Four Ways to Help Students Engage In Online Classrooms

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Different from going to school and studying in classroom, students participating in online teaching usually face a lot of temptations at home (or other places) so it is difficult to keep their attention to the online class, such as the TV in the living room and the game console in the bedroom. How to make the classroom interesting and integrate students into learning is a difficult problem faced by many online teaching teachers.


If you happen to be in the same situation, please read on and we will provide you with some useful solutions.


1. Break down the lesson

Before officially starting the class, the teacher should arrange the time in advance and break down the online courses in different ways. Specifically break down the information into small and digestible blocks instead of giving students a bunch of lengthy explanations, such as putting lots of text on a slide. In addition, some activities should be appropriately added in the middle of the course to keep students alive.


2. Adapt in-class activities to the virtual classroom

Some teaching activities in offline classrooms are not suitable for an online one, such as giving students time to reflect or silently reading texts. Silence will only allow students to find excuses to do other things since teachers can’t just use webcams to ensure that students really do what they asked for.

Therefore, teachers should adjust some activities to adapt to virtual classrooms, so that students are really doing something for their learning, such as letting them use drawing tools to draw mind maps or type in dialog boxes to express their opinions.


[Recommended Reading: 7 Tips on How to Get Students Fully Concentrated


3. Make your students feel valued

Online classes may make students feel that they are not being noticed or cared about. After all, teachers can only give them class them through the Internet, which also makes it impossible to conduct many face-to-face communications in the true sense. There are two common behaviors may happen in students. One is that students may think that although they miss certain "classes", the teacher will not find it, or they can just find good excuses, such as computer network failures that make it impossible to log in to the classroom normally. The other is that students easily lose their motivation and goals for learning for teachers cannot monitor their learning by their side.

Therefore, online teachers should make students feel valued. There are several methods:

a Learn the student’s name and mention them in class

b Talk to students to understand their hobbies

c Give students specific feedback

d Give students encouragement and praise more often


4. Help students set goals and keep reminding them of their progress

Short-term goals: mainly based on the syllabus and learning content to help students set goals related to their present learning, such as mastering the general present tense usage within a week, or memorizing the words about transportation in the textbook within three days.

Long-term goals: Setting long-term goals may not be as effective as short-term goals, but teachers can try to check with students, such as getting into a first-class university.


Of course, in order to keep students motivated to learn and achieve their goals, teachers had better reward students when they make progress, such as giving them class points, badges or small gifts (if possible, express the gifts to students which will be a big surprise.)

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