Telling your students what to do, what to think, and how to reason is outdated. It makes kids passive learners and the classroom dull. So how do you encourage active learning in the classroom without boring your kids? By creating an environment for interactive learning (where the student needs to interact with the teacher instead of listening passively).
Interactive learning is a method in which students are encouraged to participate in the learning process. It creates an environment that promotes active learning and constructive knowledge building.
This post is an attempt to clarify the meaning of interactive learning. It’s a popular buzzword in education and comes up when we talk about instructional design and research. It sounds positive, but what does it mean?
What is Interactive Learning?
Interactive learning is a way of teaching that involves active participation by students who respond to teachers’ questions, discussions, games, class problem-solving exercises, presentations, or other opportunities for interaction and the exchange of ideas. Its teaching techniques include cooperative learning groups, brainstorming, and other group projects.
It balances the role between the teacher as the provider of knowledge and the students as the ones who create it. With this new style of learning, teachers are becoming facilitators who facilitate positive interactions among learners for active and cooperative learning.
How Does Interactive Learning Work?
Students who are taught interactively do better than those who don’t, as they are more engaged and behave better. According to research, students learn more when they can do more things for themselves.
The method is based on establishing relationships, with children feeling free to express themselves. The teacher listens and responds with empathy and not criticism, encouraging the child and helping them to solve the task at hand. Here’s a simple analogy of how interactive learning works:
- Interactive classes engage students
- Engagement leads to better test scores
- A better test score means greater self-confidence
- Self-confidence makes students happy
- Students are less distracted when engaged and happy
- Students who stay happy get better grades, are more easily engaged in independent learning activities, and study diligently for tests
- Simply put, an interactive class full of optimistic students will do great work
Interactive learning allows students to work on their initiative, think, and follow their interests while working with the teacher as a guide and a coach. A teacher’s role is to ensure that students have opportunities to learn by interacting with them and with their environment. Students are doing most of the work. They are motivated and engaged in what they do.
What Are the Benefits of Interactive Learning?
1. Increased understanding and retention
In an age where students are increasingly submerged in a sea of information and digital stimuli, interactive learning can help them to learn more effectively and effectively. They also retain that information longer. Interactive education is a fun way to instruct students and allows them to be involved in their own learning experience, rather than being passive participants.
2. It can improve group learning skills, critical thinking skills, and time management skills
Interactive learning can be a powerful tool in the classroom. It can improve students’ quality of work by enhancing their abilities to communicate with one another and make up for being less knowledgeable. Furthermore, it improves their time management skills and critical thinking skills.
These activities also incorporate all of the five senses, encouraging stimulation while they learn or practice a concept or skill.
3. Students learn and retain more through hands-on activities
Interactive learning is a child-centered approach to education that allows students the freedom to explore and participate in their learning. Through hands-on activities, students experience what they are learning, so that they not only learn it but also retain it.
SEE: Hands-on learning
4. Builds confidence in the learners
Interactive learning provides an opportunity for the students to express themselves. The students can respond to situations or ask questions when they do not understand something. The teachers also find it useful when they are pre-planning lessons.
It is easier to know what the gaps in the students’ knowledge are. Interactive learning has many benefits to the learner, as it increases their confidence and capacity to learn, among other advantages.
5. Gives students the chance to think about a lesson, rather than just recall it
Interactive learning is a way of teaching that encourages students to interact meaningfully with the materials presented to them. It often uses games, role-playing, and simulations, but it can also be used in other ways to promote active learning. Furthermore, it gives students the chance to think about a lesson rather than just recall it.
It encourages higher-order thinking skills like analysis, interpretation, evaluation, and synthesis. It also allows students to make connections between one of these four steps and their everyday life.
SEE: Cognitive learning
6. Students get the chance to bring their personalities into what they’re learning
Interactive learning is something akin to a poster boardwalk in the park. Students aren’t just looking at the material and taking notes; they’re out there exploring, bringing their personalities into what they’re learning, and building upon previous information.
The creative process often sparks something new in the minds of young people. Through it, all students have the chance to explore different ways of learning and discover what works best for them.
SEE: Types of learning
7. Build relationships between teachers, students, and parents
Interactive learning involves teachers and parents interacting with students to keep them interested and engaged. With the ever-changing technology, interactive learning is emerging as a powerful and effective tool for educators, parents, and teachers alike to aid in the education process.
Tips to Properly Implement Interactive Learning in Classrooms
1. Introduce the idea of interactive learning in your classroom
Interactive learning is a fancy term for what I like to call “fun stuff.” Interactive learning is anything in your classroom that gets your students more involved with the lesson at hand.
One thing you can do to help make it easier to implement interactive learning right away is to introduce the idea of having fun while learning to your class. This will get them excited about the differences they can see in the way the teacher is running things.
2. Teach students how to ask questions, not just answer
Although questions are an important element of interactive learning techniques, a lot of teachers don’t know how to use them. Questions are a crucial part of the learning process. They make it possible to get students engaged in the lessons and active learners.
Interactive learning aims to teach students that asking questions is a process, not just something they do occasionally. Also, when students are asked a question, they don’t just answer. Rather they explain how they arrived at their answer, which leads to further discussion. Research shows that this approach results in a significantly higher level of learning.
3. Use a variety of sources
When planning to implement interactive learning in your classroom, you don’t have to turn the whole classroom into one big technology experiment. Back up your lessons with a combination of various sources such as video, third-party imagery and photos, testimonials, digital tools, and more.
In today’s world, children must be literate, with the ability to read, analyze and synthesize information.
4. Start with groups and keep it simple
It’s always a challenge to find new and engaging ways to engage students during a lesson. In addition to encouraging teamwork and creativity, interactive learning is very easy to integrate into a lesson.
Teachers should divide their classrooms into small groups. This can help them achieve high-quality lessons and results in a short time. With this grouping, teachers can start simply by playing some group games to set a strong foundation for interactive learning. Ensure that students feel comfortable expressing themselves in their groups.
5. Create more opportunities for participation and working together
Create more opportunities for your students to participate in class, increase their motivation, and subsequently boost their performance. This is one way to improve your classroom, increase student engagement, and boost their performance as a whole.
The key differentiator here is that you are giving your students ownership over the activity. By doing this, you are encouraging higher levels of participation and collaboration since it’s no longer about competing for individual attention.
6. Give hands-on activities
Interactive teaching methods can help students learn more effectively. Students benefit from interactive learning because it allows them to use more than just what they learn from their teachers in the classroom.
Instead of lecturing, teachers in an interactive learning environment should focus more on engaging their students. Students need to feel like they are a part of the class to learn. 80% of learning occurs through hands-on activities.
When students can interact with tangible objects, they can better understand concepts than they would be able to through text or images alone.
7. Monitor progress
Being a teacher can be very challenging, especially when you have to teach a large number of students. With interactive learning, you can properly monitor your students’ progress and effectively use your resources wisely.
The learning must not only be done by the students; teachers must also learn the skill. Teachers should learn how to properly monitor the progress of the students as well as the lessons.
Why is Interactivity So Important in Learning Today?
Interactivity is a key factor in how people’s brains are wired to think, remember and process information. In fact, one way to gauge the quality of educational materials is to ask whether or not it’s interactive. The major reason interactivity is so important in learning today is that meaningful learning takes place in an interactive learning environment.
The majority of American parents and teachers believe students today need more emphasis on skills like teamwork, communication, lifelong learning, and hands-on experiences. Learning through interaction with others, the environment, or media is an obvious choice for putting this emphasis on the student.
What is an example of an interactive learning experience?
Interactive learning is a teaching style that can incorporate students in the process of learning. Rather than simply having students listen to lectures and read textbooks, teachers can implement interactive learning tools into their classrooms such as group work, class discussions, collaborative projects, peer feedback, and assessments.
What software can be used for interactive learning?
Using the right technology, such as interactive whiteboards, or software tools can get learners engaged in the content you are delivering. A variety of software that opens up the power of learning! It can be used in a classroom setting or between parent and child. The most common forms of software used are web resources, software that uses artificial intelligence, and games.
Can a disabled student benefit from interactive learning?
Yes. Interactive learning has a huge impact on all students (disabled, gifted, or struggling) and their ability to excel academically. Students can construct a better understanding of math concepts through real-world examples and they learn to apply their knowledge to “real-life” situations.
Interactive learning can help you achieve your educational goals. Interactive lessons encourage meaningful and productive student participation. Through interactive learning and activities, students are actively engaged instead of passively listening to instructions.
Creating activities that cater to a wide range of learners, interests, and strengths is one way in which interactive learning contributes to diversity in the classroom. Moreover, it’s time to embrace this form of individualized education in the 21st century.
Lastly, interactive learning can only succeed and achieve its full potential if there is some kind of collaboration in the classroom. You can learn more about how collaboration enhances learning by reading the article on collaborative learning. You will also learn about the benefits and strategies of this form of learning.
Thanks for reading.