Student engagement in education refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion shown by students when learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they need to learn and progress in their education. When the lesson is taught to students, they learn more and retain more. Students involvement in their work tend to persist more and they find happiness in finishing their work and by talking to students, they prefer work where they can have hands-on activities and work with their peers.
They tend to be less engaged when listening to lectures from teachers or doing repetitive tasks and busy work. We have five innovative teaching strategies that involve students. Many of these strategies take students to levels of learning they never thought possible and the students actively seek knowledge.
(1) Inquiry – based learning,
It is one of the classroom’s most powerful teaching strategies because research tells us that when students build their own meaning, they learn best. Learning based on inquiry triggers curiosity among students. During the inquiry-based learning process teachers act as facilitators. Students are less likely to ask questions in traditional teaching, and the teacher is expected to listen and answer questions. Inquiry-based learning enables students to ask questions and research and convert the information into useful knowledge, thereby raising student engagement levels.
(2) QR (Quick Response) codes,
QR are easy to create and have multiple uses at all grade levels in classrooms. Only by scanning the code on the digital device of a student can QR codes lead students to information. QR codes allow students without leaving their seat to access information. Students can even generate QR codes with peers and parents to showcase their learning.
(3) Problem – based learning,
PBL is an enjoyable and effective way of learning and also develops deeper learning skills for schools, career and civic success. Learning based on projects uses real-world scenarios, challenges, and issues to engage students in critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and self-management. They present their solutions once students solve the problem or challenge. Students solving problems can be presented in their own community to community leaders to solve problems. PBL uses collaboration, digital tools and skills in problem-solving to find a solution to the presented problem.
(4) Wisely managed classroom technology,
Many schools have become one-to – one schools, i.e. each student has his or her own technology item (usually a tablet or computer) to work with each day. Students can take home the technology to complete their homework. There is a delicate balance in the classroom with the use of technology. Teachers need to use technology with a wisely managed approach and a variety of activities. Google Docs, YouTube videos are several activities that lead to student engagement. These innovative apps and websites can help teachers engage their students, remind them of upcoming assignments and homework, provide video-based visual learning, organize student learning, collaborate in groups, and provide games and online quizz checks on learning.
The jigsaw technique is a cooperative learning strategy that is “tried and true” to help students create their own learning. Students are grouped and assigned another piece of information and learn the piece of information well enough in their groups to be able to teach it to another student group. Students become learning experts when using this technique as they teach their peers. They are placed in new groups with members from each of the small groups once all groups have learned their information. Each member of the group shares their knowledge in their information group and this technique gives life lessons and challenges to students to create their own learning.
Each of the techniques employs strategies in which students question, investigate, use technology, and create meaning from the materials and research provided. These techniques also enable students to solve issues, challenge themselves, and present their findings to others. Curiosity, interest, passion, and attention build on student engagement. All of the showcased techniques incorporate several of the items needed to engage students.