Tip #868: How to Immediately Get Learner Engagement

“Teaching is a strategic act of engagement.” James Bellanca

I absolutely hate repeating something without providing proper attribution. I usually note down sources, so I don’t know why I didn’t in this case. Unfortunately, after two hours trying to locate the source of the following information, I have been unsuccessful.

I offer abject apologies to the brilliant source of this quote. It is just too good not to pass on. Please let me know if you can identify who wrote this:

Here’s a sample prompt that you can use to kick off virtual or in-person sessions to help learners understand their role, their responsibility, and the value they will get by participating:

“I’m going to ask each of you to do everything you can to actively engage in this session. Ask questions, discuss, participate. Most of the time we don’t realize that by engaging and participating, we are activating synapses in our brains that help us learn and retain information. By asking those questions and listening to other voices besides your instructor, your brain gets more anchors to connect to.”

That prompt encourages participants to engage and clarifies for them their role in the learning process. But don’t stop there. Also try to make sure they understand the value of the content you’re presenting by helping them to brainstorm practical applications. For example:

“How will this help you in your job, role, or goals? How do you see yourself using this? How soon will you use this skill, and for what purpose? Talking about this will help connect the concept to other neural pathways to help you remember. Even if you’re taking this class for a certificate or to fulfill a job requirement, thinking of practical uses can help the information stick in your brain long enough to pass the test, complete the requirement, and beyond.”

Isn’t this terrific advice?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.


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