A recent study from EdWeek Research Center showed that 50% of students self-reported a drop in motivation in the classroom through the end of 2021, while 87% of teachers observed the same. While motivation alone can be hard to quantify, student engagement has been dissected to better understand how “attention, interest, curiosity, and positive emotional connections students have when they are learning,” impact learning outcomes. Students who are more engaged have higher levels of motivation, persevere through greater challenges in and out of the classroom, and strive to more fully understand learning materials.
A Gallup Study from 2019 shows significant performance gaps between students perceived to be highly engaged and disengaged. In math, for example, the most engaged students had achievement scores 21.99% higher than those in the bottom quartile of engagement. If engagement is so crucial to student achievement, how can school districts provide the tools needed to ensure higher engagement? It starts with providing the right resources to teachers.
The Obstacles to Student Engagement in the Classroom
Following the third school year impacted by COVID, and with greater demands on teachers’ time, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to task teachers with new initiatives designed to address the kind of achievement gaps found by the Gallup Study. A 2021 Christensen Institute study found that significant percentages of teachers are feeling overwhelmed and under-resourced in addressing students’ increased social challenges, managing multiple learning modalities, keeping up with constantly evolving technology tools, and a general lack of training and experience with the tools being provided.
Teachers are being asked to do more than ever before, and new teachers are being tasked with stepping into the classroom ready to teach, often with limited resources. Combined with the increased demands of 1:1 devices, the software platforms and tools purchased by school districts during the pandemic, and the continued need for remote learning when individual students get sick or are quarantined, engagement can lag behind. That’s why interactive, customizable learning materials that lessen teacher burdens are so important.
The Importance of an Engaged Learning Mindset
In a recent post, we discussed the Mindset Kit project and how it identifies three mindsets that help improve student engagement: purpose and relevance, growth mindset, and sense of belonging. Students who care about what they are learning feel a sense of belonging in the classroom. With a growth mindset, they remain more engaged and perform better.
With students used to instantly accessible resources and the ability to “click away” when bored in most other aspects of their life, education needs to meet them where they are. The use of worksheets, written assignments, and paper-based projects is declining in many districts for this reason. Interactive learning materials designed to keep students both physically and intellectually engaged with lessons go a long way to addressing these issues, but teachers don’t have the time necessary to build these lessons from scratch or to revise materials that are not designed to meet state standards.
This is where Boardworks comes in. Providing a library of 25,000 interactive instructional materials across K-12 subject areas of Math, English, History, and Science, Boardworks is designed to meet the diverse needs of teachers and students alike. Teachers can present interactive materials to a live classroom, assess student understanding, and then adapt and adjust for individualized instruction based on student performance and response. Hands-on activities and manipulatives allow all students to engage with lesson materials on their devices, receiving instant feedback. At the same time, Boardworks ensures resource consistency across grades and subjects within a school district, which creates opportunities for cross-curricular student engagement. By removing the learning curve of new systems, different materials, or variations between grades or teachers, students can focus on learning first and foremost.
Learn More About How Boardworks Influences Student Engagement
Boardworks is designed to provide a flexible, customizable suite of solutions, ensuring a higher level of interactivity for students, standards-aligned curriculum support for teachers, and customization to fit existing materials. Teachers can start using Boardworks almost immediately with an easy-to-use interface and built-in integration with Google Classroom. Students will be more fully engaged, achieving a growth mindset driven by individualized instruction supported by a powerful curriculum support system. Schedule a demo to see Boardworks in action and assess how it can support your district’s student engagement efforts.