Leverage your digital tools and get your students to engage with the course material more frequently inside and outside the classroom
Students that are enthusiastic about learning tend to retain information longer, get better grades and have a more positive outlook on education. But how can teachers increase engagement in a classroom full of students who are reluctant to participate?
Add video communication tools to your teachers’ toolbox.
Having students engage with course material using technology in fresh, new ways encourages them to prioritize education is key to enhancing a student’s interest in the class. Video calling tools can encourage students to use technology for educational purposes and look to their peers when researching data.
When you create an environment that encourages students to work together using technology, you’re setting up your classroom for a future of learning.
We’ve come up with five ways that you can use video communication tools to boost student engagement.
1. Give students video-chatting partners
Throughout the semester, students often have questions about homework or course material. When you assign video-chatting partners, you give students someone they can depend on for general questions or key information they may have missed during class.
Have students spend anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes once a week on a video call where they can catch each other up on any course information. Making this an assignment after class encourages students to continue learning outside the classroom.
2. Assign group projects
Students enjoy working with peers because group projects allow students to lean on one another for support—not to mention, people are also very social creatures. During group projects, students can more readily make mistakes knowing their peers are there to cross-reference the information before finalizing the assignment.
Students are also more likely to put in more effort when performing for their peers. Accountability is a great tool to boost participation and encourage students to work together.
Get students to join a group video call instead of scheduling time to meet at a specific location. Online meetings make it easier for teams to schedule time that works for everyone.
What’s more, screen sharing tools will allow students to work on computer-based projects together seamlessly.
3. Schedule one-on-one student-teacher conferences
Talk to your students on a one-on-one basis. The frequency of these sessions can differ depending on the size of your classroom, but make sure to check up on your students on a one-on-one basis.
A one-on-one conference with students can help teachers pinpoint areas students may need help with. During these conferences, you can suggest better ways to study or offer tutoring help, as well as take note of what ideas your students may have to make your course more interesting for the students. You can also use this as an opportunity to get to know your students better and build stronger relationships. Building a foundation of trust greatly improves the way your students look at you.
Scheduling student conferences once a month, or three times a semester, should be enough to check in on your students at the beginning, in the middle, and towards the end of the semester.
4. Schedule student tutoring
Students that spend more time with their coursework tend to perform better on tests and retain information after the semester is over.
When you assign your class to tutoring sessions with other students, you increase the time that student spends with the course material, helping both the person getting tutored and the person tutoring improve their understanding of the material. What’s more, you help tutors earn real-world experience working as a mentor to others.
Tutoring is an easy way to incorporate video calling as an educational tool in your curriculum.
5. Student video response
When assigning homework, spice up the routine every now and then with a video-response assignment.
Instead of assigning a written response to a question, get your students to use the technology they have available to record a video response. This would give students that may not have strong skills in writing but excel at communications a chance to highlight their skills. What’s more, since the response can be recorded or streamed live, students can be much more comfortable completing the assignment on their terms.
Allowing students to play to their strengths when completing assignments makes it easier for them to participate in class.
6. Invite a guest speaker
Give your students a break from having a regular class and invite an expert to join the discussion.
What’s great about having a guest speaker spending the time to video chat with your class is you can invite an expert from literally anywhere in the world.
Teaching a Spanish course? Invite a Spanish-speaking native from Spain and have a short conversation of what it’s like to live in a country where English is not the primary language.
Have you reached a point in your history course you’re not as familiar with? Invite a historian to cover the holes you may have left out—teachers can use video conferencing to learn a thing or two, too.
This is just a start of the many things you can do by adding video conferencing tools to your curriculum. Add video calling to your teacher tools and modernize your classroom!