What engages students? We’ve been tackling that question for years, sharing anecdotes based on our own perceptions and experiences. The truth is, education has changed, and it’s difficult to accurately define student engagement. So, we went to the source themselves, and here are kids’ opinions on student engagement:
1. Working with games. Games help us develop non-cognitive skills, like patience, discipline, collaboration, problem solving, and other characteristics that exemplify how we behave, explain how we learn and, ultimately, if we succeed.
“Games and activities!”
2. Working with peers. Group projects can help students develop a multitude of skills that are increasingly important in the professional world. Positive group experiences, moreover, have been shown to contribute to student learning, retention, and overall college success.
“I love going into break out rooms, and being able to talk to another student while I work.”
3. Working with technology. Technology in education is just an additional opportunity to achieve education, if you haven’t enough time or opportunities to do it another way.
“[I find that] watching a video, playing games, and the interactive lessons with games and videos are the most engaging for me!”
4. Bring in visuals. Visual aids are a great tool for seeing and understanding because they allow children the time they need to process what they are being asked to do. They do not disappear into thin air to be forgotten as spoken words or hand gestures do, and can also be sequenced to breakdown and learn a skill bit by bit.
“The option and the ease of either going to the class… or when not able, having the privilege to watch the video!!”
“I love that I can watch recordings, and make the reading room interactive.”
5. Mix it up! If you do one thing over and over again, you become a creature of habit. Sure, learning in any facet is good for you, but it’s also important to vary your learning routine. Your brain will actually reap the benefits when you try new activities, and you may find a new way of learning that you like more.
“Group activities. Videos and games on the lessons. Love the science projects. We do them all.”
The thing is, every student is engaged differently, and that’s okay. There is always a way to keep a student interested and ready to learn. You just have to ask them. STUDENTS, tell us what you find most engaging about your classes in the comments below, or tweet us @LearningLiftoff.