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Engaging Learners

When students feel connected to your course content and feel a sense of belonging in your classroom community, learning isn't just fun for them, it's fun for you as an instructor, too! Below are some things to consider as you work to engage students in your course: 

  • Intentionally build community and a sense of belonging- if students are looking forward to seeing you and their peers, they will want to come prepared and ready to learn.  Here are some strategies for building a positive classroom climate. 
  • Help students actively participate - research supports the use of Active Learning strategies to increase student success. 
    • Use ELMS-Canvas ungraded surveys, or PointSolutions (Clickers) with use of laptop or smartphone
    • Make it more fun and avoid using paper - use Google docs, sheets, or forms instead
    • Use ELMS-Canvas discussion boards or physical groups to support discussions and to share small-group work with the whole class
    • Get a sense of student learning - use ELMS-Canvas assignments to collect exit tickets, muddiest point, roses and thorns, or other formative assessments.
    • See our resource page on Active Learning Strategies
  • Give your students voice and choice in how they learn! When they feel they have agency over their learning, it can improve engagement and accountability.
    • When possible, use a mixed media approach for your course materials. Provide a podcast, news article, and a short video related to the content for a specific lesson. Students can identify themes present in all of the materials.
    • Use outdoor spaces
    • Assign small groups of students to choose a space of their own to work
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and performance in your course. Ask questions like:
    • What have been some of my most challenging learning moments in this course, and why?
    • What have been some of my most positive learning moments in this course, and why?
    • What are my greatest strengths as a student?
    • What are my biggest areas for improvement and what is my plan for improving?
  • Be intentional about opportunities for student-student, student-instructor, and student-content interactions to increase engagement and motivation
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