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HOW TO KEEP STUDENTS ENGAGED IN ONLINE LESSONS

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Keeping students engaged in online learning is quite a difficult task regardless of their age. It would be more challenging to conduct online classes for kids. They would easily get distracted by pets and things happening at home. Things are never going to work out in the way they did in physical sessions. Therefore, teachers need to be more innovative in finding better ways to retain the attention of the students. This article is all about how to keep the students’ brains stimulated. Let’s move on to the most important tips and tricks to increase the motivation and interest of students for online classes.

Present your best self

The visuals are the main thing that would attract the students at a glance. Teachers usually present themselves when attending classes physically. It is necessary to keep it up even when conducting classes online. The location from where you are teaching also matters in online sessions. Make sure to have a decent background behind you when turning on the webcam.

It will motivate them if you look engaged in work yourself. Change the tone of your voice once in a while to present yourself more actively. Talk to the students, engage in small chats, praise them, and encourage them with the work. Make sure to have a proper internet connection that would not disconnect in the middle of a lesson. Such situations make the students lose interest in the lesson. Do not make the lessons boring with your audio or video.

Use live media

Teaching is very challenging when it comes to online education. But the teachers can use technology to their advantage. Learn your virtual tools that can be used to create more lively slides and documents for students. Using text editors, drawing tools, file editors, video mixers, and screen-sharing tools are a few of these. Presenting all the lessons as written media is boring for anyone. Therefore, try to include more dynamic media such as trailers, animations, and music. These can be used not only for college students but even for undergraduate students. Including videos to explain certain areas of lessons help them visualize the real-world practical scenarios of different matter.

Encourage the students to interact

Virtual learning sessions become too noisy when everyone has their microphones unmuted. But it would even be more boring when everyone stays mute. So, it is necessary to make them unmute their microphones once in a while to express their thoughts as they do in physical classrooms. The students should definitely have enough freedom to ask questions and get things clarified while the tutor proceeds with the lesson. They may use the chatbox or the raise-hand option to get the attention of the lecturer. These methods may differ from one virtual classroom platform to another. However, students should not be kept passive listeners during online lessons.

Maximize access to learning resources

All students need to have proper access to online learning resources relevant to the course. This would not have been a major issue in physical classrooms since the students can rely solely on the lecture notes shared during class. Lack of learning material would make them feel lost and clueless about what they are learning. So record all the lectures and make them available for later use by the students. Share important eBooks, lecture videos, and other resources with the students. Make sure that everyone can access the resources you share. Improve these resources based on the feedback from students.

Give breaks

Listening to lectures for a long time can be tedious. Students tend to lose interest and find it difficult to focus on the lessons when dragged for hours at a stretch. It is recommended to break the sessions once every 45 minutes or so and allow them to have a snack or drink and come back in a few minutes. This is the best way to cut out the monotony and increase the productivity of the students. It will also help reduce the negative effects on the health due to long screen time.

Conduct quizzes and games

Students prefer to engage in something that they can actively participate. Online quizzes that take the form of games would keep them stimulated throughout. Teachers can customize these quizzes with the relevant subject matter as multiple-choice questions. These can also be used as a method of progress checking for online learners. Collect them in a separate portfolio which the students can attend themselves to review their work and check their long-term progress.

Useful tool: Free online test maker for teachers

Make them feel valued

Isolation is a huge blow on students learning online. Therefore, learning silently with a large crowd online could be even more lonely. Students will be left out on their own with no one to care even if they miss a class. Thus, the students may get tired and distracted easily, wanting to leave the session in the middle of a lesson.

In order to make the students more valued and cared for, the teachers can use their names very often. Find out their fields of interest and what they are good at. Allowing them to work on projects based on their interest and praising their work would help them immensely. Teachers need to be more positive and encouraging towards their students. Regular feedback on anyone helps them to do better and achieve their goals.

Be patient with students

Working online is not easy for anyone. Especially the students would be frustrated due to stress and various issues in the mental health during the pandemic. So they may not complete the tasks assigned at the due dates and be lagging behind the schedules. Scolding and forcing them to work may not be the best way to make them work. It is necessary to be understanding and patient with students in these difficult times. It would make the situation worse when they sense that their teachers are annoyed and disappointed with them. So in spite of making things worse, responsible teachers can be more patient and make a difference.

Lecturers should bring the same energy and passion in the physical classrooms to the virtual sessions. It is their responsibility to lay a better foundation for effective learning. These are working tips that can be used directly to implement better studying environments in online learning platforms. Use them to build a better relationship with the students and encourage them to participate actively in each session.

Read about PRINCIPLES OF GOOD TEACHING

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