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How do I make lessons more engaging for my students?

How do I make lessons more engaging for my students?

 

Our students aren’t engaged by things. They’re engaged by us, the tutor.

 

Sometimes, improving engagement levels within the classroom can be difficult. When engagement levels are up, students tend to perform better, learn more and find the lesson more enjoyable.

 

First, you have to really define what you mean by the term. Do you want to look at physical engagement (eye contact and body language) or levels of participation (contributing to class discussions, submitting work)? Next, you should consider how your students define engagement.

 

Generally, the engagement rate is used to measure the level of interaction of students. So, the question here is really, what can I do to help students interact more with the class and the lesson?

 

We’ve put together some ideas for teachers to implement to make lessons more engaging:

 

1.    Begin the lesson with an interesting fact

Starting off the lesson with an interesting fact captures the students’ attention and helps them to understand the subject of the lesson ahead. If the fact is interesting enough, your students will be inspired to learn the background behind this fact.

 

2.    Plan for short attention spans

Depending on the age of your class, attention spans usually vary massively. Younger students tend to lose focus a lot quicker than older students. So, try to plan ahead, splitting lessons up into smaller and shorter tasks or activities. If activities are varied, engagement is renewed throughout.

 

3.    Engage with your students’ interests

Incorporating popular interests can help to increase engagement levels. For example, during an English lesson, why not encourage students to be creative and create a piece of work surrounding their own interests, rather than a standard subject for the entire class. Or, during a maths lesson, you might analyse the popularity of video games through pie charts.

 

4.    Use group work and collaboration

Allowing students to participate in regular group work allows them to hear new opinions and learn new methods of solving tasks. It also boosts confidence levels and offers a different way of completing work set by the tutor.

 

5.    Always ask questions

Asking questions during a lesson allows us to gain a greater understanding of how best our students learn, and what stimulates them to participate and engage with the rest of the class. Asking questions relating to a topic in class ensures students feel involved in discussion and encourages their peers to also contribute.

 

6.    Introduce games and quizzes

Students learn best and are most engaged when they are having fun. Use in-class games, quizzes, or gamified learning programs to engage students with friendly competition. There are a range of tools available to tutors, like ‘Mathletics’ which allows the class to participate in a competition with another school around the globe. Often, games are best towards the end of a lesson as a reward for good work and behaviour.

 

During an IT lesson, more independent work is promoted so engagement levels are generally low. One way to boost engagement levels is through our traffic light system, used for self-evaluation, lesson feedback or as an answer for questions asked by the tutor. Teachers can request students show a green, amber or red light to answer a particular question or provide feedback.

 

If your school, college or education centre is looking to upgrade their classroom management software to enable a more streamlined approach when it comes to using IT equipment to facilitate an improved learning experience, we’d be happy to give you a free online demonstration of our software.