Sunday, November 9, 2014

4 Steps to Increasing Student Engagement

I recently participated in an educational chat on Twitter where the topic for the hour was student engagement.  It was a good time to reflect on some of the things I see each day in classrooms regarding engagement.  How engagement is defined depends on who you are talking to.  Some common things I see teachers do for student engagement are:

1. Create Student Voice and Choice
  • Try to personalize learning for students.  Allow students to have a say in your classes when it comes to classroom rules and procedures, the way instruction is delivered, and how they are assessed.  Let students know they have a voice and a choice, they will take more ownership of the class they are in.
2. Collaboration
  • Students learn from each other and want to hear what other students think.  Allow students to work together; research states that peer-to-peer instruction is one of the most effective ways for students to learn and comprehend content.
3. Utilize Tools
  • Some believe in order to engage students you need technology.  While it may help at times and in certain classes, it is not completely necessary to engage students.  Utilize resources (whatever they are) to engage students in your classes.  Whether it is with iPads or with chalk, find a way to use tools/resources to engage students.  The learning dictates the tool/resource to use.
4. Focus on Facilitating
  • Teaching isn't what it used to be.  The days of the 45 minute lecture for 4 days a week with an assessment on Friday are behind us.  Create lessons and content that is student-centered.  Allow students the opportunity to lead their own learning.  Don't feel the need to dictate and control the class.  Create student-led learners and student ownership will create the engagement you are looking for.
Always remember that the foundation to engagement is building relationships with students.  When students are comfortable in their learning environment, they are more likely to succeed.  Maintain relationships that grow students and develop a consistency of utilizing the areas mentioned above to maintain engagement in your classes and schools.


  1. These are great tips, Bobby. I think these are ones that will always stand the test of time, and I would also add variety. When the routine is the same every day, students get bored (probably teachers, too!) A routine that is similar leads to a feeling a security, but there must be enough variety to lead to increased interest. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Booby, great tips to support all learners. I always like to see students taking ownership for their learning and your tips supports that. Thanks for sharing!