Interactive Teaching: How to Keep Online Students Engaged

Interactive Teaching: How to Keep Online Students Engaged

In recent years, the shift to online teaching has forced many educators to reconsider their teaching styles to ensure that students remain engaged and

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In recent years, the shift to online teaching has forced many educators to reconsider their teaching styles to ensure that students remain engaged and motivated. The challenge of keeping online students engaged with the learning can be quite daunting, but the good news is that it’s not impossible. By incorporating interactive teaching methods into your online lessons, you can keep your students engaged and enhance their online learning experience. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most effective techniques for interactive teaching that you can use to keep your online students engaged and motivated.

Why Teachers Need to Focus on Engagement in Online Classrooms

Building relationships with students and helping students stay motivated and engaged in an online classroom can often be more challenging compared to a traditional classroom setting. This is because without the benefit of face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult to create a sense of community and establish a connection with students.

Engagement is crucial for online classrooms for several reasons, including:

  • Student Satisfaction and Motivation: When students are engaged in the learning process, they are more likely to feel motivated to succeed. This can lead to improved academic performance, higher self-confidence levels, and a greater sense of achievement.
  • Student Retention Rates: When students are engaged and motivated, they are more likely to continue their studies through to the end and persist through challenges and setbacks, leading to higher retention rates for the course.
  • Positive and Supportive Learning Environment: Student engagement contributes to a more positive, supportive learning environment for all. Students who are motivated and engaged with their studies are more likely to collaborate with peers, participate in class discussions, and seek out help when needed.

The good news is that with the right strategies and approach, it’s possible for teachers and educators to overcome online learning challenges, building strong relationships with their students and creating a positive, engaging online classroom environment.

Using Word Cloud Poll Apps

One effective way to promote interactive learning in the online classroom is to use word cloud poll apps, such as Vevox. The Vevox app allows you to create interactive word clouds from responses provided by students. They can be used in several ways including brainstorming, idea generation, vocabulary building and more. With Vevox, you can ask open-ended questions and collect responses in real-time. All responses are then displayed in a word cloud format, where the most common responses are in a larger font than the less common ones. This can be a great way to stimulate discussion among online students and keep them engaged with the lesson. Plus, it provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn from one another and explore different perspectives.

Active Learning Techniques

Active learning is a teaching approach that focuses on engaging students in the learning process through activities and exercises. It involves providing students with various opportunities to engage in hands-on learning experiences that require them to be an active participant in the learning process, rather than passively sitting listening to a teacher speak or reading from a slideshow. You can apply active learning in an online classroom by incorporating a range of activities that require students to interact with the content and each other. For example, you can use simulations, case studies, debates, and role-playing activities. This is a great way to help students connect the content to real-world situations and get a better understanding of what they have learned.

Collaborative Learning

With collaborative learning, students work together in small groups to solve problems and complete tasks. One effective way to achieve this in an online classroom is to use virtual breakout rooms, where students can get together to complete activities or assignments together. Collaborative learning is an ideal way to promote engagement among online students, as it creates a stronger sense of community and gives students a chance to work together towards a common goal. Plus, it allows students to share their knowledge and perspectives and learn from one another.

Visual Aids and Multimedia

When it comes to engaging online students with the learning, visual aids and multimedia are excellent tools. They can be very useful for breaking up the monotony of text-based lessons and provide students with a visual representation of the content, which can help visual learners get a better understand of the topic. Some examples of visual aids and multimedia that you can use in the online classroom include videos, images, graphs, infographics, and interactive simulations.


Gamification is a great way to keep online students engaged with a lesson. It involves incorporating game-like elements into the learning process to promote engagement and motivation. In an online classroom, there are several ways that you can achieve this including educational games, quizzes, and other interactive activities. Gamification helps make the learning more fun and engaging, along with providing students with new opportunities to practice their skills and sharpen their knowledge. By providing students with instant feedback and rewards using gamification, you can also encourage and motivate students to continue learning.

Personalised Learning

With personalised learning, teachers tailor the learning experience to meet the individual needs and interests of each student. In an online classroom environment, this can be achieved by using adaptive learning technologies designed to provide students with personalised feedback and recommendations based on their performance. By personalising the learning experience, teachers can promote more engagement as they will provide students with a sense of ownership over their learning while making it easier for them to progress at their own pace.

Building Relationships and Creating a Sense of Community

Along with incorporating interactive teaching methods, building relationships and creating a sense of community is crucial for keeping students engaged and motivated in the online classroom environment. Often, learning online can feel quite impersonal and isolated, so it’s crucial to create a sense of connection among the students and give them plenty of changes to get to know their teachers and each other.

  • Creating Community: Teachers can use various methods to create a strong sense of community among online students. These include facilitating discussions designed to help students get to know one another, encouraging students to introduce themselves with ice-breaker games and activities, and setting up chat rooms, forums, and other opportunities for students to talk to each other outside of the classroom environment.
  • Building Rapport: Building rapport with students is crucial for creating a positive, supportive online learning environment. Teachers can achieve this by being approachable and responsive to the needs of students, providing timely feedback, and actively engaging with students through discussions and other activities. Through strong rapport building, students are more likely to feel comfortable asking questions or asking for help when needed, which can help reduce anxiety and improve learning outcomes overall.
  • Effective Communication: Good communication is key for building strong relationships with students and creating a positive online classroom experience. Teachers can achieve this through various strategies including using clear, concise language, providing detailed instructions and expectations, and responding promptly to any concerns or questions. When teachers communicate effectively, students are more likely to feel supported and engaged throughout the learning process.

With online learning becoming more commonplace, it’s crucial for teachers and educators to find new and creative ways to keep students engaged and create a sense of community for them throughout the learning process.