The days are far behind when learning was limited to textbooks & reference materials. The new generation needs to think out of the box. Even an elementary school kid is expected to think out of the box & innovate in his capacity. Well, it is a sure concern for us that how is such thing possible if we keep following the same path as the previous generations? The answer lies in the methods of teaching. The most important thing is to create excitement & curiosity in students. Yes, you are right. It is called engagement.
What is active learning?
The simplest way to understand categories of students is by dividing them into two basic groups. The first group, passive group is just absorbing all the information given to them without much pondering. On the other hand, the active student group will apply above-average efforts to grasp, understand & implement the information given & convert it in form of knowledge. Hence, an active student engagement would make only information available & help them to harness their skill to implement & innovate using the same.
Educator plays a big role in converting every student into an active one rather than a passive one. Hence, a good educator will use all the methods on hand to enhance student engagement in online learning which motivates them to participate in the active learning process.
There are some advanced digital tools also available that help educators implement active learning techniques in an online environment. Such as the Proctortrack solution which is an amazing tool to ensure transparency, content delivery & fairness in the learning & evaluation process.
Methods to Encourage Active Learning:
As suggested by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS- USA ) student engagement can be categorised into three fundamental dimensions.
- Behavioral Engagement: Social, academic & co-curricular activity participation during learning
- Cognitive Engagement: Level of student participation in active learning
- Emotional Engagement: Student’s reactive behaviour towards educators, peers, curriculum and school
Let us see some effective & proven active learning techniques to Enhance Student Engagement in students:
- Elementary Techniques: Students are given limited time (1 Minute) to complete a question or task, students are encouraged to execute demonstrative activities to explain the most complex part of a particular session, and students are assigned to share their views and findings over a topic in pair.
- Advanced Techniques: Students are guided to demonstrate a topic using real-life events or information, and role-plays are conducted to teach a topic using real-life action.
- Highly-Advanced Techniques: Real-life inspired problems are given to students for solving independently, and teams are formed to demonstrate/ solve a problem or for a project.
How Does Student Engagement Help in Active Learning?
• Fostering Interpersonal Skills:
A very critical aspect of active learning is to learn to operate in a group amicably. Students are motivated to work in groups & learn the critical aspects like taking into account other’s opinions & learn from their peers. Such student engagement in higher education also helps them to develop leadership & team-player traits. This is a very critical benefit as it teaches the students to have a balanced social interaction in real-life.
• Develops Critical Thinking:
One of the very critical aspects of active learning is the development of critical thinking. This trait helps a student to excel in their professional life. A student who can analyse, evaluate & implement various aspects related to academic active learning can cope with the future complexities in a much-balanced way. Hence, chances are high that an engaged student will have an enhanced capability to execute critical thinking in academic & practical life.
• Teaches to Work in Collaboration:
Undeniably humans work better in their active social environment. Owing to our superior social skills we have proven to be the better species on the earth. This fact is very much essential to understand that a person should have a mindset & flexibility to operate in a group. Such behavioural pattern helps to sustain the forthcoming challenging life events. As an active learning strategies give students have ample opportunities to work & deliver in groups, owing to such experiences he/she has an upper hand when they are required to work towards a project or task in a group.
• Faster Learning to Work with Autonomy:
The benefits of Active learning methods is also that they develop autonomy in students. These methods offer situations to students when they are required to think & operate independently. Like for a case study or an assignment, a student is given minimum or no guidance & he is expected to use his rationale to conclude the outcome. This engages the student in a better manner & also prepares them to work in an autonomous way when not much hand-holding is provided.
• Enhances Competency:
The methods being used to engage students in the active learning process ultimately enhance the students competency in them. These methods help them to work in isolation as well as in groups. It allows them to use their independent mind when negligible information is available.
• Increases Risk Taking Appetite:
A very important aspect of student life is to learn when they can take a risk. By working in different environments & patterns, they develop a superior sense of judging any situation. They learn when they can dodge the textbook learnings & derive something new on their own. This personality aspect is very much essential when a student opt to work in the field of creativity, research or innovation.
Summing Up: Engaged Student is Active Student
Education is an essential part of one’s life. Student engagement ensures that active learning in the classroom doesn’t become a burden but happens naturally & effectively. Thankfully numerous methods have been invented to make learning more efficient & joyful. Educators need to fulfil their duty of actively engaging students using such methods to create an aware, well-educated & innovative generation. Educators can also make good use of digital proctoring solutions like Proctortrack to create a positive & fair learning & assessment environment. As soon as learning will amalgamate with motivating curiosity, education will become a delightful & unforgettable journey for every student.