Jul 2015

BY sanmitadev
POSTED INEngagement, Students
7 Tips for Boosting Higher Ed Student Engagement

students groupWithout question, one of the biggest drivers of success – both in the classroom as well as later on in life – is a student’s ability to actively engage with others. Of course, knowing this and actually achieving a greater level of buy-in are two entirely different things. If you’re struggling to get students more involved, you’re not alone. More importantly, here are some proven ways to increase student engagement levels within your higher ed institution.

Lead by Example – Many studies have been conducted on this topic and most have found that the heart of student engagement lies with the teacher him or herself. Professors who are perceived as easy to approach, open and willing to interact on an individual level tend to achieve a greater level of commitment and willingness to participate.

Foster Self-Belief and Autonomy – When students feel confident in their ability to get things done, they will naturally become more motivated and subsequently more engaged. The key here is to help students develop intrinsic motivation and self-determination.

Create Rich, Challenging Learning Experiences – The easier the learning experience, the lower the engagement level. Conversely, when learning involves and requires students to reflect, question, evaluate and make connections between thoughts, ideas and conclusions, it naturally cultivates engagement.

Promote Social Interaction – Engaged students also tend to be more connected to people, activities and causes outside the classroom so don’t leave out this important component. Your higher ed institution should offer plenty of opportunity for student involvement.

Embrace Diversity – Many students who are uneasy about engaging feel that way because they lack a sense of acceptance and belonging. Every area of your higher ed institution – from admissions to lectures to outside activities – should demonstrate the importance of diversity.

Offer Ample Support – While not every student will avail themselves of your school’s support services, such as advising centers, many will. Even for those who don’t take advantage of such resources, knowing they’re there can be enough to help them feel more confident in their support system which can lead to higher level of engagement and greater success rates overall.

Adapt and Evolve Your Approach – As the higher ed realm continues to evolve, so should your student engagement strategy. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about developing a plan, but also maintaining that plan over time. For optimum results, your approach to engagement should reflect and meet the changing expectations of students.

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