Student engagement and retention improve when universities take action. Campus beautification and student demographics definitely play a part. A rich learning experience, however, is even more important in helping students finish strong. Many institutions are using the following high impact approaches to keep learners engaged.
Structured Learning Communities Increase Student Engagement
Learning communities give students a sense of belonging and increase engagement. A structured community will group learners together and give them more time to interact. Students can collaborate to solve problems, review peer work, or conduct research. Such a community should also include faculty who ask students about their personal life and give career guidance. An LMS (Learning Management System) makes it all easier. For example, one community college found that students in a structured learning community attended class more often.
What are some approaches to keep your millennial learners engaged? Read this article that discusses some curricular approaches based on their unique learning styles.
Writing Intensive Courses
Universities such as Harvard are offering writing intensive courses. A writing intensive course amplifies student voice. Some students more easily express their thoughts when they share in online forums. Formal research writing and informal journaling are two more options. All students benefit from timely peer and instructor feedback.
Learners of all backgrounds are looking for more than just a beautiful campus. Learning communities plus quality instruction equal satisfied students! Click To Tweet
Another approach is to incorporate meaningful learning experiences that are key to increasing engagement. Podcasts, documentaries, and real data are a few ways to keep course content relevant. Students might even contribute as global citizens. They can work with other peers around the world to solve problems and collect data. This could be done through video calls with experts or international projects. For centuries, storytelling has been a meaningful way to introduce ideas. Read more about how storytelling engages today’s learners: The Power of Creating Stories to Increase Learner Engagement.
A capstone is a final project that showcases a student’s abilities. It moves the graduate to reflect on his learning pathway. The experience also gives students a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, leads to greater satisfaction with the undergraduate experience. Capstones can be portfolios, research papers, or presentations and they are all ways to increase engagement.
Learners of all backgrounds are looking for more than just a beautiful campus. Learning communities plus quality instruction equal satisfied students. Satisfied students are more likely to attend classes and complete the program.
Bonet, G, & Walters, B. R. (2016). High impact practices: Student engagement and retention. The College Student, 15(2). Retrieved from https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1101&context=kb_pubs
Martonosi, S. E. & Williams, T. D. (2016) A survey of statistical capstone projects, Journal of Statistics Education, 24(3), 127-135, DOI: 10.1080/10691898.2016.1257927