The COVID-19 pandemic has made online and hybrid learning the norm—but today's reality can have a negative impact on student motivation

COVID-19 has placed global education in an unprecedented state of flux. Faced with both new and long-existing challenges, teachers are working harder than ever. They are being called to excel at a job that many of them were not trained for. They’re being asked to create an environment conducive to academic achievement without face-to-face interaction with their students.

Many of the difficulties that our educators are facing today have not been directly caused by COVID-19; they were merely exacerbated by it. Even before schools closed in the spring, teachers were already grappling with a crisis in student motivation.

Related content: How to make student-teacher communication work

Student motivation is important because it can be directly linked to attainment. In a survey conducted in 2018, approximately 29 percent of students reported that they were “not engaged” and 24 percent reported being “actively disengaged.” Combined with the added challenge of virtual instruction, motivating students continues to preoccupy educators. In a recent survey on the difficulties of distance learning, teachers cited their biggest challenge to supporting their students was keeping them all engaged. This drop in student motivation is expected to continue as hybrid and distance learning models become normalized.

This “new normal” in education requires meeting old and new challenges with novel solutions. Education leaders should put their focus on giving teachers the tools they need to face the challenge of encouraging engagement and increasing student motivation–even when they are not physically present in the classroom–while also freeing up time for them to focus on one-to-one instruction and support for their students.

Technology as an effective tool for student motivation

Research has shown that education technology can help improve student outcomes when executed effectively. For example, in a study across grades 1-8 in the U.S., introducing tools such as student response systems devices and computer software improved student motivation and engagement by 9 percent. When deployed along with strategies such as micro-learning, gamification, and effective feedback from teachers, edtech tools can go a long way in inspiring motivation.

COVID-19 has placed global education in an unprecedented state of flux. Faced with both new and long-existing challenges, teachers are working harder than ever. They are being called to excel at a job that many of them were not trained for. They’re being asked to create an environment conducive to academic achievement without face-to-face interaction with their students.

Many of the difficulties that our educators are facing today have not been directly caused by COVID-19; they were merely exacerbated by it. Even before schools closed in the spring, teachers were already grappling with a crisis in student motivation.

Related content: How to make student-teacher communication work

Student motivation is important because it can be directly linked to attainment. In a survey conducted in 2018, approximately 29 percent of students reported that they were “not engaged” and 24 percent reported being “actively disengaged.” Combined with the added challenge of virtual instruction, motivating students continues to preoccupy educators. In a recent survey on the difficulties of distance learning, teachers cited their biggest challenge to supporting their students was keeping them all engaged. This drop in student motivation is expected to continue as hybrid and distance learning models become normalized.

This “new normal” in education requires meeting old and new challenges with novel solutions. Education leaders should put their focus on giving teachers the tools they need to face the challenge of encouraging engagement and increasing student motivation–even when they are not physically present in the classroom–while also freeing up time for them to focus on one-to-one instruction and support for their students.

Technology as an effective tool for student motivation

Research has shown that education technology can help improve student outcomes when executed effectively. For example, in a study across grades 1-8 in the U.S., introducing tools such as student response systems devices and computer software improved student motivation and engagement by 9 percent. When deployed along with strategies such as micro-learning, gamification, and effective feedback from teachers, edtech tools can go a long way in inspiring motivation.

The use of edtech tools has surged in response to the pandemic-related school closures that began last March. With distance and hybrid learning becoming the new norm, our reliance on edtech will only continue to increase. However, in order to truly realize the potential of these tools, we must invest in ones that will allow teachers to support and encourage their students, while decreasing their workload.

When determining what tools help to achieve those goals, teachers and education leaders should look for products that:

● Employ bite-sized exercises and lessons: Research into micro-learning has shown that breaking lessons up into small learning units with micro-assessments can better engage students in online and blended learning environments. In a recent study examining mobile-based micro-learning and assessment homework activities on students’ motivation and learning performance, researchers found that students in an experimental group who experienced micro-learning reported significantly higher perceived autonomy and competence, and higher levels of learner satisfaction and achievement. Interactive exercises like definitions, formulas, small paragraphs, and flashcards with micro-assessment can help encourage student participation and motivation.
source: Read More, eSchool News

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