6 “Addictive” Engagement Tactics to Combat Low Attendance & Participation

Ginelle Testa

80% of educators say they are concerned about their students’ engagement, according to a 2023 Gradient Learning Poll

In the fast-paced digital era where captivating videos and captivating images flood social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, it can be a real challenge for educators to capture and maintain their students' attention. Additionally, with the flood of AI that can provide instant answers, traditional teaching methods may seem outdated and less appealing to today's tech-savvy generation. 

However, rather than debating the merits of these modern distractions, let us explore some innovative and effective strategies that educators can employ to create an addictive classroom environment, ensuring high attendance and active student engagement.

To gather insights and opinions on this topic, we conducted a poll within our vibrant and collaborative educational community called the Labster Community Campus. This platform serves as a hub for science educators to connect, share trends, exchange thought leadership, and stay updated on the latest developments in Labster products.  Below, we share some of their valuable suggestions and recommendations.

“Addictive” Engagement Tactics

1. Share interesting facts of the day 

This allows you to connect real-life experiences to the subjects you're teaching and make learning more interactive. Students are more likely to be engaged and participate when presented with intriguing and relatable facts.

The Gradient Learning Poll also found that 72% of educators said connecting learning to real-world skills helps students stay engaged in their learning.

Sharing these facts at the beginning or end of each class session can have the most impact. 

Bonus: you can ask students at the end of class to recall the interesting fact you shared at the beginning. 

2. Live polls & quizzes

Live polls and quizzes can be used as an addictive tactic to combat low attendance and engagement in the classroom. Research has demonstrated a positive effect of mobile polling tools on student engagement primarily within large classes where student-centered learning may prove challenging 

By incorporating fun visualization options that come with many of the tools and awarding points for participation, these apps make learning interactive and enjoyable. They also serve the purpose of testing students' knowledge, giving you an idea of where to focus your next lecture or assignment.

Examples of polling apps:

  1. Jotform
  2. Google Forms
  3. Poll Everywhere
  4. Mentimeter
  5. Crowd Signal

3. Give away awards

These awards can be simple and don't have to break the bank, such as certificates for the "Most Insightful Question Asked" or "Most Interesting Contribution Made to the Discussion."  By recognizing and rewarding students' efforts, you can create a positive classroom culture that motivates active involvement and fosters a sense of competition. 

4. Use interactive technology

Technology's role in education is becoming increasingly more important for an engaged classroom. A study found that “Technology can enhance interactive learning in well-designed and structured formats based on educational objectives.”

Consider incorporating interactive technology such as AR, VR, and AI. These tools can create immersive learning experiences, stimulate curiosity, and personalize instruction. By harnessing the addictive nature of interactive technology, you can enhance student engagement and cultivate a genuine interest in learning.

Labster offers an immersive digital learning experience for science classrooms. With over 300 interactive virtual labs gamifying the experience and encouraging students to stay in STEM, students are more engaged than ever. 

5. Integrate social media

Harnessing the power of social media platforms, educators can create online communities and discussion forums where students can share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate. Alternatively, they could have students create TikToks or Instagram reels for projects, use Pinterest for brainstorming, or blogging for idea sharing. 

Sprout Social has a great list of ways educators can incorporate social media into the classroom.

6. Personalize learning experiences

Implement personalized learning strategies by offering choices, allowing students to explore topics of their interest, and tailoring instructional methods to their individual needs. This doesn’t have to take up a ton of your time! You could try creating choice boards. By catering to their specific needs and preferences, you can create a classroom environment that resonates with each student, promoting attendance and active engagement.

Final thoughts

Combating low attendance and classroom participation requires a blend of creativity, technology, and a deep understanding of student needs in the digital age. As we've explored, employing “addictive” engagement tactics can enhance the experience. 

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