Helping learners engage with the materials

There are a number of things you can do to help learners engage fully with the materials. For example:

  • Ensure the activity is clearly relevant to the learning objectives and topic in hand.
  • Explain the purpose of the activity in general; in relation to individual learning plans or objectives.
  • Indicate the time needed.
  • Suggest how ‘big’ an answer is appropriate.
  • Avoid “busy work” – exercises with no clear focus or objective.
  • Avoid vague activities – for example, asking students to ‘Jot down a few ideas about…’ without giving some guidance and structure.
  • Consider alternatives to writing or keying.
  • Ensure variety.
  • Use graphics where appropriate.
  • Be consistent throughout – for example, use the same words in instructions.
  • Don’t have too much text on a page – leave some white space.
  • Give satisfying feedback, for example:
  • the correct answers if there are any;
  • sample answers;
  • other people’s responses;
  • advice as to how the students can assess their own responses;
  • advice about how to get feedback from other people;
  • sympathy about difficulties they may have had;
  • reassurance about, and guidance on, possible errors they may have made;
  • comments on issues raised by the activities.

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