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Monday, March 09, 2015

4 Ways to Engage Digitally Distracted Students

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Rony Zarom, CEO and founder of newrow_ summarizes, "Widely embraced as a complement to traditional classroom learning, online learning programs now have more than 5 million students enrolled in at least one digital course, according to a 2015 Babson study.

Photo: EdSurge

Since 2012, online enrollment has experienced an average 3.7 percent year-over-year enrollment growth compared to overall higher education year-over-year enrollment growth of 1.2 percent.

The demand for digital learning offerings presents new challenges for educators and administrators. One of the biggest is keeping students engaged. In one survey, 74 percent of students reported that the Internet distraction was “significant” and “worrying.”

Educators have an opportunity to structure online learning environments in a way that addresses how students already interact online, and in a way that also reduces distraction and increases engagement. Here are four ways to get started.

Assess Skills to Establish Metrics

Understanding what learning styles, resources and structure motivate and drive student participation in an online environment helps educators develop more customized lesson plans and establish individual goals that closely align the capabilities, needs and pace for learning of each student.

Online learning platforms give educators a unique advantage to assess student engagement and learning needs through quantitative data. Many tools today offer analytics dashboard that allows educators to examine students’ online learning behavior, including how frequently they interact with their peers and what types of online material they engage with best. Checking up on these data points throughout the course can ensure that class time is used effectively for instruction.

Source: EdSurge