The Disengaged Student: How do you keep your classroom exciting?

Kavitta Ghai
March 3, 2023

🤯 Nectir is the only social education tool on the market that allows you to both engage your students and identify when they disengage in real time. On average, Nectir can help you retain 60% of the students who plan to leave your class by the drop deadline.

💫 Today, we're bringing you a quick breakdown of the best ways to help your disengaged students and make them feel part of the classroom community again.

First, let's address disengagement and how to reduce it: 

With remote and online learning, it can be easier than ever for students to get distracted, disengaged, and lose curiosity during the learning experience.

1. First, identify the root cause of your student's disengagement: Before taking any action, it's essential to identify why the student is disengaged. Some common causes of disengagement may include boredom, lack of interest, difficulty understanding the material, personal problems, or distractions. Understanding the cause can help you address the issue more effectively and prevent more students from encountering it. Take a poll in your Nectir channel to get an intial gauge of what your students think.

2. Use a variety of active learning strategies to keep things interesting: One reason a student may disengage is if they are not excited by the teaching style. This is actually one of the key reasons that our CEO, Kavitta Ghai, built Nectir; as someone with ADHD, she was easily distracted in classes that didn't employ active learning techniques. By varying the teaching strategies, such as using multimedia content, flipped classroom, or the Protege Effect, you can cater to different learning styles and keep your students curious for more knowledge.

3. Encourage accessible participation through a backchannel like Nectir: Encourage the students to participate consistently by asking them daily open-ended questions in your Nectir channel, thus creating a classroom culture of open communication. Another method is giving students various opportunities to employ the Protege Effect by leading class discussions or group activities. This can help increase their individual engagement and build their confidence, while creating exciting opportunities for social connection.

4. Provide regular opportunties for two-way feedback: Providing regular feedback can help you and the student understand their progress and identify areas of the classroom that need improvement. This can motivate the student to engage more and work harder when they know their voices will be truly heard. This can happen within direct messages on Nectir so that students feel safe to approach you.

5. Create a positive learning environment for everyone: Creating a positive learning environment is crucial for student engagement. This can be achieved by building a relationship with the student, acknowledging their efforts, and providing positive reinforcement.

Next, let's address a few of the best practices for active learning and how it can make learning fun again:

Our favorite active learning technique is the Protege Effect. The Protege Effect refers to the phenomenon where individuals who teach others are more likely to learn and retain information themselves. In other words, when people teach others, they solidify their own understanding of the material and improve their own ability to recall and apply that knowledge. Here's how Nectir instructors have used the Protege Effect to keep learning exciting for everyone by involving the students' voices in every lesson:

🍎 Peer teaching: Encourage students to work in pairs or small groups and take turns teaching each other the material. This can help students to better understand and internalize the information. Offering students a more social education in the classroom can create excitement around the opportunity to make new friends and connections.

🍎 Student-led presentations: Assign students to create presentations on the course material and present them to the class. This can give students an opportunity to increase their confidence, speaking skills, critical thinking, and overall material comprehension. It also sets the tone for class being new and exciting each and every day.

🍎 Synchronous classroom discussion: Engage students in active discussion and debate about the course material as it's happening in real time. You can encourage students to teach and explain concepts to their peers using a comfortable medium like Nectir, thus solidifying their own understanding of the topic in the process. We particularly love using backchannel technology to make it easier for everyone to participate because students are already used to engaging in tools like Discord in their daily lives.

🍎 Reflection and self-assessment: Encourage students to regularly reflect on their own learning and assess their own understanding of the material. This can help students become more self aware to then be able to quickly identify areas where they need to improve their understanding, and in turn, deepen their spatial awareness of the course structure and what is still to come.

❤️ Remember, each student is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It's essential to remain patient, compassionate, and flexible to find the best strategies for each student. Meet your students where they are with accessible, modern technology and watch them thrive organically.

Need more ideas on how to effectively support your students during tough periods to ensure they stay in your class? Reach out to us directly and we'll be happy to walk you through the best practices we've found to address your specific situation.

Kavitta Ghai
March 3, 2023

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