Classroom instruction and retention
I think what happens in the classroom is the biggest factor in retention. If students can't find meaning in what they are being taught they will leave. What classroom techniques have you used to keep the material fresh and meaningful to the students?
You are right about retention. The students have to remain engaged and connected throughout the learning phase.
In response to your question about techniques I use for motivation I use a variety of different approaches that are fun as well as informative. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can present the material in a different way, being sure to focus on the different learning styles in the class. I use a number of different game show type activities to review the material. I have a Jeopardy game on Powerpoint. I load various questions onto it and then we use the various valued questions for review. Another I use is Family Feud where teams compete. I realize that we are talking about non-traditional adult learners in most cases, but I have found that this doesn't really matter. The students have fun with these types of activities while learning.
Another one I use is to present information that students may perceive as being boring or unnecessary and then I have a quest speaker come in an talk about how this information or skill is used in the workplace.
Hope these ideas help. If you have any further questions about this area let me know.
Games, group activities, convoluted problems that have humorous or interesting parts (Major and Minor Chord were married in Alabama, but...you get the picture). I try to include several of these kinds of teaching strategies in every class. As I said before, part of my job is teaching teachers. If you want me to provide materials, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sounds like you have a great job. You get to teach as well as provide professional development for instructors. Keep up the good work.
The key to good instruction is creativity. I find that many new instructors coming from business/industry have a hard time with this. They are trying to find out just how they can function in a classroom or laboratory and they sometimes don't get to enjoy the positive aspects of teaching due to this pressure. Anything we can do to help them relax and understand that they have a wide range of options available to them in presenting their content field is greatly appreciated.
I find bringing in former students who are sucessfully working in the same career are great. They are asked to pop in during certain hours and we actually interupt lecture,introduce them and they tell a bit about their jobs/experiences. Students love this! And so do I.
Any connection you develop between training and the â€œreal worldâ€ is appreciated by students. Using former students really gives motivation and hope to your present students. Also the use of field trips and employers helps to give the students an idea of what they are going to be facing as they complete their training. I have found that these outside individuals can say certain things about behavior and social skills that even though I have said them before are heard more clearly when spoken by these folks. It is like kids not really hearing their parents say certain things, but listen when the same thing is said by someone outside of the family.
As an English instructor, I sometimes have difficulty getting my students to see the applicability of learning the parts of speech, direct objects, etc. I try to focus them by explaining that although I know that no interviewer will ask them the parts of speech and such things, they will be speaking and need to know how to do it well. Therefore, the skills that I teach lead up to a bigger picture where they know how to speak and write correctly. They seem to respect this explanation.
You are using a â€œcommon senseâ€ approach to your English class. Students always ask the â€œwhyâ€ question and you are giving them the answer, "because you will be using this skill to help your future". Sometimes I think the students think the interviewers will overlook their inadequate use of English and poor expression skills. Not so! As you know no matter how skilled you are you have to get beyond the interview and get hired to show your abilities.
Do you use application strategies when you are teaching English, such as practicing responding to both written and oral interview questions? If so what are some of your techniques? Looking forward to your response.
I will be emailing you for some of the content I can use to leep my students motivated and retained. Thanks for the offer of help.
Incorporating current events, using different forms of media, relating personal experiences where possible, and utilizing former students as guest speakers are some of the ways I've used to keep material fresh and meaningful.
I like the idea of creating a Jeopardy or Family Feud style game. I plan to use that idea in planning a new orientation course at our school. It has been my experience that inside every adult is a child that loves to play games.
As I have mentioned before the Jeopardy game has been great for my classes. The students help me to create additional questions so my question pool keep growing each time I teach a class.
I TRULLY BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE, IN MY EXPERIENCE AS AN INSTRUCTOR FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS BEING ABLE TO RELATE WHAT WE DO IN CLASS TO THE REAL WORLD IS SO IMPORTANT.
I TEACH AUDIO ENGINEERING AND BEING ABLE TO GIVE THE LEARNERS REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES WHICH I HAVE CAME ACROSS MAKES THEM FEEL AS THOUGH I REALLY CARE ABOUT THEM.
I TRY TO CONSTANTLY INTRODUCE NEW MATERIAL AND NEW TECHNOLOGY INTO THE CLASS SO THAT THE STUDENTS ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD TO MY CLASSES.
I tend to disagree. The environment and external influences also contribute to the students' decision to stay in class or to drop out. For instance, since my classes are night class, and the students have a full time job, they occasionally missed school due to work requirements. Once they failed behind, they became obligated to go to class. The same thing is true for student whom showed up in class but did not comprehend the material (lack of understanding of the materials or not adequately reading the material).
External factors contribute greatly in terms of student retention. I work very hard with instructors throughout the United States on how to understand the impact these factors have and what instructors can do to help overcome them. We can't always do it, but we can sure try to be of support and help.
I find that I have no trouble getting student to stay in my class, so long as I have them engaged in meaningfull work that relates directly to what they will be doing in the workplace. In fact they get real charged about it. I, on the other hand have had to deal with the given situtations, far to many times, and having to reapeat in in class, is not helping me, be more enthusiastic about it, and I think it's showing. HELP!
I use things people deal with every day in life to reach each person on their level.
What are some examples of the things that you use with your students?
In all of our programs, students who go for their practicum, return at the end to "pass the torch" so to speak to those new students. They are able to talk about how the program worked for them, how well they did on their practicum and most times than not, help to celebrate their employment with others. It is a great way to motivate the students and helps them to keep their eye on the goal.
We also do morning check-ins. The first 20 min of each day is discussing anything that is bothering them from outside sources (family, kids, car, etc), then it is "thrown into the garbage" and the focus is then on the class for the day. We have found that by doing this, students not only form a good bond with each other and the instructor, but gain further knowledge of handling things.
I really like both of your approaches. Students really like hearing from those that have gone on before them. This helps them get a glimpse of the "real world" that is awaiting them out there.
By doing the 20 min check-in you are dealing with personal student situations but keeping control. Your students should be happy with this approach. Do you have any recommendations for an instructor that might be thinking of using this approach? Things to do and not to do to make it successful.