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Helping to Engage Students in Learning Using 4 Simple Tools

  • 3 Min Read

Keep students engaged in learning using these four tools in Brightspace.

Puneet Kaur
Puneet Kaur

Technical Account Manager, Optimization Services


Creating an engaging learning environment is more than removing distractions for students. It’s also centered on cultivating a classroom culture where students view learning as fun and valuable. While it may be easy to define student engagement, applying it can be a different story, especially when trying to meet diverse student needs. In this blog, we’ve outlined four different ways to help keep your students engaged and to avoid falling into the trap of boring lessons.

1. Recognize Student Achievements by Using Awards

Is there anything more affirming than being told you’re doing well? Celebrating student accomplishments, either big or small, can help encourage a struggling student to persevere or a gifted student to try a new challenge. Here are some easy ways you can help recognize student achievement within your D2L Brightspace course shell without needing an elaborate ceremony or reward system.

Badges help provide digital markers that represent accomplishments or achievements throughout a course. For example, an instructor might create a badge that is based on posting 15 discussions in the first month of a course, on perfect attendance, or on academic excellence. These items are the types of trends that can help a learner succeed in a course or a program.

Certificates are awarded based on achieving a milestone, such as passing a practical exam, that a learner can use for further academic success. Certificates are similar to badges; however, they typically indicate an official statement of certification and include a PDF that users can print.

We owe it to our students to help them recognize their resilience and growth. These simple features can help give students the drive and motivation to continue doing great work.

2. Incorporate Checklists to Encourage Responsibility

Academic learning is the foundation of education; however, a great school experience goes far beyond science fair projects and papers. Another simple way to help engage students is by integrating activities such as checklists and achievement charts that help develop a variety of intrapersonal and self-leadership skills, otherwise known as soft skills.

Checklists are assessment tools that set out specific criteria educators and students may use to gauge skill development or progress. Checklists help highlight important aspects of a class and make students accountable for completing certain tasks. They can also encourage students to play an active role, not only in their assessments but also in the learning process. With students taking ownership of their work, they can develop self-regulation, a sense of accountability, and organizational skills.

3. Integrate Video Notes with Online Learning

Students learn in different ways—some learn well through reading and writing, and some excel with audio and visual materials, while others need to get up and move. Video helps educators balance the variety of student needs in a classroom by providing multimodal learning opportunities. Multimodal learning works to engage different senses—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—by using different modes of learning, such as speech, audio, written text, and visuals.

Video Notes help instructors easily record video using a webcam and instantly publish it in a course shell to add media content, create a more personal touch, or improve engagement with students.

With these videos, educators can personalize teaching in a whole different way. No longer are educators constrained by providing the same instruction or feedback to all students in the classroom; rather, learning can be individualized to help meet the needs of each student.

4. Learn How You Can Help Optimize Your Brightspace Classroom

Register for our monthly webinars for K-12 educators, teachers, and administrators to discover even more ways to help optimize your use of Brightspace, whether your school’s classes are online, hybrid, or in person.

These webinars offer effective practice workflows and use case examples for you to optimize your Brightspace classroom.

Sign up for the monthly K-12 webinars now

Written by:

Puneet Kaur
Puneet Kaur

Technical Account Manager, Optimization Services

Puneet Kaur is a Technical Account Manager, Optimization Services. She is passionate about the 21st Century models of learning that empower learners to become successful individuals in all walks of their lives. Puneet graduated in MEd from the University of Toronto in 2018 and her major research paper was, “Paving a Path for Global Competencies in the Ontario K-12 curriculum.” Prior to joining D2L, she worked as a curriculum analyst, education-researcher, and elementary level educator.

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Table of Contents
  1. 1. Recognize Student Achievements by Using Awards
  2. 2. Incorporate Checklists to Encourage Responsibility
  3. 3. Integrate Video Notes with Online Learning
  4. 4. Learn How You Can Help Optimize Your Brightspace Classroom