The pick this month from Graham Gibbs’ blog is Idea 33 – that ‘motivating students is not magic‘. The end of a long semester seems a good moment to reflect on ways to increase student engagement. Is there a magic wand that some educators naturally possess or are there strategies that everyone can employ? Gibbs proposes 4 approaches to consider:
- Set goals for success by laying out benchmarks for what you’d like the students to achieve. Give time in class for students to get feedback on their progress against these goals.
- Think about how to build active tasks into lessons and particularly develop activities which mirror how the course content relates to real life.
- Develop the students self confidence by introducing mastery tasks that each student can complete and push all to attempt extension activities in or after class.
- Introduce elements into the course or assessment where the students can choose between alternatives to give them control over their own learning.
Graham Gibbs is one of the UK’s most well known advocates of improving university learning and teaching. With his colleagues (Habeshaw & Habeshaw), he was responsible for the very popular ’53 Interesting Ideas’ books series that have supported countless teachers (new and experienced) navigate their way through tricky classroom and curriculum dilemmas. Gibbs’s new blog 53 Powerful Ideas all Teachers Should Know About offers a research summary of key issues.