Blended learning incorporates the best aspects of online and face-to-face instruction. Determining the optimum mix of the two is key to building a successful blended learning environment. Here are four ways you can continue to engage your students in learning.
1. Set goals.
Set aside time to reflect on the material and develop individual and class goals. Try to set goals focused on understanding as well as accomplishing specific milestones. You should show students the importance of what they’re learning outside of the classroom. The more students understand the reasoning behind needing to know something, the more likely they are to become active learners.
2. Empower students.
Once students set goals they’ll have a clear idea of what their expectations are, the milestones they need to meet to achieve them, and where to focus their time and energy. Because students have already established objectives and have something to strive for, they’re now forced to take a more active role in their learning experience. Foster an environment where students have greater accountability and ownership over their work to help motivate and provide a sense of accomplishment when goals are reached.
3. Start a conversation.
Starting an in-class discussion or debate is a great way to engage students and inspire them to make connections with the content. Engaging students in dialog also encourages preparation – when students know they’re expected to participate, they’re more encouraged to come to class prepared. Increased class participation will also provide teachers with a way to gauge the extent of students’ understanding. Create dynamic discussions by developing questions that pique interest and drive deeper understanding.
4. Be hands-on.
Involving students in hands-on instruction is an effective way to keep interest and inspire learning. Teachers can use manipulatives, project learning, or labs to show students the physical relevance of the material. While hands-on learning methods are obviously in the best interest of tactile or kinesthetic learners, they’re also proven to better engage visual, auditory, and social learners. Hands-on learning in a blended classroom will not only engage students but also boost comprehension and critical-thinking skills.