Using learning technology to boost student engagement

Using learning technology to boost student engagement


In the spring of 2020, more than 1,300 universities and colleges in the United States they have canceled their face-to-face classes or switched to online-only teaching. This resulted in valuable lessons for increasing student participation by combining educational technology with intentional design. While the opportunity to return to face-to-face classes is welcome, distance learning should now not be neglected or stigmatized as “less than”. Academics should continue to reap the benefits that distance learning can bring to student participation and flexibility along with face-to-face teaching. Here’s how to do it effectively:

Continue to learn in small groups to encourage peer and community learning

Ironically, distance learning has opened up the opportunity month intimate instruction, no less. Use online learning spaces to divide large classes into small groups using “virtual tables,” organized by student understanding, interest in the subject, location, mother tongue, or nothing. Being in groups of no more than 10 allows for constructive conversations and collaboration, encouraging students to help each other with challenging questions or concepts. Smaller learning groups reduce the fear and reluctance to ask questions or speak in front of classmates.

Use real-time feedback to adjust the teaching approach

Online learning platforms can indicate the feeling and understanding of individual students and the whole class through real-time feedback more easily than in a technology-free classroom. Incorporate simple sorting tools, such as thumbs up or down and emoji reactions, to collect organic feedback with minimal effort. O develop quick feedback forms to be completed in a couple of minutes at the end of the class, with only one or two key questions. Intentionally designed digital classrooms can provide data that provides information about student interactions beyond what is immediately visible to you, such as whether students are taking notes, chatting with classmates, or participating in group discussions, regardless of methods. more invasive tracking tools such as webcams or screen display.

If you look at this data, during or between class sessions, you can adjust your teaching speed, level of explanation, and activities to support learning. For example, if class participation is low, provide a specific question and have students discuss it in smaller groups to allow for peer learning.

Use frequent formative assessments to assess comprehension and encourage learning

Data collection is a challenge for large face-to-face classes. The native capabilities of some digital tools, such as integrated questionnaires that track individual responses, can provide a more granular view of student comprehension and should be used regularly to measure ongoing commitment and comprehension. . For example, incorporate short knowledge verification tests throughout the class to see if an additional explanation is needed.

HIt is of great value for students to explain concepts to each other. Those who already understand can deepen their knowledge, and those who are not more likely to have an “aha” moment when discussing concepts with someone of a similar level of experience. Use a platform to automatically match students with different answers to use “plans to share”Pedagogy. Please try again later to see who might need extra attention or help outside of class.

Give flexibility to students When i how they communicate with you and with each other

Students’ self-confidence varies greatly. Provide a safe space to ask questions publicly, anonymously, in real time, or after events to encourage shy students, non-native speakers, or those who do not fully understand the material to be presented. Send questions anonymously It has been shown to increase the participation of students who would otherwise remain silent.

Allowing students to participate in writing, rather than verbally, can be powerful, as it allows students to craft and edit their contribution before sharing it. Use a platform that allows simultaneous oral and written participation through chat or similar functions, and be explicit when asking for answers from students who can write or speak. Be sure to highlight and respond in the same way to both methods of student participation.

It is important to provide structures through which students can re-engage with the content, and between them, outside of the live class session. You could share a recording so that students can re-listen to sections of the session that were interesting or confusing; create meaningful group work assignments so that students discuss the material together; and provide a place for students to submit questions that come out of the class session and share their thoughts with each other. Students can then re-participate alone or in groups for real-time peer-to-peer discussions about the session, fostering peer learning, and decreasing confidence in your immediate responses at all times.

Support all students equally, regardless of the circumstances

You will never know what your students have been through for the past two years. Family losses, lost jobs, increased obligations and much more may be preventing them from participating as much as they would like. They may even be thinking about dropping out of school. Make sure you provide them with support and flexibility so that they can learn and engage. If the data shows a decrease in activity, please contact them and help them find out how they can learn according to their conditions and schedules.

Andreina Parisi-Amon is Engageli’s Vice President of Learning and Teaching.

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