I have recently worked with students who are getting ready for their high school equivalency exam, so we were practicing tests and many students were struggling. I was afraid that they would get demotivated and give up the course like they dropped out of high school.
So I wanted to engage them and it worked. I need to say that I found one small website that helps me get them engaged in learning again. They use a lot of new technology and this keeps students on the site. I don’t say it is the best, but a website with online prep like this one can work for you too.
So here are my tips for you on how to engage students for better results:
1) Ask Questions
Opinions are like noses, everybody’s got one.
Give people a reason to share their opinions by asking them questions during the course. Don’t just broadcast your announcements. Make it a two-way conversation.
2) Pick A Side
Most rational people are capable of seeing both sides of an argument. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people stop being rational. The trick is to have a strong opinion and be able to stick to your guns, debating your subject without degenerating into the tit for tat name calling and flame wars that so many trolls live for. There are some hugely Outspoken People out there who have turned their talent for this into a veritable art form and you can learn a lot from observing how they handle themselves.
3) Do As I Say, Not As I Do
The only real rule on the Internet is that there are no rules, so don’t be surprised if you see me break almost all of these rules at some point. There will be times when you have to be flexible and use your common sense to decide just how strictly you’re going to follow these rules.
4) Find Out What They’re Already Talking About
Check out some of the other popular opinions and look for trends, some people will argue about a specific topic. Take a position (remember point 2 above) and make your response to one of the topics you found.
You should also find out where your students spend their time online (Twitter may be the obvious answer these days, but it’s not the only place you should be looking) and look at what they’re talking about – are there particular problems that you can help them solve?
5) Show Them Something Familiar In A New Light
Some of the most successful approaches in terms of engagement are those that show students something mundane that they’re used to seeing in one particular way, in a completely different way for example, math tricks.
6) Make ‘em Laugh/Cry/Angry
Provoking an emotional response is a powerful way to increase your students’ engagement Just remember that there is a fine line between engaging and enraging.
7) Keep Your Promises
There’s a whole internet full of content out there for students to read, so if you start a series of lessons on math tricks you’d better finish them, because unless you’re someone who provides massive value anyway, those disappointed students probably won’t hang around waiting forever.