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Student engagement is key! How to get higher ed students engaged

Engaged Conversation
Engaged Conversation

Student Engagement is when the student makes an investment in their learning. They are interested in the subject and they are hungry for knowledge. This is where you want all of your students to be, invested in the process. So how do you get them there? How do you flick the switch that turns the fire on?

Here are a few strategies that will help you light the fire in your students:

Using the Personal Touch - Personalizing the responses, announcements and the lessons will make the students want more. Taking the time to learn their names and their interests while using them in the lectures is golden. This will get them engaged in the lectures because you are relating it to them. Showing the students that you are invested in their education will help them be more invested in their education.

Make the Class Interactive - Students do not want to hear you talk the whole class. Make the class about the students. The first day of class find out their learning styles: Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic. This way you can design your lectures to use the correct learning style. If the class is Visual, use videos and PowerPoint. If the class is Auditory. use sounds and music. If the class is Kinesthetic, use activities like games, debates and role play.

Assign Student Chapters - Try assigning the students a chapter to discuss. This way the student has to be prepared for class and they get to share their thoughts with the class. This develops study and presentation skills as well. This can be a learning experience for the instructor as well because it shows how the students learn and what they think is important from the lesson. This will help with tailoring of classes in the future.

Assess - Always incorporate an assessment into the class. Whether it be a pop quiz or a review, this will keep the students reading and aware of the material. If they know they will be asked about anything in the chapter at anything during class then the students are more prone to be prepared for class. Make the assessment fun so the students will absorb the material and will look forward to the assessment each week.

These are just a few strategies that have proven effective. Feel free to try them or share the ones you use in your classes. Education is about sharing and improving the craft. Let's provide the personal touch, make the class interactive, have open discussion and assess the learning each class. Strive for 100% investment in learning for every student.

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