5 Tips to Boost Participation in Online Learning

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(Newswire.net — February 17, 2022) — A productive discussion in a virtual classroom strengthens student engagement and learning since it allows reflecting and applying what was taught. In addition, taking notes or making a summary helps learners retain the information. Students can put the information into context during the discussion and review what they have learned. Furthermore, online education discussions mean students interact with their peers, which builds a sense of community. 

Despite the numerous benefits, student participation in virtual classes can be a challenge that frustrates most educators. However, teachers need to create numerous effective learning opportunities by ensuring learners have a high level of interest, are motivated to interact with classmates, and want to know more about the topic being taught. Here’s how to maximize participation from an online class. 

Ensure Students Are Intrinsically Motivated

Increasing intrinsic motivation requires two crucial things: purpose and mastery. Instructors that create online lessons by putting intrinsic motivation at the forefront increase engagement. For students to master a specific topic, the teacher has to set clear goals/objectives. Also, students need to analyze their work and learn from mistakes. 

The problem is that to show mastery, most teachers expect students to excel in a test or give out correct education content during a presentation or when submitting a project. Intrinsic motivation doesn’t come from grades or other external factors that encourage short-term rewards. On the contrary, intrinsic motivation gets learners excited about school lessons and boosts their eagerness to explore new topics, not because there is a form of compensation, praise, or status. 

So how can an educator instill intrinsic motivation? By first making students understand that education is a choice and that they have made the right one. Teachers should also avoid using punishment to instill fear and motivation. Having students collaborate also helps create intrinsic motivation. 

Encourage Discussions

When a teacher wants to find out what the student has to say about a specific topic, they assign assignments or homework. Students who are motivated to learn would want to understand the topic better and can even send “write my essay” requests to subject experts. In an online class, an educator can make it a habit to ask students to post the lessons learned that day and ask questions. 

The class members then get a chance to comment on their peer submissions. This strategy is beneficial because it allows students to reflect on the taught material and give thoughtful responses. It also allows instructors to provide real-time answers and feedback. When students know that their voices are heard in an online class, they are more likely to participate and be motivated to attend lessons. 

Encourage Introverts to Speak Out in Class

Introverts tend to thrive in online classes, especially when discussions are made on an online forum. However, some students prefer alone time or require more time to recharge before participating in class. 

Teachers that notice students who don’t converse much should motivate them to read the material ahead of time and share questions or post comments after the lesson is over. This helps boost confidence in sharing their ideas. The trick to a successful academic year for an introvert is to embrace their unique learning style and use it to their advantage to ensure they thrive in virtual learning. All students need to participate in a class because it results in richer discussions, leading to a better understanding of the course or subject. 

Ensure Students Know Your Expectations

Students who know they are supposed to participate in the class will be motivated. So teachers must make it clear from the first day of class. But keep reminding learners what you want them to do. Ensure the classroom activities support participation and even assign a grade or a reward to students with the most quality performance in discussions. This gives a clear understanding of the importance of involvement

Let Students Submit Questions

Questions, tests, and assignments can help assess students’ prior knowledge and identify learning gaps. For example, when students are free to post questions from a virtual lesson, they won’t feel embarrassed if they fail to understand any section. This strategy also makes it easier for an instructor to know which topics a specific student finds difficult and then offer appropriate help like repeating the lesson or providing one-on-one tutoring. 

Students might not be motivated to participate if the information presented is too much within the allotted time because they failed to understand most of it. The solution is to keep learning material easily digestible by breaking large chunks into smaller, easy-to-understand sections.