How to Build Effective Student Engagement in a Virtual Classroom

Education Technology Insights | Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It is becoming more vital for learning providers to widen into digital education and online learning.

FREMONT, CA: The concept behind a virtual classroom is to generate an online space that serves several of the functions of a conventional classroom without needing students and teachers to be physically present in the same place. While advanced technology has assisted in making this possible, it is essential to ensure students are engaged with virtual lessons and take an active interest in their learning. Here are some principles of student engagement in virtual classrooms.

• Experiment with Learning Models

The vital part of teaching is to understand what is to be taught and how to teach it. Student engagement in a virtual classroom during teaching and learning relies heavily upon designing the learning activities themselves. The design of the activities depends on the learning spaces. The idea is that the lesson design should meet the relative constraints and opportunities given by the learning environment. Clear learning goals, smart learning models, mere assessment practices, and options for reteaching and extending learning are essentials of good teaching and learning. The same applies to a virtual classroom during remote education.

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• Motivation and Psychology

Not every student will be motivated in the classroom. Student ‘engagement’ is usually thought of in cognitive engagement, but cognitive engagement proceeds motivation. Some students will be encouraged by a parent with them at home, while others may want to please teachers, and still, others may be motivated by a grade. Even negative behaviors have motivations. Past success in physical classrooms will also play a vital role in how students view themselves as students–their mindset as a learner. Motivation is among the most significant factors of student engagement in a virtual classroom.

• Encouraging Collaboration

Humans have an innate desire and tendency to socialize. However, with remote learning, students don’t get the social stimulation. To help the students overcome any negative impacts of remote learning, such as restlessness, lack of motivation or interest, and cabin fever, encourage them to partner with each other, both during and between classes. Team-building games provide an excellent opportunity for students to collaborate and get some social interaction. At the same time, group projects offer a more intimate partnership between pairs of students outside of school hours.

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