideas and strategies that will motivate your students to want to learn. There are several ways you can get your students to become actively involved in the classroom. First, you can make the learning process more about the students and less about you as the teacher. Second, you might want to think outside the box to make your lessons more interesting for your students. Third, give students a chance to walk a mile in your shoes. Letting them take on the role of teacher will allow them to demonstrate what they have learned in reverse.

Student-Centered Environment

A student-centered environment is one in which teaching and learning is centered around the students. Whole group instruction is kept to a minimum so that students don't become bored and lose interest in the instruction. Sometimes, as the teacher, you need to spend time in front of the classroom delivering lessons, but students probably won't remain engaged if you're spending too much time in front of the class. Children have very short attention spans, so your lesson delivery should really only be about ten minutes. The rest of the time should be spent on activities that allow your students to apply what they've learned. Let's look at a few examples.

First, it might be a good idea to let students work together to complete an assignment. As the teacher, you would take on the role of facilitator and monitor group activities to make sure everyone is staying on task. The group would be responsible for completing the assignment in a timely fashion. You might encourage students to assign roles within the group, such as leader, researcher, monitor, and speaker, so that each member has a designated responsibility. This way, one person isn't doing all of the work while the others do nothing.

You also might assign your students hands-on activities. Some students actually learn better if you design lessons with an opportunity for them to be creative. Next, make sure every part of your lesson is engaging. Pick resources and activities that will appeal to students in your classroom. You might even ask students about their interests to incorporate them into your lesson plans. Incorporate audio and visual resources as much as possible, since nowadays much of students' free time is spent using some form of technology.

Finally, you can have your students set goals. Have them create a personal data notebook that they can creatively design, which will be theirs to keep. Have them include personal goals for themselves for the school year; for example, acing all their exams. They can also set short-term goals. For example, if you're giving a test on Friday, you could have students write in their notebooks a score that they will work to achieve. After the test has been graded, have them put their actual grade beside their predicted grade to see how well they actually did. This will show them what they need to do to accomplish their next goal. Doing this makes students feel as if they're a partner in their own learning.

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