Online workshops are becoming increasingly popular because they allow students to study at any time and place. However, it is important to understand that not everyone will enjoy studying online. Students need to feel motivated to engage with the material and keep them interested. To ensure that students are engaging with the material, teachers should create fun and interactive games. Once students become engaged, they will stay engaged. Here are some ideas to try out when planning your next online workshop.
It’s often held that it is harder to maintain your students’ attention through online interactions than in the classroom. We believe that this is a fallacy. If you are willing to fully embrace this medium, you will win your learners’ hearts and minds. Indeed, if you are willing to fully engage them, you will be amazed by the flexibility it affords you.
When teaching online, we often feel we need to create something unique and fun to keep our students engaged. However, we must also consider what works best for each student individually. There are many ways to get your students excited about online education.
In an online class, timing is everything. If you’re not careful, you could end up with many students who feel bored and frustrated. To avoid this:
- Try breaking up your lessons into smaller pieces.
- Keep them short, concise, and easy to understand.
- Avoid long explanations and slides with too many words.
Microlearning is an approach to teaching that focuses on short, bite-sized chunks of information. These chunks are usually around 5–10 minutes long and are designed to be consumed quickly. Microlearning is often used in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and other forms of distance education.
Incorporate Interactive Activities
You can incorporate interactive activities into your online course. These activities help students engage and feel like they are participating in the learning experience. Interactive activities also allow you to engage with students who may not be very social. Some interactive activities include Icebreakers, Puzzles, Presentations, Pitches, Peer Reviews, Quizzes, Brainstorm Sessions, Games, Virtual Field Trips, and Whiteboarding.
There are many tools available to facilitate these interactions. Many of them are free, while others require an additional fee. Regardless of whether you choose to use a paid tool or not, you should always keep in mind that the goal of any interaction is to create an engaging environment for your students.
Break Out Into Smaller Groups
As an online teacher, there’s no reason not to continue using this method of working together. If you’re looking at larger class sizes, then break out into smaller groups. You can still keep track of each student and encourage them to mentor others. Then, when you need to step back and check on what everyone else is doing, simply turn to the breakout rooms. These allow you to see exactly what each group is discussing, and you can quickly jump in if necessary.
Use Engaging Online Tools for your Online Workshops
While video conferencing tools will help facilitate your online class sessions, supercharging engagement levels and making your online classes enjoyable may require additional support. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools out there that can assist you in your quest for perfect online learning.
For example, Animoto allows your students to create 30-second videos of what they’ve learned. Alternatively, you might consider using a word cloud tool, an online quiz solution, or even learning games.
Include Game Mechanics in Online Workshops
We particularly recommend implementing game mechanics within your online course. A wealth of research suggests gamification as a useful tool for engaging learners. This is particularly true when you’ve crafted your gamification strategy based on what you know about your learners.
For instance, you might use a free online badge maker to give virtual badges to students who pose good questions. You could also maintain a virtual leaderboard based on quiz results. Make certain this is regularly updated to avoid disengagement or to demotivate your learners.
Lesson Outline & Rewarding
You should always start lessons with an outline. Students need to know what they will be doing before they get started. If you use a flipped-classroom approach, you may want to give students a few minutes to read through the outline before starting class. Once you have an outline, consider rewarding students for completing tasks.
For example, you could award points for completing assignments, playing games, or providing a small prize. You can also encourage students to complete tasks early if they are struggling.
For short-term progress checks, ensure continuity between lessons by creating quick revisions or quizzes for previous topics. Creating an achievement page is a great tool for reminding students of their long-range goals. You could also ask them to draw something to represent what they’ve learned. For younger students, you might like to ask them to write about what they’ve learned. As the course progresses, you’ll want to collect all of their achievements and put them together so that they can look back at them.
Provide Students A Sense Of Value
The truth behind the isolation felt by students studying in online classes is that they often feel like nobody cares. They may think that no one will even notice if they miss a class or find it all too enticing to just stay offline if they’re getting tired. The best way to help remedy this is by giving your students a sense of value in the classroom.
First, make sure they know that you’ve got their back and that you’re always there to answer any questions they might have. Keep track of what you’ve done in previous lessons so your student knows you’re watching what they’re doing. And lastly, try to be a positive, supportive and present teacher.
It’s important to keep your students engaged and focused during class time. Unfortunately, young children often struggle to stay focused and attentive. If you notice that your students are getting distracted or bored, try giving them a short break every time. You can also ask them questions about what they’ve learned or ask them to share an interesting fact they found online. These small breaks will help your students feel less stressed and more comfortable in your classroom.
Online workshops require creativity. Teachers need to think about what they want their students to get out of the class and design an environment that helps them achieve those goals. Your course should be engaging and fun, providing enough structure to help your students succeed.
It’s not always easy to move classes online, but there are ways to make them engaging and effective. Classplus helps teachers create engaging online courses. We provide all the tools you need to plan your course, manage your students, and deliver high-quality lessons. Our team will guide you through every step of the process. If you ever get stuck, we’re here to help!