Learner Engagement

Capturing Your Learners: Strategies for High Engagement

Author: | Category: Making Magic

Meet the Maker

Angie Nastovska, Director of Humanities and Innovation

What is the latest great recipe you tried making?
Oh! Jools Oliver’s (Jamie Oliver’s wife) fish pie. My entire family LOVED it!

This year’s education has brought multiple challenges for educators and parents. Some of the newly created needs include a focus on self-regulation, attention span and learner agency. Most of the current needs can be addressed by examining and implementing some great strategies for learner engagement. Also, it is beneficial to have a visual printout of multiple strategies that can serve as a “menu” for learners and educators on a daily basis.

This Week’s Focus

Driving Question

How can we boost learner engagement in a meaningful way?

The Need
Going back to in-person instruction hasn’t been easy. We have observed many changes in behavior, social and emotional needs, self-regulation, classroom and space management, organization and learner interaction. In parallel, according to recent research on classroom management and student engagement, traditional methods of teaching aren’t preparing students for life beyond school. “Lectures and direct instruction can be used to convey information to students, but they don’t enhance skills like teamwork, problem-solving and curiosity that employers are increasingly looking for “ (Terada, 2018). To capture the need, a survey with over 700 business leaders revealed that “many job applicants who are technically proficient lacked the communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills necessary to do the jobs for which they applied. Far too many college graduates touted high grades and test scores but lacked key skills to be successful in the workplace. It’s not a matter of technical skill, but of knowing how to think.” (Karin, 2013 survey)

One way to respond to the need for “responsive teaching” and gain higher learner engagement is to carefully plan and execute project-based learning. We need to carefully craft meaningful goals and cultivate a learner-centric “need to know.” This will address the common learner thought of “Why are we learning this?” This approach can shift-motivated learners who aim to deepen their understanding in order to solve a problem meaningful to them.(PBL Literature Review, 2017).

Once you have an idea about a workshop, lesson, interaction with learners or learning targets, browse the below-outlined strategies and think about a combination of 2 – 3 per a 45 – 60 minute block of time.

Plug and Play!


Check out What is Flow Theory? What does this mean for our students? From Project-Based and Deeper Learning guru John Spencer. It’s less than five minutes and worth the watch for sure. 

More Magic

60 Revision and Engagement Strategies HERE

Being Makers

Being Makers

Being Makers is a team of change-making leaders from Maker Learning Network and iLEAD Schools focused on project-based learning and social-emotional growth.
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