_3 tips to keep students engaged during holiday break25 Nov 14 by Margaret Amisano
It’s that time of the year: students are on the road, visiting family, and catching up with old friends. Of course, Thanksgiving happens to be smack-dab in the middle of preparing for finals. Keeping online students engaged and focused on course material can be a challenge, but there’s one thing you can count on – they’ll still have their smart phones in hand.
That being said, you can easily keep them connected with these 3 tips:
Keep students social
About 41 percent of professors have incorporated social media into their core curriculum, as it’s become such a natural way for students to communicate, according to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report. Take advantage by creating a conversation about course topics on their favorite social networking sites.
Twitter, for example, is an easy way to facilitate conversation by having students exchange ideas or link to articles relevant to course material. Class tweets are easy to see by using a special hashtag – and it’s an easy way for students to participate. Popular tools like Facebook and Instagram can be used in a similar fashion, allowing students to get even more creative with their posts.
Keep them studying together
Many students will return from break to face final exams. Instead of leaving them to flip notecards alone, schedule a few open hours during the break for students to review and study together in real-time. With newrow_ for education’s breakout rooms, students are able to connect face-to-face, share and annotate files, or collaborate around an interactive whiteboard – and you don’t need to be present to run the session. They can even join from their mobile phones.
Whether you schedule designated times yourself, or have your students plan together, incentivizing them to show up with extra credit points or a participation grade is a great way to ensure they continue review and learn from one another.
Keep it on-demand
Leaving material for students to read, watch, or download can keep class momentum moving over break in a fun way. Previously recorded lectures or class discussions that students can watch on-demand makes review simple. But entertaining YouTube clips or interesting reads that spark a discussion can keep them logging in and keep class top-of-mind in a more enjoyable way. It’s a simple way to stay connected and keep students engaged in course material without it being a drag – after all, it is the holidays!