How Do You Help Learners Who Fall Behind?
First of all, why did they fall behind?
Here are two theories:
- Lack of engagement on the material.
- They’re going through life with their own problems and can’t focus.
Why Don’t All Learners “Get It”?
The truth is, we don’t know what is going on in people’s heads and why a learner falls behind. Instead, we focus on doing right by them and getting information to them in a way they can capture it.
Is Lack of Learner Engagement Your Fault?
Try not to place blame. Although we understand you may feel one of two ways:
- Falling behind is their fault if 90% of the class is getting the material.
- Falling behind is your fault if 90% of the class isn’t get it.
But rather than feeling like it’s you or even them, let’s chat about what you can do.
How Can You Engage Learners?
The saying “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” is the perfect saying for this situation.
If you’re “teaching to the test” 90% may not be a problem. I mean, 90% is still an A. But, if you’re teaching because you care that your learners know this information, then you’ll get to 100% or darn near.
An Anecdote for Learner Engagement…
Once I was teaching French to a group of 8th graders. The topic was tough: “qui, que, dont.” If you know French, you know especially “dont” can be a tough one to learn. Well, they were kind of lost at the beginning and rather than blame me or them, I got them to figure it out by creating a reward.
I’ve always been a fan of the movie Dead Poets Society. So, I got inspired by an exercise in the movie. I took the kids out to the soccer field and every time they could use “qui, que, dont” correctly in a sentence, they got to shoot a goal.
Now…maybe not everyone loved soccer, but also, not everyone gets to kick a ball, as hard as they can, at their teacher 😀
By making myself the keeper, those who didn’t have the concept were 100% in because they wanted to try to score past me. In this way, their goal became trying to score on me. The by-way was knowing the topic.
What Did They Do?
Those who hadn’t gotten the topic worked as hard as they could with those who did know how to form a sentence with “qui, que, don’t.” No one was going to miss out on the opportunity to try and score a goal on me.
Do You Have to Engage the Body When Engaging Students?
Not always. The suggestion here is that by thinking outside of the box and creating non-forced engagement with the material, people may participate on their own if the reward and the goal are captivating enough to get them out of their heads.
Since we can’t all play soccer on the field, how can we create a similar type of learner engagement through online learning? Our suggestion? Know your learner, don’t place blame, and care enough to think outside of the box. The answer will come.
Who Are We?
We are Miranda Park Learning, your instructional design services experts. To create engaging online learning for your team, contact Cassy Huidobro at 720-722-9998 or via email at [email protected]. We look forward to our future collaboration together.
Picture: Pixabay via Pexels
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