Engaging students

Building a positive learning environment

Advice on creating a positive learning environment.

There are many strategies and techniques that you can use to create a positive learning environment that will foster student engagement and provide an enriching learning experience.

Define expectations

Provide students with an outline of what you expect them to learn and why. This is especially important for large classes as there are too many students to engage with each one individually.

Communicate effectively and encourage student participation

Students learn more when they are actively involved in the learning process, rather than just listening.


Ask regularly for feedback

Communication is a two-way process that involves both speaking and listening. Teachers who regularly check in with their students have a better understanding of how to improve their teaching, while students tend to engage more readily in their learning process if their input is actively and regularly sought.

Fostering Student Engagement

Share your enthusiasm for your subject matter

Sharing your passion and enthusiasm will help convey why your subject is interesting and encourage students to care about the subject matter.

Provide experiential learning opportunities

A variety of experiential learning strategies can be explored and implemented to create conditions in which students, through engagement in the interactive tasks, can deepen their understanding of key course goals.

Make it personal

Creating a personalized environment can engage students by making them feel a part lof the earning process.

Teaching to large classes

Differences between large and small classes

Consciously building a positive learning environment is especially important in large classes, where students often don't feel included in the learning process and you are unable to provide the same learning opportunities as easily as you would be able to in a smaller class.

International teachers

Suggestions and information for teachers from abroad, including cultural challenges and differences, language skills in the class, and student expectations.

Getting Help

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning

Whether you have a new teaching strategy in mind or are seeking potential strategies for meeting your current goals GMCTL can help.

Distance Education Unit (DEU)

DEU offers strategies for teaching with technologies to create an effective community of learners.