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Remember the time when learning was monotonous when all students learned the same thing in the same way?
Well, the time has changed, these days’ educational innovations are set where you must teach to each individual learning style, and create differentiated learning plans for each student. Keeping students engaged and motivated can be a challenge, even for the best teachers. It’s easy to teach the same lessons year after year simply because they have worked in the past, without giving much thought to students’ current interest level. But even the strongest curriculum still needs some variety once in a while to make learning fun.
It’s important to remember that education is a product to many students. A lot of people have to take out personal student loans in order to afford their education. So, you owe it to them to make it a worthwhile experience.
On the other hand, we have even had our moments in some lectures, seeing that flash of interest in our students’ eyes, smiling as the bell rings because the energy is so high and no one wants the period to end and for the case of online students, they leave great comments and show their appreciation and love for the teacher in the discussion board. How do we extend these moments? Can we create an environment that keeps students stimulated and craving more? Is it possible to have more fun?
One study carried out in 2009 suggested that almost 60% of those who study find at least half their lectures boring, with about 30% claiming to find most or all of their lectures boring. According to Dr. Sandi Mann, a senior lecturer in occupational psychology at the University of Central Lancashire “Although a range of factors may contribute to these findings, they do prompt the question of what it is about the learning experience that might be deemed ‘boring,’”
Mann and her colleagues found that students adopt a variety of methods to escape the boring lectures. The most popular are daydreaming (75%), doodling (66%), chatting to friends (50%), sending texts (45%), and passing notes to friends (38%). Over a quarter leave the lecture at the mid-session break. In this article, we look at the 3 most important ways to make learning fun and interesting.
Learn about Your Students Beforehand
Before you start making your online training development strategy, you’ll need to know exactly who your students are. If you teach kids online, you need to find out about their educational and professional background. You must be able to know their depth of knowledge and experience in the industry or are they totally newcomers? And you need to know what they consider to be fun. You can get the answer to this by asking them in class, or for online students, you can get the answers by surveys, interviews, or by careful observation on the job.
By getting these facts about your students, you can determine the e-learning design elements and multimedia tools that would be perfect addition to your online training development strategy. Another interesting part of getting the data of your students before developing your development strategy is that it can help you find out how much that has been covered on the subject in previous classes and modules and this can help to differentiate between the content that simply needs to be refreshed within the students’ minds and that which needs to be newly acquired and absorbed.
Set up activities that makes the learner think and apply what he or she has learnt in the course. Incorporating group projects where students have to work together to develop something related to the topic work very well for the students. By making learning interactive, it actively engages students and raises their interest in the current topic or unit.
Challenging students by providing hands-on activities that requires thinking skills such as problem-solving, riddles, or reading comprehension questions will spark the students’ interest and get them thinking. You can incorporate these activities to be done in groups, this will create more interactions between the students and enforce the power of teamwork, this can also be done online, and you can use several mediums to group the students like WhatsApp and Slack.
Use Educational Real World Scenarios in Lectures
Some instructors complain that some modules are inherently boring. The truth is that there is no module that is boring, you just need to give purpose to the task and show them the connection with the world around us. Interactive scenarios give students the opportunity to make choices that lead to rewards or consequences.
Hence, they are ideal tools for making online lectures fun, given that students will automatically develop an emotional connection with the situation or problem being discussed. This can make the online lectures exciting and challenging, which makes it more meaningful, interactive and productive for everyone involved. An interactive lesson is more likely to develop a relationship with the students.
Getting your students more involved in the lecture is likely to get them more engaged. In no time, your students are going to be eager for the next class because they can’t wait to learn something new.
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