Let's face it - engagement during a virtual lesson can be challenging. Awarding participation points can make a big difference in keeping students involved in your class discussion.
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Synchronous instruction works best when teachers talk less and students participate more. But it can be challenging to "break the ice" to get students comfortable turning on video, contributing to the discussion, and working together in small groups. Clear expectations and positive reinforcement will help you bring students out of their shells and create a culture of participation.
Create a "Participation" button on your school-wide rubric of behavior expectations. We recommend a point value of 1.
Pro Tip: Want even more useful data on class participation? Create multiple buttons that correspond to the different ways students can earn points for Participation. See Step 2 for ideas!
Introduce students to specific ways that they can participate in your class. As a rule of thumb, the best participation expectations are voluntary, specific, and meaningful. Here are a few examples to try:
Award a point to students whenever they participate in the ways above. To save time, use LiveSchool's multi-select feature to build a list of students who are participating, then award each of them a point at the end of the discussion.
Whenever possible, include a comment with specific details! This extra effort on your part will pay dividends for parent communication, and when you need to pull data in Step 3.
Use your data! There are a few key reports you'll want to monitor:
Getting the hang of Participation? Take it up a notch with Participation Challenges. Place a new behavior on your rubric called "Participation Challenge" that is only used for high-effort participation. Give it a higher point value (like 3 points), then challenge your students:
Remember that voluntary engagement always beats forced participation.
Get creative, have fun, and remember – keep it positive! 🎉
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You might be surprised to find how easily your school's behavior rubric translates for at-home learning!
These incentive ideas will keep students motivated while respecting social distance guidelines.