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POPin Blog

Five Ways to Engage Students to Empower Education

The level of engagement university students experience in the classroom when it comes to the learning process is critical for how well they’ll perform academically. However according to Gallup, only one out of every four University students are considered “engaged”. Because the level of enthusiasm a student has strongly impacts overall performance, this is not an issue to ignore. Discover five essential ways to engage students to empower education. Use technology For many people, technology is so integrated into daily life we’ve come up with every conceivable way to make information accessible at any time, in any place. Instead of banning technology usage in the classroom, leverage tools accessible via smartphone or laptop to encourage your students to participate in ways they find exciting. Search for tools that can enhance discussions, gamify learning, or make it easier to understand a complex subject. It is possible to make technology in the classroom work for you, not against you! Make it relevant With more and more college-educated professionals flooding the market, the value of a Bachelor’s degree is on a steady decline. And given the even more aggressive incline of university tuition, students today want to know the time and effort they invest in the classroom matters. Every academic topic can in some way relate to real-world problems, or teach a lesson useful to addressing external issues. Make it your mission to seek and express how your German Film, Mass Communication, or Ancient Roman Politics course can help your students post-graduation. Create a safe space for open conversation Have you ever finished a lecture and asked your students, “Any questions?” to the tune of crickets? Oftentimes shy students hesitate to speak up while on the other hand a single student becomes the squeaky wheel and monopolizes the class. In the beginning of the semester, set expectations to create an open environment in which students feel safe to be honest. Pro tip: keep it casual! Have your students sit in a circle, do group work when possible, bring snacks, etc. A non-formal atmosphere encourages freedom and inspires conversation. Collect course feedback continually Most universities request of end-of-semester course evaluations from students. Though undoubtedly helpful, end-of-semester evaluations fail to promote positive changes in real-time. Everyone wants to feel heard and understood; that their voice matters. Show your students you care by creating a regular cadence of requesting feedback and taking action on their requests. Whether this be once at the mid-point in the semester or at the top of every month, listening to the student voice will go a long way in getting their attention. Make sure they get it Every student learns differently, which is why you as a teacher have probably become accustomed to reiterating concepts many times in many ways. Even with this repetition, how can you be sure your students truly understood the lesson? Waiting until the test comes is one way, but great teachers want their students to make good grades rendering this tactic counterproductive. Establish regular checkpoints with your students using POPin. Each week pose the question, “How effective were our courses this week in helping you understand the topic, and what questions remain?” POPin can help uncover a world of insights in your classroom, and motivate your students to care. Learn more at popinnow.com.