Building 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.
Here are just a few ways:
- Encourage participation
- Show your enthusiasm
- Be prepared
- Make it personal
- Be accessible
- Provide experiential exercises
- Flip the classroom
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. Providing and going over the syllabus is crucial in communicating your expectations.
Students learn more when they are actively involved in the learning process, rather than just listening.
Research has shown that case-based learning has been very successful at providing a context for abstract material. Cases also provide an ‘experience’ for students that can be transformed into learning through reflection or experimentation.
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.
The Learning Technology Ecosystem (LTE) is made up of the tools that the USask community uses to create, deliver, manage, and analyze learning content. The LTE Toolkit is a collection of information of the teaching and learning technologies available at USask.
Ask for feedback
Make it personal
Creating a personalized environment can engage students by making them feel a part of the earning process. Ways to make it more personal:
- Learn and use student's names
- Be approachable
- Be accessible
- Learn about your studen'ts interests and backgrounds
Teaching to a large class
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.
Suggestions and information for teachers from abroad, including cultural challenges and differences, language skills in the class, and student expectations.
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.