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The “distance” in learning: Are we seeing a rise in disengaged students?

Many students struggle to remain engaged even when in the classroom. With the necessity of remote learning, there are even more disengaged students struggling to finish assignments and submit homework.

Trying to get students engaged is difficult enough in person, and when it’s online, it can be highly frustrating. Thankfully, there are a lot of tactics that can be used to re-engage students, even through distance learning.

A connection matters

Both teachers and students have experienced frustrations and life changes related to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In-person, a teacher can try to take the time to connect with students directly. When our face to face interactions are removed, feeling students out is harder, but showing student empathy, even in an email or message, can go a long way.

Many students feel that school is an impersonal obligation—something to be suffered, rather than an opportunity. Reaching out even in small ways shows to them that they matter, and their education matters.

Encourage student collaboration and participation in every class

A great way to keep students engaged when they’re physically at school is to encourage collaboration. Many students learn best when sharing and discussing information. Some students can find engagement in their school by taking roles in student councils or other groups. When students are stuck at home, it seems impossible to keep this kind of investment.

However, there are ways that instructors can still encourage social activity and collaboration online. For example, instructors can allow students to lead the dialogue in video discussion groups, such as in Breakout Rooms in Zoom. Alternatively, instructors can ensure each class involves some form of participation-graded assignment, so students understand that missing one class can impact the chance for a quick grade. If students are part of the learning experience and not just “attendees,” they’ll be more likely to feel engaged.

Combat disengagement through self-guided learning

Sometimes disengagement comes because a student is simply not interested in a topic or subject.

Not every student is going to love every course, and school should be a place for them to discover their interests. They’ll tend towards boredom for things that don’t interest them and have little incentive to finish or submit homework as a result.

Try to leave the option open for the student to customize their curriculum and encourage self-guided learning. It’s a rare student that has no intellectual curiosity at all, and by broadening courses and assignments, you can help reach disengaged students.

Use grading tools

Despite how helpful more varied assignments can be in engaging students, many teachers are hesitant to try anything that complicates their day even further. When grading online is difficult and time-consuming, it’s very tempting to fall back on sheets of multiple-choice questions.

With Crowdmark’s digital grading software, teachers have the power to use a variety of projects and assignments for their students without fear that they won’t be able to grade them effectively through remote channels.

Digital grading software like Crowdmark also allows for much more detailed feedback to students, delivered directly to their email once an assignment is graded.

Learn more about our digital grading foftware

Are you a teacher struggling with disengaged students? Or is grading online material proving to be a hassle. Make sure to check out our digital grading software solutions—and feel free to contact us with any questions!

Interested in learning more about Crowdmark? Get in touch for a free trial:

About Crowdmark

Crowdmark is the world’s premiere online grading and analytics platform, allowing educators to evaluate student assessments more effectively and securely than ever before. On average, educators experience up to a 75% productivity gain, providing students with prompt and formative feedback. This significantly enriches the learning and teaching experience for students and educators by transforming assessment into a dialogue for improvement.