How Can Teachers Promote Active Learning Among Students?
The competitive world we live in today demands critical thinking skills. Such skills help students to enhance their ability to solve problems, evaluate ideas and approach them in a systematic manner. The increasing demand of the above characteristics has initiated the need of interactive learning techniques.
Interactive learning needs to be included in student’s lives to improve the quality of education. It could help them achieve better results at mastering teaching contents and futuristically prepare them for their job roles. So, in the undermentioned paragraphs we shall understand how interactive learning amongst students can be promoted by teachers, who are the prime guides in a student’s lives.
Unlike the traditional teaching approach that is highly passive in nature, interactive learning aims at engaging students and making them participate actively with the help of technological tools or group exercises.
In this method of teaching, teachers deliver knowledge and also accept the opinions of students in return, initiating a two way communication. This bilateral relationship between the teacher and students helps internalize skills that students will carry throughout their lives.
Study of Gap Analysis
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”, by Benjamin Franklin.
The conventional methods focused on the supremacy of teachers in the classrooms and memorizing whatever was taught. The students were inclined to follow the same learning patterns irrespective of their interests. So, the mugging up process wasn’t as beneficial for students as it seemed ineffective.
A gap could still be visualized between the teachers and students in the education system. A need for elaborate explanations supported with engaging examples by teachers in a dynamic learning environment arose. The education system was continuously evolving and with the passing years, methods were introduced to increase student curiosity.
These methods, moreover known as interactive learning, helped to deepen the understanding level of students and stimulate satisfaction. It flourished the vision of students who were going to be the next generation of growth, development and evolution in the walk of life.
According to a study by Queen’s University, students who learnt their curriculum through an interactive learning approach, got higher grades than students who pursued a traditional learning approach. The failure rate in traditional learning is 55% more than in the active learning approach.
Role of Teacher in Interactive learning
A teacher is the originator of interaction with students in a well arranged manner. The role is beyond vocational. A teacher should be an all rounder and must have the versatility to organize, associate, coordinate and diligently assess the manner of teaching.
A teacher can help the students to explore open ended information using their logics, decision making and flourish their mind for problem solving. Because of a teacher’s important role, students can dig into their own imagination, explore and expand their knowledge by interactive learning.
Ways to Promote Active Learning by Teachers Amongst Students
Using an interactive learning approach can hugely help teachers create a wonderful study environment in the classroom. Following practical ideas can be considered by teachers to actively engage students in the classroom:
1. Brief the students regularly about the lesson plan
When the previous behavioral patterns of students were observed during traditional teaching methods, students seemed less focused. When the new interactive teaching methods induced by teachers were applied, students seemed more focused than before. Students could visualize their goals and a growth mindset was put into them by teachers to strategize the lessons accordingly.
Therefore, in the new interactive methods of teaching, it is important for teachers to:
- Keep track of the lesson’s progress
- Control their expectations
- Monitor student’s progress
- Introduce tools for students to foster self evaluation
In this way, students can evaluate the graph of enthusiasm with which they had started a lesson, how it dropped in the middle because of a difficult-to-understand sub-section and later picked up speed, moving towards lesson completion.
2. Tools to make learning creative
There are various tools in the market that can be used for educational purposes.
Using STEM apps and other softwares to help students create work completion templates and self-monitor their progress could help them nurture themselves.
Introducing differential learning in classrooms for a wide range of student experience should be adopted. These types of mixed ability classroom techniques could help engage students in STEM activities. Using books, visuals, audios, creative plays and verbal presentations in their school routines could help them deeply connect with the subject matter.
For example, a class is studying the famous poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. For active learning, a teacher can divide the classroom into a few groups and tell each group to explain the synopsis of the poem in a different style. Where one group can adopt a play representation method, another group can take up theoretical explanation and the other can deliver a written essay on the same.
3. Let students reflect on the lesson
Have you ever heard about the flipped classroom concept? Let us briefly discuss it. Unlike traditional methods of teaching in which the teachers take charge of teaching the entire classroom at one go and assign them homework to build upon their tasks and learn the subject, the flipped classroom concept describes the other way round.
The flipped classroom concept gives students an upper hand on learning a new concept by themselves first as their homework and later in the classrooms with their teachers. In the classroom, teachers engage students in group activities, presentations and interactive ideologies for active learning. Whatever concepts the students have understood from their home about the subject matter, are analyzed by the teacher, reflected and corrected henceforth. This new method of teaching students, widening up a student’s imagination and brainstorming to decipher knowledge regarding the same, is very successful.
4. Shifting modes of education with changing scenarios
When a teacher considers one monotonous mode of providing education, students tend to indulge in getting bored during their sessions. Thus, switching modes of learning through active blending techniques help students to participate energetically in classrooms.
Blended learning is one fine educational practice of combining digital learning tools that are also available online with classroom learning. It is very different from conventional methods of teaching face to face. Integrating blending technology with teacher led classroom activities, helps teachers to be more flexible in engaging students actively. Basically, it is combining online learning with conventional methods of learning.
5. Encourage students to over-perform
Encouraging active learning in students and making them perform beyond a teacher’s expectations could work wonders in the curriculum. Classroom efficiency can be maximized when more students get involved in interactive learning methods to understand teaching materials profoundly. Combining this point with the above blended learning concept, helps achieve successful and increasing learning rates in the classroom.
Teaching in the most compelling way so as to actively engage students is the need of the hour. Planning lessons accordingly to inspire students to a level that helps them learn interpersonal skills as well from a teacher, could encourage a student’s outperformance and make them more confident personalities.
In addition to the above, it must be noted that students outperform when they learn through their experiences. This type of learning is called experiential learning. Teachers can adapt this method to induce more interactiveness. Students can experience real world situations, visit live locations and practice field exercises.. It adds to their emotional and psychological learning and helps them identify their own skills and future learnings.
To conclude, teachers play a great role in identifying the prime factors and activities that could encourage students to conceptually understand education. Keeping them focused and totally engaged towards their education can help teachers to promote learning in an efficient manner.
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