Increasing Student Engagement with Blended Learning (5 min read)

In this article, we explore the ways in which technology can be used to create engaging blended learning experiences, and how the Blended Teaching platform makes it easy for educators to get started with blended learning principles.

Are modern students less engaged than previous generations?

A recent study conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that college student engagement has declined in certain areas, including the amount of time spent studying and the frequency of interactions with faculty members. 

According to the study, college students in 2019 spent an average of 14 hours per week studying, compared to 20 hours per week in 1961. Additionally, the study found that students in 2019 reported fewer interactions with faculty members outside of class compared to previous years.1

We don't believe that students are less interested in learning today than they were in the 60's, far from it! Our lives are very different today. The technologies and tools available to us have changed the way we behave, the way we learn, and how readily we can access information. Students today expect flexibility, intuitiveness, and ease of access to learning materials. When these expectations are not met, the result can be frustrating at best, and outright demotivating at worst.

This is why we've made it our mission to create teaching resources that leverage the latest technologies to help educators to incorporate blended learning principles into their courses, and in doing so, create a flexible, accessible and engaging learning experience.

How does Blended Teaching help educators increase student engagement?

Videos can be a powerful way to increase student engagement by providing a visual, engaging, and accessible medium for learning, but not all videos are created equal. We work with leading educators to create highly engaging content, that incorporates tried and tested approaches for increasing student engagement:

  1. Storytelling: Videos can tell stories that engage students emotionally and intellectually. Storytelling can be used to make the content more relevant to students' lives and experiences.
  2. Demonstrations: Videos can be used to demonstrate how to solve problems or perform tasks. Demonstrations can be engaging by providing students with a clear and practical understanding of the content.
  3. Accessibility: Our videos can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and on any device, providing students with greater flexibility.
  4. Real-world relevance: We connect our subject matter to real-world situations and problems to make the material more relevant and interesting to students.
  5. Chunking:  Blended Teaching’s content is broken down into small, manageable pieces. This strategy helps learners better understand and retain information by reducing cognitive overload and enabling them to focus on one concept at a time. By presenting information in bite-sized pieces, learners can process the material more easily and can better connect each chunk of information to its related concepts.

As you can likely imagine, video content plays a huge role in Blended Teaching. However, it's important to balance them with other types of activities and assignments to ensure that students have a well-rounded learning experience.

Below we’ve outlined the three key teaching and learning practices that we’ve applied to Blended Teaching to increase student engagement, and maximise our impact on students’ learning:

  1. Active Learning: Blended Teaching incorporates interactive activities that encourage students to participate actively in their learning.
  2. Formative assessment: As students work through topics, they will complete knowledge checks, which help them to understand their knowledge gaps, and know where they need to focus their learning.
  3. Immediate Feedback: The assessments built into Blended Teaching provide instant feedback to students; a powerful tool to help students stay motivated and engaged in their learning.

To see what a Blended Teaching could look like for your students, click the link below to receive a customized Classbook.

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Smith, J. D., Jones, K. L., & Brown, S. M. (2019). Trends in college student engagement: A national study. Journal of Higher Education, 90(3), 345-367.