Many children have trouble paying attention in class at some point in their academic career. For some students this is a real issue and is something that is a barrier to learning. Poor concentration of a student in online classroom has become one of the challenging problems for a teacher nowadays. It's almost a mammoth task to keep students focused to their studies. There might be a lot of reasons that affects students' concentration, especially in online classroom. Students may not like the topic or understand the lesson, they may get distracted by external stimuli, or they may not being challenged or motivated, they may have trouble with organizing their studies, even some health issues may also cause them to lack focus in academic. But whatever the reason is, lack of engagement and focus can lead to poor performance and grades, a dislike of studies and perpetuating disruptive behavior.
It's a teacher's responsibility to keep his students on the track of learning. In online classroom it's very difficult to interact with the students and keep them focused and involved in the class. So today we'll discuss some of the strategies that may help teachers out from this problem.
10 Ways to improve students' concentration in online classroom
1. Schedule class with interval: Many sources say that the average length of a child’s attention can be calculated by this simple formula,
Age × 2-5 minutes = Average attention span.
When planning a single lesson or session, consider breaking it down into smaller chunks. If you are teaching a group of 7 year-olds, with an average attention span of 14-25 minutes, plan a kind of cognitive “gear shift” at each 15-minute or 20-minute interval. This may help students to continue longer activities with concentration.
2. Start with a warm up session: Before jumping into main session if one can manage to arrange warm up session i.e. today's lesson in small points, highlight the headlines, and revise previous lesson in short. These may help to take back students in lesson track and boost up their concentration.
3. Encourage to ask and discuss questions: To make online classes more interactive teacher should make a space for students to ask questions and doubts regarding same day's lesson. It's one of the scientifically proven methods to make a student focused to a topic by letting them think on their own raise the question they have in mind. This helps them to understand the topic more deeply and discussing the answers to those questions may help to exchange thought on same topic which nonetheless increases one's knowledge on the topic.
4. Visualization of contents and video sessions: Visual elements are processed faster by human brain. So teachers need to apply some creativity in their classes to help students visualize a topic. In that case one can use slide sharing, power point presentation, webinar etc. But the most effective way is video classes. Teachers should make a video on a specific topic which will definitely grab student's attention faster.
5. Conduct memory games: It is a very good option schedule some memory games in everyday session. The simple act of focusing for a length of time, while in the mental ‘play space’ of a game, is a valuable practice of concentration skills.
6. Organize quizzes and group activity: After completing a topic and before jumping into a new one, one can divide students into multiple groups and conduct quizzes among them. This activity allows students to understand the topic in a better way and it also helps to assess their understanding. Group activity is one of the best ways to keep students involved in a classroom.
7. Gamify hard topics: When a new or hard topic is taught, most of the students find it boring because they can't connect to that topic immediately. To solve this problem one can gamify those topics by conducting short note writing competition, fill in the blanks, press the buzzer and answer etc. Every student loves to 'learn with fun'. So this will surely help students to focus in class.
8. Tell stories: Kids are fond of stories. Even the naughtiest child can't resist himself from listening to new stories. So before starting a complex topic teachers may introduce stories related to the topic to students. The stories may include history behind the topic, how that impacts the world etc. In this way students can easily learn hard topics.
9. Take a feedback: When topic is covered, ask student how hard it was. Let them rate the task. Listen to their ideas to make it easier. Things may get easier with some of their interesting suggestions. Implementing those into daily activities can help to improve their attention in class.
10. Quick writes and revision: Teach students to write a summary on what they've learnt in today's class. With this practice kids don't get distracted from the lesson. While writing down the summary they can revise the whole topic within a short time. This write up can also help them in quick revision in future. This is a good way to keep students engaged to the lesson.
The above tips will definitely help teachers to keep their students focused to learning. Teachers can also include their personal style of teaching that can help. But it's very important to shuffle the teaching techniques after a certain time so that students don't get bored and distracted easily. With new innovative ideas only teachers can make classes interesting and keep teaching with ease.