Motivating Virtual School Students to Learn
Unfortunately, there is no single miraculous formula for motivating virtual school students to complete their schoolwork. And, of course, not all students are motivated by the same values, needs, desires, or wants. Some of your students will be motivated by the approval of others, while others will be motivated by getting past challenges.
To encourage students to become self-motivated, autonomous learners, try some of the following strategies:
- Create a positive atmosphere and be open to questions.
- Hold high but realistic expectations for your students.
- Give frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students’ beliefs that they can do well.
- Help students find personal meaning and value in the material.
- Help students set achievable goals for themselves. If needed, break assignments into smaller pieces.
- Help students understand the requirements of the assignment.
- Ensure opportunities for students’ success by assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult.
- Start with the least favorite lesson first. It motivates students to keep studying if they know they are working toward the activities and lessons they most enjoy.
- Students learn by doing, making, writing, designing, creating, solving. Create opportunities for teachable moments, as these allow your child to have fun while learning at the same time.
- If you have multiple students in different grades, create opportunities for students to mentor each other. A team approach can be beneficial for everyone in your home classroom.
- Emphasize mastery and learning rather than using grades as threats.
- Reward success and showcase your student’s best work in a visible area.
- Be specific when giving negative feedback. Constructive criticism is very powerful.
- Avoid demeaning comments. Your student may be anxious about his or her performance and abilities. Instead, try to help with overcoming anxiety.
- Avoid giving in to your student’s pleas for “the answer” to problems. When you simply give struggling students the solution, you rob them of the chance to think on their own.
Using these tactics may give your students a sense of achievement and confidence that will increase their motivation to learn. Let us know what strategies you have developed for keeping your students excited about learning!