We’ve all been there when no matter how prepared to learn you are, the lesson just isn’t as interesting as you hoped. This applies not just to education settings, but to learning within businesses too.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a teacher or trainer is keeping students, employees, or clients interested throughout and that they indeed learn something. So, how can you liven up lessons and enhance them for optimal engagement? Here are some quick tips to get your creative juices flowing.
Use Visual Props
Whilst consulting textbooks and printouts using imagery is one thing, scaling this up for a bigger impact can make a difference. Let’s say you have a lesson that incorporates the solar system and the wonders of the universe; rather than flat, 2D images of space, you can choose to bring the subject to life using inflatable planets or your own highly detailed moonscape that shows each crater in all its glory.
Simply enhancing the imagery into something more engaging and life-like, albeit at a much smaller scale, visual props like this can make the lesson a memorable one.
Interactivity is Key
No-one wants to sit still for long periods reading a reference book or listening to someone speak continuously for too long. Engagement can quickly drop off in these situations, so one way to avoid this is to make interactivity a key part. Whilst there is definitely a place for silently listening or reading, this should be broken up into small periods throughout where possible.
Asking questions and getting people involved will ensure not only that they are actively listening, but also ensure they stay engaged. Try including things like quizzes on the subject, inviting people up to draw/share ideas on a whiteboard, doing practical experiments to get groups involved etc.
The last thing people need is more time on their smart devices or tablets right? Well, if they can be incorporated into a lesson plan to increase engagement, then this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are many apps that can be used in group settings to increase interactivity such as those that can help you create your own quizzes or presentations, as well as including video aids.
Many different unique things can be incorporated using technology that will elevate a lesson plan. Augmented reality (AR) is one current technology that will help achieve this and bring more tedious subjects to life using 3D imagery and interactive elements that get people moving.
Bring in Real-Life Scenarios
When trying to get people to engage, it can help to relate what they are learning to real-life and situations that are similar. Some subjects in an educational setting, like history or languages, for example, will benefit from making elements relatable to students and their interests. In workplace learning settings, this can mean making the lesson relevant to their job and their day to day.
Making lessons relatable to a student or an employee’s own situation can easily take a tedious or difficult subject and help to simplify it and relate to a real situation.
There are no quick-fixes to making a lesson instantly more interesting, but incorporating elements that will engage people above traditional teaching methods will make a difference. When well-planned and delivered, your lessons will be more memorable than the rest.