How to Keep Online and Hybrid Students Engaged and Performing

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As distance learning suddenly became the new norm in 2020, important motivating factors like social interactions with peers and in-person guidance from teachers, coaches, and counselors were suddenly removed from the daily lives of students of all ages. Many students were lost in an online learning scenario, especially when schools didn’t use an adequate LMS (learning management system) or a high-quality learning engagement platform.

We’re Turning, and we’re up to the challenge. We have designed the best learning engagement platform, Dojo360, on the market today. It can integrate with whatever LMS your school is using. Designed based on our e³ philosophy, it is built to promote equity, evidence, and engagement. Equity ensures that all students have an equal learning experience whether they are attending in person or online. Evidence of each student’s performance allows instructors to keep track of the performance of each student by question, session, and more. And engagement is what this article is all about—how to keep students engaged in online learning.

How Do You Keep Online Students Engaged?

There are three learning mindsets: sense of belonging, purpose and relevance, and growth mindset. Intrinsic motivation, which is necessary for online students, begins with these mindsets. Continue reading to learn more about each mindset.

  1. Creating a Sense of Belonging
  2. It’s important to make students feel heard by including activities, topics, and examples they identify with. Each child should feel respected, seen, and listened to. Instructors can use Dojo360’s online chat feature to give each child a chance to speak and hear their name spoken by someone else at the beginning of class. Instructors can also make sure students know when they can contact them outside of class time. They can be creative and proactive in identifying solutions to both academic and emotional challenges. Students can get important social interaction in Dojo360’s breakout rooms and through real-time message boards.

  3. Connecting Work to Purpose and Relevance
  4. Students are motivated by having purpose and relevance in their assignments. Instructors can use Dojo360’s whiteboarding feature to deliberately and regularly point out the purpose of activities and assignments. Instructors can also use online surveys to learn about and leverage students’ interests. Not every activity or assignment has to be focused on academic subjects—distance learning requires time forging deep connections between the instructor and student and between the students themselves. Another way to boost motivation is by offering students choices when appropriate. They may be given an opportunity to choose from a variety of output mediums on a project or they may be allowed to choose from a handful of essay prompts.

  5. Hard Work, Failure, and Growth Mindset
  6. Instructors should explain to students that learning can be hard, but that it gets easier by using effective study strategies. Then give them plenty of effective study strategies so they can use the ones that work best for them personally. Give students the tools they need to get past obstacles. This will help them become problem solvers rather than allow them wallow in despair. Use Dojo360 to integrate low-stakes quizzes into assignments so instructors can assist those who need help before high-stakes tests are administered. Quizzes should be challenging so students work harder and learn more deeply. It’s especially important for instructors to adapt their teaching methods by reading the room—noticing when their traditional teaching methods are not effective for online learning and finding new styles that work well online. Finally, create activities that will show students how they are advancing so they can link their growing competence to hard work and using the right strategies rather than innate ability or inability.

Dojo360 in the Online Classroom

Dojo360 is an excellent tool for schools that are interested in how to keep students engaged. It provides built-in white boarding, assessment tools, breakout rooms, and chat functionality that create a level of equitable engagement that’s as good as a traditional classroom. Accessibility for all students is ensured because Dojo360 meets or exceeds WCAG 2.0 standards. You can make presentations exceptional using seamless polling, quizzing, and assessment integration that keeps your students’ attention as high as your expectations. Learn more about Dojo360 and what it can do for your online classrooms.

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