4.2 Encouragement of student engagement (in the classroom) 

Ultimately, University staff are responsible for shaping the classroom atmosphere in ways that encourage active student participation and empower their voices. By consciously crafting a classroom environment that amplifies the student voice and by experimenting with diverse engagement techniques students can be empowered to take ownership of their learning journey. We will explore two key strategies for promoting student engagement: the creation of a classroom environment that enriches the student voice and the experimentation with innovative approaches, coupled with the sharing of results with colleagues.

  1. Crafting a Classroom Environment that Amplifies the Student Voice

    Establishing an environment that magnifies student voices is a fundamental step in fostering their engagement. Consider these strategies:
    • Open and Inclusive Seating Arrangements: Arrange seating in a manner that cultivates collaboration and inclusiveness. Circular or semi-circular seating arrangements encourage students to engage with both their peers and the instructor, dismantling traditional classroom hierarchies.
    •  Integration of Technology: Harness technology to provide students with a platform for expressing their ideas. Online discussion boards, collaborative documents, and classroom response systems empower students to participate actively, particularly those who might be less vocal in a conventional setting.
    •  Active Learning Spaces: Configure the physical layout of the classroom to accommodate active learning methods. Adaptable furniture and movable partitions facilitate seamless transitions between group work, discussions, and lectures.
    • Diverse Learning Resources: Offer a range of resources, including multimedia materials, case studies, and real-world examples, catering to various learning styles and interests. This encourages students to engage with the course content from multiple perspectives
  1. Experimenting with Diverse Engagement Approaches

    The ever-evolving nature of education necessitates continuous experimentation with various strategies to sustain student engagement. Here is how we can approach this:
    • Innovative Teaching Techniques: Explore novel teaching methods and approaches that stimulate interaction. Flipped classrooms, student-led discussions, and problem-based learning can rejuvenate your classroom environment and motivate active participation.
    •  Involving Students in Decision-Making: Encourage students to participate in shaping their educational experience. Seek their input on course topics, assessment methods, and classroom activities. When students have a say in their education, they are more likely to engage wholeheartedly.
    • Reflect and Share: Following the implementation of new strategies, take time to reflect on their impact on student engagement. Share your findings with colleagues through discussions, workshops, or presentations. This collaborative approach allows for mutual learning and the refinement of teaching practices.

Taking action

To provide further support to teaching staff who like to improve student engagement in the classroom, we invite you to explore strategies for designing a classroom environment that enhances the student voice and encourages active participation. Consider seating arrangements, technology integration, active learning spaces, and diverse learning resources. 

If possible, share the results with your colleagues, preferably in the form of a meeting, workshop, presentation etc which encourages dialogue and the exchange of ideas among staff members.