10 Ways to Engage Students
Emphasize the most critical concepts continuously
Repeat these concepts in lectures and assignments; include questions relating to these concepts on every exam
Repeat the concepts in lectures and assignments;
include questions relating to these concepts on every exam.
Provide a visual aid when possible to explain abstract concepts
A diagram, a flowchart or a mental image can help student retention of abstract concepts
Show students how to use logical thinking to learn and retain new information
Rely on logic when applicable
Use inclass activities to reinforce newly presented material
After a new idea have been presented through lecture, reading or discussion, allow students to put the concept into use. This is the acid test for whether they have really understood. Students manage well in small groups, carefully selected to include a strong student, a weak student and an average student.
What you will learn
10simple rules for motivating students from the August/September 2004 issue of The Teaching Professor.
These are great reminders of things to do in order to engage students.
Help students create a "link" between new material and something already learned
Help students master the vocabulary
Hold students to a high standard
But always make sure you help them to meet those standards. This may mean trying to figure out what stands between your mediocre students and success.
Treat students with respect
Students treated with dignity will give you their best efforts
If they aren't studying, don't assume they are lazy. They may not know how to study your material. They may no longer believe that studying will help because they have never really known how to study effectively. They may think they are beyond hope. Criticize them and you are only increasing their hopelessness and thus their passivity. Be relentlessly hopeful and encouraging. If they aren't doing work, don't assume they don't care or that they are disrespecting you. They may not know how to budget their time; they may actually have no time. So help them learn how to think more realistically. Be sympathetic and hold your ground.
Don't assume the worst about your students
And of course, above all, let your passion for your subject and for students be visible to all! Remember, you got into this field because you love it. So why not let the students see how much fun you are having.
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