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Seven tips to make online learning fun and engaging

Just because your child is learning online, that does not mean it will not be an engaging experience. There are plenty of ways to make online learning fun. By incorporating these tips into your child’s studying, you will find your child looks forward to learning and learns more in the process. 

Create a routine and stick to it

Students at all levels benefit from the structure that a routine brings. When learning in school, structure comes naturally via bells and class periods. This becomes more complicated at home, especially when some of the online learning is self-paced. Work with your child to set up a timetable for each element of online learning, from watching video lessons to finishing assignments. At the very least, have your child dedicate the same block of time every day to learning. 

Encourage multiple ways to communicate

Although the communication methods available will depend somewhat on your child’s school, you should encourage your child to communicate with classmates and teachers in multiple ways. Some will do best via video lessons, while others will do best with just the audio on and others will do best with their audio muted and typing responses. You should also consider emails and forums in addition to video and audio. Find the communication method that helps you make online learning fun. 

Motivate your child to participate

Once you know which methods of communication your child prefers, you can encourage your child to actively participate in the lessons. The lowest level of participation is attending online lessons, but your child will get the best results if they actively participate. Encourage your child to answer questions when asked and complete all the independent assignments their teacher assigns. 

Unfortunately, it is very easy to avoid participation in online learning. A New York Times report indicates that less than half of students in some classrooms are participating in remote learning, with a third of Los Angeles’ high school students not even logging into the lessons. Make sure your child is not one of these students. If you need help motivating your child, consider using their fear of missing out to your advantage. 

Gamify learning

One of the best ways to make online learning fun is to gamify it. This refers to incorporating elements of a game into the lessons. If you are lucky, your child’s school or teacher will already incorporate some of this via badges or learning games. Even if they have not, you can still help. Create badges or certificates that your child can earn for participation or achievements in his or her lessons. 

Choose interactive learning models

Whenever you can, do your best to focus on providing your child with interactive learning models instead of those that are one-sided. In other words, if you can choose between two online learning courses, one of which is just lecture-based and the other of which involves back-and-forth conversations between the teacher and students, always opt for the latter. 

Some interactive learning models even incorporate some of the other points on this list, such as quizzes that rely on gamification to make online learning fun. 

Find a balance between asynchronous and synchronous learning

Too much of the same thing gets boring for students, which is why it is best to find a balance between synchronous and asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning is when the teacher creates a lesson on their own schedule that your child accesses at different times than other students. With synchronous learning, the teacher and all students complete the lesson at the same time. 

Each of these has its own place, with synchronous learning giving your child opportunities for feedback and asynchronous learning letting them work at their own pace. 

Incorporate active learning

Finally, be sure to incorporate some active learning into the lessons. According to Cornell University, active learning is more effective than just lecturing. An example of active learning in traditional school settings is science labs, but you can get similar results at home. When learning about math, for example, you can encourage your child to practice a concept by doing calculations on an object in the house. 

 
 

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