How To Increase Student Engagement in the Classroom

Student engagement in the classroom is a hot topic, and for good reason. With all of the distractions and learning challenges that students of all ages face today, student engagement, on a consistent basis, has become harder to achieve. Yet we know that student engagement has a direct impact on learning.

What Is Student Engagement

Student engagement encompasses all aspects of the students’ activities and relationships during and after the school day, including: curriculum, instruction, relationships with teachers, relationships with other students, and completion of homework and assignments. Student engagement can be measured by how students learn, how they behave, and how they act and react emotionally.

Student engagement in the classroom can be hard to define and quantify – often, it’s one of those situations in which, “you’ll know it when you see it.” In general, however, you can measure classroom engagement by gauging if students are paying attention, showing interest, asking questions, demonstrating what they’ve learned, and interacting with you and the other students.

Why Is Student Engagement Important

Student engagement is important because it impacts not only how well students perform in the classroom or on standardized tests, but also how likely they will be to stay in school. The key is to get students engaged from an early age and promote engagement throughout high school, and beyond.

Student Engagement Strategies And Activities

Specific strategies and activities for student engagement vary from grade level to grade level, but below are some tips and ideas that could work well for students of all ages.

Appeal to students’ interests. One of the best ways to increase student engagement is to understand your students’ interest and incorporate those, however you can, into your teaching. This could include student’s cultural backgrounds, as well as their everyday interests and habits. Use social media and pop culture to your advantage, and you’ll see student engagement rise exponentially.

Give choices. Whenever you can, give students choices – both as a group and as individuals. When students become “collaborators,” they become more engaged.

Encourage participation. You might already believe that you’re a teacher who promotes participation, but see if you can step up your game. Design more group activities. Ask for student input. Let students teach and learn from each other. “Forced” participation can help re-engage students who feel isolated, are preternaturally shy, or are easily distracted.

Perform regular assessments. Use assessments to your advantage by performing them formally and informally, throughout the day, week, and school year. Assessments can help you spot disengagement (in an individual or the class as a whole) at the earliest stages, when there’s still plenty of time for course correction.

Hold students accountable. Let students set “right-size” goals for themselves, and track their progress. Hold them accountable, and frequently give feedback.

Online Courses For Increasing Student Engagement

We offer a number of online courses for teachers that will provide you with tips, strategies, and examples for increasing student engagement, including Creating A Conducive Learning Environment Through Building Healthy Relationships, Formative Assessments To Heighten Engagement, Guide Instruction And Improve Learning, and Closing Gaps In Education And Achievement.


Education 4 Equity

At Education 4 Equity, we’re committed to providing the best professional development courses for teachers, all of which are delivered 100% online. We offer 1-credit, 2-credit, and 3-credit online courses for teachers that qualify for graduate level credit and have been approved for LAUSD salary points through the Los Angeles Unified School District.