Engaging learners is a vital component in any learning environment. Educators must design creative, challenging, and exciting activities for their learners to ensure they are motivated and engaged in their classrooms and online programs. According to Durrington, Berryhill, and Swafford (2006), learning can be effective whether students are participating in traditional face-to-face classrooms and/or in online programs. Educators can incorporate technology devices, software, and strategies into their curriculums that will assist their learners in being higher-order thinkers, and successful in their learning experience. Learning and instruction must provide opportunities for students to collaborate and build relationships with others and promote positive attitudes as well as increase student participation.
In order for learners to be successful in the learning experience, instructors must provide a clear outline of what is required and how students will be assessed within their course of study. Learners need to feel a sense of comfort, supportiveness, and respect with the learning environment, so they can be successful. Instructors can provide a discussion board for students to collaborate and discuss concepts within the course to build relationships with other students. Students will become more comfortable with others, and develop meaningful connections through dialogue and positive feedback from their peers. Eventually, students will begin to ask knowledgeable questions about course related concepts, tasks, etc., and this will foster opportunities for collaboration within the learning community. Students an also connect through email, telephone calls, computers using facebook, instant messaging, smart phones with twitter, You Tube, ooVoo, iPods, iPads. For more strategies and tools used to engage students in a traditional face-to-face classroom and/or in Distance Learning Programs, see information located at http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/433631/strategies_for_enhancing_student_interactivity_in_an_online_environment/.
Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. Information retrieved from http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/433631/strategies_for_enhancing_student_interactivity_in_an_online_environment/