To engage learners in a classroom environment can be challenging sometimes for the teachers and mentors. It is necessary to make your classroom environment interactive to promote learning with fun for the students. The traditional teaching methods have somehow failed in this technological era of learning. The students, as well as the teachers, need to learn some interesting ways to make learning fun.
There are a lot of research studies going on all around the world to study the impact of different techniques on student learning. Research shows multiple ways to enhance student learning. For example, at a mental level, you can focus on emotional engagement and cognitive engagement of the students. At a physical level, you can work on the behavioral aspect of the students i.e. positive and negative reinforcement.
Following are some of the learning techniques which can be applied to a classroom environment to promote learning and make students enable to see it as an interactive and fun activity.
Meaningful class activities
“According to a 2004 research by Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, if the activity is not personally meaningful for the students, they might not take active participation in it.”
Students interact more when they relate to the activity at a personal, emotional or cognitive level. Otherwise, they become passive learners. To ensure maximum interaction of students in the learning process, the teachers should plan the activities according to the previous academic background and experiences of the learners. Teachers should also brief the students about the activity and its importance. So, the students might know what is going to happen and what can be the possible outcomes of this activity.
Make the activities a little challenging
If the activities are simple and have no level of curiosity in them, the students will feel bored. The activities should be a little challenging for the students so they can question their capabilities. Students will try to explore and experiment during such activities. It will promote a sense of competence and make the classroom interactive.
- The activities can be a little harder than students’ current level of knowledge
- Plan demonstration sessions
- Include a critical analysis of subject matter
- Take feedback from the students to check their level of understanding after the activity
The idea of performing efficiently and effectively inactivity shows a great impact on the learning abilities of the student. This idea is also supported by research done by Schunk & Mullen in 2012.
Sense of autonomy
“Recent research of Western Australia showed that 40% of their students show different behaviors of unproductivity in a year.”
Similar research of South Australia showed similar results and highlighted some of the main reasons which lead to unproductivity.
- Late for class
- Moving around
- Abusing teacher
- Physically aggressive
- Abusing students
- Using mobile phones
- Being rowdy
- Avoiding work etc.
It is very important for the teachers to provide a sense of autonomy to the students. If the teacher is the only one making every decision in the class, this will make the students passive. There should be a cooperative learning environment between the students and the teacher.
“Reeve, Jang, Carrell, Jeon, & Barch showed in a 2004 research that when a teacher waives his/her control over the classroom and welcomes students’ ideas and point of views, student participation increases.”
A sense of autonomy among the students can be brought by following some ways:
- Welcoming and respecting every student’s opinion and ideas
- Minimum exertion of power and control over the students
- Having two-way conversations
- Providing enough time and space to the students for observation and understanding
- Make them choose their own projects topics
Maintain a student-teacher relationship
Having a positive student-teacher relationship will surely increase student participation and creates a healthy learning environment. In case of difficult students, this technique can help them raise their confidence. A sense of connection with your mentor can bring developmental improvement and confidence to cooperate socially (Scales, 1991). Following ways can make you maintain a healthy and positive relationship with your students:
- Considering the social and emotional needs of your students
- Promote cooperation in the class
- Be fair with your students in all class matters
- Have a positive attitude towards the student’s problems
- Better time management
Promote collaborative learning
Collaborative learning can be a powerful factor for engaging learners in a class environment. This will make students learn the importance of team-work. They interact with other learners as well. This will allow the exchange of ideas and opinions among the students. Interacting and working with other students can increase the level of student engagement in the learning process (Wentzel, 2009).
“Engaging learners can be sometimes challenging but applying the correct methods in the classroom can change the whole environment.”