8 ways to increase student engagement

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Student engagement is essential for successful learning outcomes, and it makes the overall learning experience more enjoyable for all parties. The three main types of engagement are:

  • Behavioral: Students stay on track with their learning, turn in assignments on time and make sure they have all the course materials needed for the task at hand as well as the overall program. 
  • Cognitive: Students participate fully, asking questions and seek out additional resources for more in-depth learning. They take notes and engage in group tasks. 
  • Emotional: Students enjoy the educational experience and have a positive relationship with tutors and peers. This can be measured partly through surveys. 

It is important to encourage students to connect in as many ways as possible to maximize their interest and active participation in their education. Here are some ways in which you can foster an environment of interest and engagement for students enrolled in an online program.

Set expectations

Be clear about which platforms students will need to use for their online program. Explain the structure of the course and the format of the lessons. Keeping to a similar structure for regular lessons means that students will know what to expect and can be prepared. Provide a schedule of deadlines for assignments and other key dates, such as quizzes and final exams, where it can be referred to at any time.

Use a variety of formats 

Using multiple formats for delivering online learning is more likely to keep students engaged. Students have different learning preferences, so using a variety of formats means that everyone will find elements that work particularly well for them, and it will keep lessons interesting. Where appropriate, you can also offer a range of synchronous and asynchronous learning. 

Use visual aids

According to research published by Forbes, around 91% of people prefer visual content over textbooks and other conventional content. Whether on campus or in a virtual classroom, students learn better when graphics and visual aids are incorporated into lessons. This can be in the form of slideshows, videos, graphs and models. 

Group work

Assigning work that requires students to collaborate with one another has many benefits. Engaging with their peers will keep students more motivated, and it helps them to learn more as they share ideas and ask each other questions. This also provides an opportunity for students to get to know each other, which is particularly helpful for remote learning classes. With online breakout rooms, group discussions and other forums, it is very straightforward to facilitate group work online. 

Test students’ knowledge 

Quizzes and other tests can be prepared in a range of formats. It’s a good idea to include a short progress check feature at the end of every lesson so that both you and your students can gauge how things are going. 

Provide regular feedback

One of the best ways to keep students engaged in their studies is to provide feedback regularly. This way, both you and your students can keep track of their progress and can work through any areas that need extra attention. Students are more likely to feel motivated to put effort into the next assignment when they have received helpful feedback on their previous work and can see that they are making progress towards their learning goals. 

Create virtual communities

Providing online spaces where chats and discussions can take place promotes informal learning in groups environments. These spaces may sometimes become support groups. You can also create virtual galleries, where students can display their project work or other work online.  

Make it fun

It is widely recognized that students who are enjoying their studies are far more likely to stay motivated and see the program through to completion. Find ways to make your course appeal more to your customers and you will find the drop-out rate from the program soon decreases. 

Students looking for an online master of social work program will find the postgraduate degree offered by Spalding University to be a creative and engaging course. With flexibility for students who are continuing to work, the program is available in both full-time and part-time formats, taking 16 months and 32 months, respectively. The course is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, so you can have complete confidence in the quality of the education you will receive. 

When creating and revising content for your master’s of social care degree program, make sure you are providing what students want. Find out what sparks their interest and how you can maintain that interest for longer. Use feedback mechanisms to check that your degree program content is achieving the desired outcomes for learning and adapt as necessary for optimal student engagement. 

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