It is difficult to hold the concentration of our students in an online class. These five strategies or practices are really effective to engage your students in your online classes.
Nowadays, online education is a hot cake. The world has been suffering from Covid19 for the last 2 years. Many sectors have been affected badly because of Covid19. Health, job, life, tourism, education and so on. Among them, the most vulnerable sector is education.
Because of this pandemic situation, we were forced to conduct our online classes. But it was not easy. Many students lost their attention during online sessions. It was a bit difficult for the teachers to hold their concentration during their online sessions.
I am talking about 5 effective ways that are really helpful for both teachers and students to hold their attention during online classes.
01. Students Teach Students:
This session is very effective for students. Here students play the role of teacher. For example, after finishing my class, students are asked to summarize the whole part in a nutshell. And one by one they explain the whole topic of the class. As a result, they do not feel monotonous, and they do not lose their attention from their lesson. Because they know that they have to perform at the end. That is why they pay attention to their class from the beginning to end. This kind of teaching helps teachers to ensure learning and students can learn through peer learning.
Benefits: There are some benefits of arranging such a session, especially to hold students’ attention.
- First of all, they always try to listen to the lecture very carefully so that they can understand and perform better than others in their upcoming sessions where they will be supposed to conduct a class.
- Secondly, they always try to do better than others and they observe others’ sessions very attentively.
- Thirdly, it is scientifically proven that learners learn better when they learn from their peers.
- Finally, they make different types of PowerPoint slides, and videos to make their lecture better and clearer. Sometimes they are asked to prepare themselves for the next class. That time they make PowerPoint slides, and collect different videos regarding their lesson. They try to make their class interesting. Other students feel interested to observe the performance of their classmates. They enjoy this session which ensures their learning as well.
So, this type of learning helps teachers to conduct a successful online session where students do not lose their attention.
02. Playing Different Games:
It is one of the best practices that I have found very effective in my online classes. It is normal to lose concentration in a 90 minutes online class. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, students feel pressured and this type of practice helps both teacher and students to reduce their pressure, as well as students, learn a particular topic. For example, in my classes, I use different types of educational games like edpuzzle, quizzes, kahoot and so on. As a teacher, I set a number of multiple choice questions for my students and they play the games and see their live result that increases excitement among the students.
- Students do not feel bored and lose their attention
- They feel excited to play the game and since they watch their live position, they try their best to hold the first position.
- The questions are not that difficult but informative. Some students listen to my lecture because they know they are going to play an exciting game.
- Students learn through fun.
3. Telling and completing Story:
Teaching through a story is always an appealing way to my students. I always try to start my lecture by telling a short story that is somehow connected to the topic of my lecture. After finishing my lecture I write down the first sentence of a story in the forum of Daffodil International University Blended Learning Center. Students try to complete the story by using their own words.
- This practice makes my classes interesting and students always enjoy the lecture and eagerly wait for the lecture.
- It helps to improve their writing skills and thinking ability.
- Interesting and funny stories make the class vivid and interesting that is really needed to conduct an online session.
- Students’ participation ensures their effective learning
4. Situational Method:
For language courses, it really works. Teachers provide different funny but relevant situations and they try to communicate through dialogue and activity. For example, for the students of Management, I provide a situation that is related to selling products. I choose a few students who play different roles and continue their conversation in that situation that is provided by me. Usually, I try to provide funny topics that do not make my class dull.
- It helps students to improve their speaking skills as well as they get a real-life experience
- It improves their communication skills but in an interesting way that does not make them inattentive in the class
- When the funny conversation goes on, other students enjoy and listen to the conversation very attentively
- The students who rarely communicate will participate in this role play as well which will help them to break the language barrier they may have and those who are pretty fluent with the language will gain confidence
5. Hold a debate:
Students always enjoy debate. We are human beings. By nature, we always try to establish our own opinion in a constructive way. This helps me to make my class interesting and hold my student’s attention. As a teacher, I provide them with a funny topic like coke Vs 7up and make two groups. They come with their own ideas and justification to win the debate. The topic should be related to the topic of the lecture.
- It helps to improve thinking ability and language skills
- Students try to win that ensures their 100% engagement in an online class
There are other ways to hold the concentration of our students in an online session but I have found the above practices are very effective. These practices ensure learners’ participation and learning.
Afroza Akter, Lecturer, Department of English
M.A in English Language Teaching
Daffodil International University