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How to Engage Students in Remote Learning

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You might be wondering how remote learning has affected students. One thing is for sure, whether physically or emotionally, everyone in the education field has been affected by online learning. Students had difficulties adjusting to the new changes, while the professors struggled to keep students engaged. 

If you find yourself in any of these situations, continue reading to discover more about the benefits of remote learning for students as well as some advice on how to engage students in remote learning. 

What Are the Pros of Remote Learning?

Numerous benefits come with distance learning. Some of the pros of remote learning include: 

  • Accessibility: Remote learning enables students to attend classes from the comfort of their homes without having to commute and stay on top of their assignments, including those with other obligations. 
  • Reduced social anxiety: By avoiding in-person classes, students with social anxiety can feel at ease and participate more actively in lectures.
  • Flexible schedules: Remote learning offers synchronous and asynchronous classes and assignments, allowing students to complete their work ahead of schedule.
  • Developing skills for a lifetime: Remote learning relies on technology and communication skills, which help students prepare for the labor market. 

To benefit from these pros, we have prepared a few tips to help you engage students in remote learning. 

Tips on How to Engage Students in Remote Learning

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Remote learning has already had a significant impact on the education system. It provides students greater control to ensure they get the most out of their educational path, tailored to their unique needs.  The following tips will help with their engagement in these new learning experiences. 

Prepare your class in advance

It’s crucial to plan your courses in advance, much more so than when learning in person. Your surroundings are a crucial component of online teaching. Choose a place with little noise and distractions. Since students will concentrate on your conduct, try to look at the screen as much as possible, and avoid multitasking during the lesson. 

Although you will need to make a few adjustments for the digital age, you already have most of the required content. You could discover that creating your lessons consistently makes everything run more smoothly and establishes a rhythm for your students.

Test the equipment beforehand

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As a teacher, you should set up and test everything beforehand to ensure there won’t be any technical issues during class because remote learning depends on internet connections and the devices you and your students use. 

Since many factors are beyond our control, it is crucial to have a shared understanding that, despite careful planning, problems can sometimes arise. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan. 

Become very familiar with the features of the platform

Several educational platforms and tools available today make it easier for professors and students to communicate. For many teachers, it’s essential to pick a platform they and their students are comfortable using. 

A seamless interchange of information and efficient use of time is made possible by understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technologies being used. Hence, the teacher should be very familiar with the features and functions of that platform inside and out.  

Set expectations from the start

When starting the journey of online teaching, ask your students to collaborate with you to create protocols, shared norms, or behavior expectations in the online learning environment. Being open with your students and communicating those expectations allows you to build connections and work together towards a common goal. 

You should set clear expectations about:

  • What should your students know by the end of the semester?
  • What percentage of engagement can students accomplish?
  • How can they apply the new information in their field of study?

Accommodate individual needs

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By engaging with students who care about the content intended to improve their lives, they can see that you do not just satisfy their academic obligations but also care about them as people.

Create as many chances as possible to be more than just the person who assigns homework and grades. Do not jump into the rat race to finish your curriculum. Give each person a lot of feedback, ask numerous specific questions, and send multiple personalized emails.

Have shorter sessions

Although it is more difficult to put this advice into practice, you can try breaking the hour-long lesson into two 30-minute segments or three 20-minute segments during the week. This advice works well for more challenging courses since it improves memory and gives students a chance to consider the issue at hand. But it also depends on how old and available your students are.

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Use games, music, audio-visual resources, etc.

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Use the technology resources at your disposal to get and maintain their attention through good audio, powerful lighting, Zoom backdrops, or engaging music for activity transitions. Maintaining momentum and student involvement requires smooth transitions from one activity to the next. They are also vital to cut down on wasted time.

You can find a ton of games and music online. Utilize them on purpose. When a lecture or activity is waning, resources like Kahoot, coolmath.com, or even videos of other people playing games might help keep students interested. 

Introduce hot topics for discussion

Discussions on current events are a surefire way to keep students interested in the material and help them remember it better. You should think about allocating a segment of the class (10–15 minutes) to debating topical subjects, posing queries, expressing opinions, and taking a fresh look at things. You can start conversations by posing questions or publishing polls.

When picking these topics, you should be careful to choose something the students like and are interested in; otherwise, the whole segment will likely fail. 

Limit lecturing

Simplify what you teach, how you teach it, and how students will demonstrate their understanding of the material. Setting priorities for developing skills and understanding concepts is more important than ever. The time students had to sit through a lecture without any breaks or interactive segments is over. Today, it’s advised that teachers adopt the role of “lead learners,” encouraging their students to be more inquisitive and engaged in the learning process.

Another excellent strategy is to create a lesson plan that supports active learning:

  • 15 minutes to introduce the subject
  • 10 minutes to read the content
  • 20 minutes for small-group discussions
  • 15 minutes for whole class discussion on the subject

Be flexible

Creating a welcoming environment for your students, where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and participating with the subject material, is a crucial strategy for increasing student engagement. This can be achieved if professors allow asynchronous activities and student participation, push back due dates for assignments and tests, and take a flexible approach to student participation. 

Continue to be flexible, sympathetic, and understanding. Students’ home dynamics can differ from day to day. Give your students designated time on the calendar solely for raising issues, interacting, and checking in.

Wrapping Up

Online learning has changed the way students learn and, consequently, how teachers teach. With the aforementioned tips, you, as a teacher, will be able to keep your students engaged and create a better learning environment for them. 

 

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