So far this week I’ve participated in the forums, started on my digital project, have done by assigned reading chapters 3-6 Student Engagement Techniques and have written my 2nd journal entry. All four chapters had something new to learn in them. So, my learning journey continues on, this is what I have learned.
An engaged learner examines, questions and relates new ideas to old, achieving a deep learning that lasts (Barkley, 2010). It went on to explain the difference between short and long term memory and retention of learned information. It was interesting to find out that if a student can remember information after 24 hours it’s probably been stored in their long-term storage and if they can’t remember this information that it’s not permanently stored and will probably not be retained. I stress this with my students that prefer to cram for exams the night before. What I didn’t know was that during deep sleep that short-term memory information can be retained into their long-term memory. Who knew, that deep sleep is where this happens?
Creating a sense of classroom community will aid in learning. Learners having a sense of belonging and feeling comfortable, respected and valued are all helpful in active learning. This relates back to the Humanistic Learning Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
By creating conditions where learners are interacting with each other will promote student engagement and motivation for active learning. Also by having students work at their “optimal level of challenge” (Barkley, 2010, p.27) will aid in student engagement. If learners aren’t challenged enough, they’ll get bored, if they’re way over challenged that leads to anxiousness. Either way leads to student disengagement. Bloom’s Taxonomy says that students learning is through body, heart and mind and that all 3 contribute to engagement. The affective domain involves how learners feel in the classroom and this is also critical to how they engage or disengage. Engaging teachers manage to find ways to challenge students at multiple cognitive levels as well as create an affective environment.
Gathering appropriate feedback from students allows instructors to truly establish what is happening with their students rather than just assuming that they know. “Teachers need to feel motivated to teach well” (Barkley, 2010, p.74). For students to be engaged, instructors must also be engaged. Everything I’ve read in these 4 chapters relates to the learner, but it could equally be adapted to the instructor. An unmotivated, disengaged instructor will likely have a classroom of unmotivated, disengaged learners. So, if we turn this around to a motivated, engaged instructor will likely have a classroom of motivated, engaged learners, wow!
I chose to write my 2nd journal entry on “everything we have learned about engaged learning is equally applicable to engaged teaching” (Barkley, 2010, p. 75).