Virtual learning has become a reality for children not just across Canada, but for students around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation got more serious and governments started to issue stay at home orders, most schools adapted to remote learning.
Although it was a necessity at the time, it disadvantaged many students as the transition to online learning and adapting to a virtual classroom was not as easy for everyone.The effects of online learning began to take a toll on students, teachers and parents alike.
Students across the board were becoming unmotivated and uninterested in this new online version of school. This was, of course, not the reception that schools were hoping for as they did what they could to capture students’ interest and imagination through online education.
Schools may have reopened their doors, but online school, learning and tutoring is still a reality for many due to its convenience. For these students and teachers who remain in some form of an online learning environment, the question remains as to: how can educators make this experience captivating and engaging while implementing distanced teaching?
6 Tips for getting students excited about virtual learning
Here are great tips to get students excited about virtual learning:
- Create a positive environment
- Assess the type of learner they are
- Create a routine
- Choose a designated learning space
- Incorporate interactive elements
- Create reward systems
There are many things that you can do and different activities to engage students in online learning. It does not need to feel like a quirky online call with no connection or intrigue involved. To help you make your virtual learning environment a more engaging place, we have created this list of expert tips!
Create a Positive Environment
At the beginning of the pandemic, the overwhelming narrative surrounding virtual learning was negative, as parents and teachers alike were pessimistic about what it would entail. This inevitably rubbed off on the kids who felt like virtual learning was going to be a negative experience.
In order to avoid getting off on the wrong foot like this, you need to ensure that you are creating a positive message surrounding the online classes and are hyping them up to the point that students are getting excited to attend. It is important for teachers to do this before classes start and during the course of classes, but it is equally important for parents to keep this momentum up as much as possible at home before each class.
Assess the Type of Learner They Are
Before even starting classes, you should assess the type of learner your child or student is. The reason why this should be one of the first things you do is because it will help you choose the right online learning environment for the student. Moreover, consulting your child and making them an active player in their own learning will help them be more motivated and invested in school.
Create a Routine
When kids are in a traditional school environment, they have a strict and regimented routine. They wake up at a certain time every day, have classes at particular times, have lunch, and leave to go home at a specific time. This helps them understand what is expected of them and keeps them on track.
It can be easy to ignore routine when it comes to virtual learning because timetables are not necessarily as strict. However, we suggest ignoring the flexibility that comes with virtual learning, and establishing a routine that commits your students to a reasonable amount of lesson time.
Choose a Designated Learning Space
It is important to ensure your child has a space that is dedicated for online classes as they need to be in the right headspace for working. If they are watching online classes in their bed, their minds will struggle to separate the relaxing that they usually do on their bed with the work that they need to do.
The space that you dedicate to learning should be quiet and away from any busy areas in your house. Therefore, a kitchen or living room is not ideal. If you have an office space, that would be perfect for your child whilst they are in their online classes, but if not, a simple desk in the bedroom will also do the job.
Incorporate Interactive Elements
When it comes to the online teaching itself, we recommend making it as fun and interactive as possible. As students are not in a class surrounded by other students, a virtual class can often feel isolated and boring, which is why you need to use everything in your power to get students to engage with each other and make the lessons captivating.
One way in which you can do this is to leverage the interactive features that many virtual learning platforms offer. Using something as simple as a zoom breakout room will boost student engagement in online learning as it gives them the opportunity to directly interact with other students. Moreover, games and other activities help to break up the usual drag of a class and insert some energy into your virtual learning environment.
Create reward systems
Reward systems encourage those receiving awards to keep up the good work, while also motivating those around them. It is therefore a great strategy to encourage participation and enthusiasm in your students from afar.
Need help motivating your students from a distance?
If you need help motivating your students from a distance, consulting a professional team who curates brilliant virtual learning experiences is the solution. Companies such as KronosXP work alongside teachers and educators to create unique experiences that aim to captivate the minds of students.
KronosXP offers a virtual school show that gets students involved throughout the entire process. The experience comes in three different parts:
- The auditions take place over two to three weeks and consist of five different workshops that are led by teachers to get students actively involved. Teachers and educators are thoroughly directed through everything they need to do in order to make the experience as immersive and entertaining as possible for the students.
- The live event then takes place in the form of a live TV show hosted by an energetic and fun host character that your students are guaranteed to love. During the show, students will be shown footage from their auditions and will look back on their time in the workshops. All of this is done whilst being told alongside a futuristic space-time story that will be sure to keep everyone engaged the whole way through.
- Once these initial main parts are over, you will then receive video souvenirs for your students to look back on this fun and unique experience so that they never forget the excitement that can come hand in hand with online learning.