8 sure-fire strategies to increase student engagement

8 sure-fire strategies to increase student engagement

Do your students need a little boost to keep them engaged and eager to participate in your learning activities? Below are 8 strategies that aim to encourage better classroom engagement.

I know the temptation of dumping those large chunks of critical Curriculum. After all, you know your stuff backwards, and you want our future Captains of industry to benefit from said knowledge.

1. Keep information “bite-sized.”

Unfortunately, studies have shown that the average attention span has plummeted over the years. Therefore, if you have a lot of information to convey, perhaps re-arrange your lesson plan so you never lecture for more than 10 to 15 minutes.

A good strategy is to break up large concepts into smaller sections – give a brief lecture, then do an activity or interactive questions to help it sink in. You’ll increase participation and improve focus too.

2. Peer-to-Peer Learning

Look for ways to encourage group activities. Because, as the students interact with each other, they learn the essential life skill of teamwork. Thus encouraging the vital ingredients of engagement: connection and collaboration.

Find the commonality between students' experiences in an effort to help them not only relate to one another, but also bond. Students may be surprised to learn their peer struggled with a similar issue. A peer is much more likely to drive a desire to learn how problems have been overcome.

Importantly, everyone should feel that they have a forum in which to speak up freely and share their experiences. Perhaps help each peer group set up a code of conduct. Then monitor and review their progress.

3. Anonymous Questions

Some students may not feel comfortable exposing their misunderstandings of a topic in front of their peers.

Therefore, encouraging anonymous questions being asked is a great strategy to help ease anxiety, especially if you are presenting particularly difficult content.

Anonymous questions gives them the option to clarify a topic, without anyone knowing who is asking. This removes peer pressure, thereby encouraging more interaction and greater participation.

I used a wooden box entitled “The Box of Puzzling Knowledge”.

Each student was given a uniformed looking card, and they were instructed to write either a question or comment related to the topic at hand.

Sure, there were a few unsavoury suggestions scrawled from the predictable cohort, but it did give me an insight into areas of the lesson that needed further instruction. As a bonus, I got a free character analysis from budding psychiatrists and fashion designers!

4. Real Life Application and a Hands-On Approach

Educators across the globe are tailoring lessons and curriculum structure to support a more ‘hands-on’ approach, a concept proven to increase student engagement significantly.

A key aspect of improving student engagement is relevancy. Students today respond to learning that is directly applicable to real-life scenarios, as opposed to the tedium of text-books.

Working to address real-world problems and social issues motivates students and instils a sense of purpose in the classroom environment.

Studies show us that lessons based around problem-solving significantly improve classroom engagement.

This is a perfect opportunity to introduce or enhance future tech in learning. I would argue that Laser systems are ideal machines to utilize.

The almost limitless capabilities of a Laser System allows students to recognize and address real-life problems, by being able to design and create projects to commercial standards without the restrictions of traditional tools.

Thus closing the gap between the classroom and the outside world, motivating students to adhere to a higher standard of work ethic and results.

5. Make it FUN

Laser Systems empower the ‘exploratory’ aspect of improved student engagement.

A student’s desire to learn, is directly related to their ability to explore and find their own answers and conclusions. On the whole, they want to be challenged, and need to be given the scope to discover their own solutions.

‘Fun’ can be the greatest weapon in your teaching arsenal. The element of ‘fun’ is something a Laser System definitely brings to the classroom environment. The intricacy and impressive abilities of these machines add a ‘wow’ factor that simply cannot be denied.

With the vast variety of materials able to be used and the even wider scope of designs able to be cut/engraved, the possibilities are just about endless.

If the students can think it, more than likely the laser machine can do it!

6. Speed and Efficiency

Once a student has an idea, and this has been designed and translated to a drawing, the speed of the Laser System allows them to create and bring their project to life very quickly.

The immediacy students get creates a better response and engagement in the classroom. This helps students maintain their enthusiasm.

Laser systems allow students opportunities to tweak and improve their creations, while driving them to strive for better results. This also allows students to learn without the intimidating pressure of not making mistakes. This will encourage learners, and keep them inspired.

7. Utilising quality equipment

Students feel empowered when using quality tools. If your school chooses industry-standard machinery, then when your students hit the workforce they have been given a taste of industry standards, and a boost on the career ladder.

Compare this to having lower value technology in the classroom, which disengages student participation, as they feel they have underperformed with their finished result.

8. Start small

If you think that a laser system is the way to go and you are passionate about increasing student participation, but have not got the funds to match the high-end laser like the company down the road, then start small.

Start with the technology that still gives you quality and professional results, but does not blow three years budget in one spend.

For example, recently a teacher in a high school in Victoria was seeking to improve her student engagement levels but could not afford a GCC X380 laser, so she researched and found a more affordable laser made by the same renowned company. She found the price of the GCC E-200 desktop laser was way more cost-effective and required very little training or installation. She was up and running moments after receiving the laser and she had her students 100% engaged.

The dramatic increase in popularity of Laser Systems in schools is proof of this. Laser Systems have become a crucial tool in supporting this modern way of learning for various reasons.

The end result is more engaged students and better learning outcomes, all with a simple boost from technology.

Improved student engagement is a significant benefit of a Laser System. Contact the team at Uscribe and let us find the best Laser solution for your school!

Buy the GCC E200 from Tools for Schools here.

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