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Five Ways Instructors Can Boost Student Engagement

Diligent students seek out advice to help them succeed in their studies. Similarly, diligent educators seek out ways to make their instruction more effective. If you are curious about how you can elevate your teaching game, try implementing these five tips to inspire student engagement.

Remember what it’s like

The passage of time is often a hindrance to memory. After we finish our degrees, it is easy to forget about the stress that we experienced in college. Today, students are more anxious than ever. Class work, out-of-school obligations, solitary-living, and financial stress all amount to a non-ideal college experience. As an educator, the best thing you can do for your students is to let them know that you care about their academic success. Reach out when you can and make it known that you are there to support them.

Keep it fresh

Year after year, it can be tempting to re-teach the same old power-point with the same accompanying lecture script. This approach to teaching can be stale for instructors and for students. In order to keep your class engaging, implement different teaching methods that go beyond the standard class lecture. Team based activities, relevant news articles, guest speakers, and games are great ways to mix up class time. On top of that, offering a variety of assignment types is proven to ignite a passion for learning in students.

Get to know your students

Building a rapport with your students can increase their participation and motivation both in and outside of the classroom. The process of getting to know your students can be as easy as showing up to class ten minutes early or staying ten minutes after. Hosting additional office hours is another way to strengthen relationships. If you are starved for time, use software that allows you to schedule personalized messages. In instances where you are faced with large class sizes, technology can be your ally when it comes to adding a personal touch to your outreach.

Include the real world

Applied learning shows students a real-world purpose for what they learn. A case study is an example of an excellent applied learning exercise. In case study activities, students are immersed in complicated problem solving situations that require them to ideate solutions either solo or in pairs. The goal of these activities is to simulate scenarios your students are likely to encounter in their future occupations.

Teach local

Engaging with the local community can help students see the big picture applicability of course content. Find local businesses that align with your course topic and speak to them about the skills they are looking for. You can then set up job shadows, invite guest speakers, or assign mini-consulting projects. Experiential knowledge will help your students understand and explore their fields– and may even lead to career opportunities for them.

Interested in learning more about how you can support your students? Read A Higher Education Reimagined: How to Ensure Affordable Learning Solutions for All Students.

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