Online Education

Five Ways to Invigorate and Inspire Your Students

Five Ways to Invigorate and Inspire Your Students

Are your students completing all learning activities on time and putting in their best effort in your class? Do they always want to participate in class discussions, eager to contribute to the discussions and demonstrate their comprehension of the assigned reading? Or do you typically have a mix of students, some of whom excel and others of whom struggle to remain engaged and motivated in the classroom?

It is possible to observe student motivation in a conventional class. Online instructors, on the other hand, must look for a different set of cues and create learning-friendly conditions in a learning management system. Some educators hold the belief that it is impossible to assist students who cannot be seen, particularly when it comes to a quality like motivation, which cannot be assessed visually in a virtual setting. However, a student’s level of motivation will have an impact on all aspects of their involvement, including their participation in class activities like discussions and written assignments.

Classroom management can become the primary focus due to the numerous demands placed on an online instructor. It includes activities like class participation, feedback, acquiring class materials, and creating class lectures or posts. Then, it can be fairly simple to miss a student who gradually stops participating in class until it is too late. This includes recognizing a student who lacks self-motivation or does not know how to maintain it in times of challenge, frustration, or discouragement.

Five Ways to Invigorate and Inspire Your Students

Even though it is expected of students that they will be self-directed as adults, this does not mean that they will be able to meet the many requirements that are placed on them as students. Because of this, a teacher needs to be able to identify their requirements and have motivational strategies ready to assist them.

Indicators of motivation.

The number of times students post responses in the discussion threads and the perceived effort put into their written assignments can be used by an instructor to gauge their students’ level of involvement in the class. However, this does not necessarily imply that it is possible to accurately assess the level of motivation displayed by students when they attempt to finish their work.

The reason for this is that motivation is an internalized state, and challenges are acknowledged through statements such as “I’m not certain I can do this,” “this is too hard,” or “this isn’t what I expected I would have to do,” which will cause a student to give up, quit, or eventually withdraw from the class or their degree program. This is because motivation is an internalized state. If an instructor has developed open communication with their students and is willing to share their frustrations and concerns, they will be aware that this is taking place.

Students who are having trouble

When a student is having trouble in their class, it can be easy to assume that they aren’t trying hard enough, that they aren’t using the feedback that was given to them, that they haven’t read the materials that were given to them, or any number of other possible reasons. Even if there is some anxiety or apprehension mixed in, the majority of students have the highest levels of enthusiasm and hope for a new beginning at the start of class.

Five Ways to Invigorate and Inspire Your Students

Although instructors may not always know for certain why students are having difficulties, a willingness to keep trying and work on continued self-development, even when it requires them to acquire new knowledge or skills, is at the heart of the majority of issues. A set of proactive instructional strategies that are supportive of students’ attempts and progress and encouraging in nature can be developed by teachers.

In both my own teaching practice and my work with faculty development as a coach for online faculty, I have used the following five approaches.

#1. Establish productive connections. Relationships with students are always important, regardless of whether the class is traditional or online. This should go without saying for any class. It can make it harder for them to feel comfortable asking for help when it’s needed, which can make the instructor aware of potential issues. However, cultivating this kind of relationship in a virtual setting is difficult, and a class that only lasts a few weeks may make it even more challenging.

An instructor’s attitude determines how a relationship begins and continues, as does their intention to be helpful and approachable. Students must be aware of their teachers’ concern for them.

#2. Control your communication carefully. Instructors must carefully cultivate all forms of communication with their students to ensure that the message’s intent is clear and the tone is not likely to be interpreted negatively.

Emotional responses or hasty responses should not be used when responding to a student, whether via email or classroom posting. This is critical because a single negative interaction can demotivate a student, and a series of negative interactions can cause a student to drop out of the class.

#3. Be accessible, present, and available. Students must be aware that their instructor is available to assist them at any time if they are to remain engaged in the class and perform to the best of their abilities. This does not necessitate that an instructor be available at all times or respond to inquiries as soon as they are posted; However, students must be able to rely on an established pattern.

Email, instant messaging, weekly office hours, sharing my phone number for times when students require immediate assistance, and posting a classroom questions thread have all been helpful to me. I am able to connect with students through this, which can be very motivating for them to know that I am accessible.

#4. Contribute to Ensure That Students Are Prepared Enough I’ve found that new students’ attempts to navigate the course and the requirements they are expected to complete can be severely harmed by academic underpreparedness. If established students do not receive assistance, even as they progress through their degree program, they may continue to struggle with developmental areas that can create a mental barrier and ultimately result in a sense of defeat.

In the feedback that was provided, I shared resources that addressed the specific developmental needs of the students. If I find resources that could be of use to the entire class, I will share them in a separate classroom post. I’ve found that students are more likely to succeed when they believe they are prepared to complete their assignments.

#5. Create and Apply Proactive Outreach Methods. An instructor must always be aware of the conditions in the classroom and, more importantly, of students who are not actively participating in class. A mental baseline for expected performance can be helpful, and an experienced teacher develops an instinct for engaging students over time.

Motivational Motivators

The majority of motivation research identifies both internal and external motivational factors. This indicates that students may be motivated by an internalized sense of accomplishment or an externalized grade. In a typical online class, instructors only have a limited amount of time to get to know their students, so they may never know exactly what motivates each student or how to meet their individual needs. This is especially true when managing the classroom and performing instructional duties take a lot of time.

Instructors can help students avoid becoming easily discouraged and willing to give up by addressing self-motivation as a driving factor for student success and utilizing the aforementioned strategies. The effort students put in and the level of performance they maintain throughout the class will show when instructors bridge the distance and connect with their students. An increase in self-motivation is likely to occur when students believe that someone cares about their progress and is willing to support them as they attempt to complete the course requirements. You have the chance to be that person for your students; all you need to do is show interest in them and be aware of how involved they are in class. Your interest in the students can not only transform and energize their participation in class but also transform and energize your own.

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