If you find it challenging to increase student engagement during online learning, you're not alone.
When conducting online classes, teachers are unable to monitor all students at once or communicate with them as easily as in in-person classes.
Students are more prone to lose focus and have lower engagement during online classes because there is often little to keep them accountable or interact with them.
So, is there a way to make online learning more engaging?
That’s where blended learning design comes in.
Blended learning is, you guessed it, a blend of classroom learning and online learning.
Blended learning design focuses on bringing face-to-face experiences to online learning. When done right, the online and offline classes will complement one another to optimise the learning experience.
It presents a way to increase student engagement by focusing on three of their innate needs. And once these needs are satisfied, student motivation and engagement will soar.
The human need for autonomy is real, especially when it comes to learning, and this can be achieved through giving students control of their behaviours and goals.
Not only does this make them feel empowered, but it also makes them more responsible and self-motivated.
By giving them the freedom of choice to pick which topic or lesson to learn and at what time, students usually end up being more productive.
You can promote autonomy by encouraging students to self-study, providing extra material for e-learning, and using digital tools that allow students to study what they want when they want.
People crave connection. There is a need for relatedness in online learning as interacting and caring for other students give students a stronger sense of community and commitment.
Interacting with students through things like announcements, open hours, and collaboration will keep them in the present.
Using digital tools in your online learning system can help you to host more group projects and discussions.
The digital tools used in the online learning platform should allow students to collaborate anytime and anywhere.
If you feel incapable of completing a task, chances are, you're not going to even attempt to do it properly.
Why would you? It just feels like you're setting yourself up for failure and you're bound to be disappointed. As bleak as it may sound, students can feel this way when classes are too difficult, complicated, or overwhelming.
You can make your students feel capable by effectively challenging them with tasks that have clear deliverables.
Providing actionable and measurable goals will make students proud and motivated every step of the way.
Teachers can also provide more project-based learning with digital tools such as pop-quizzes and mock assessments.
If students can see their mistakes, learn from them, and test their knowledge whenever they want, both their knowledge and confidence will increase significantly.
Meet Carissa. She regularly writes for Noodle Factory, covering a breadth of EdTech, AI and technology topics. You'll often find her underwater, on a yoga mat, or in a new restaurant. Contact her at email@example.com.