Are your students rushing through their eLearning lessons too quickly?
Are you afraid students are too focused on earning a “check” rather than actually learning their course material?
In this article, you’ll learn tips and tricks to prevent students from rushing through their eLearning lessons. You’ll also begin to understand the reasons why students may do this in the first place.
1. Consider Your Students’ Motivations
Finding out why your students are acting the way they are is a key first step to solving behavioral issues in the classroom.
In other words, consider the motivations your students may have for rushing through their lessons in class.
For instance, some students might have already taken specific AES modules in a previous class. If your students are rushing through some lessons, it might be because they’ve already taken the lesson before and don’t see value in taking it again.
To counteract this, one strategy is to gauge your students’ prior knowledge of the topics at hand using pre-tests and other assignments.
If some students have taken these lessons before, then it might be best for you to differentiate your instruction to ensure they feel like they’re making valuable use of their time. For example, have students who already know the material begin work on projects or activities while their peers continue forward with eLearning lessons.
On the other hand, another reason students might rush through their lessons is out of boredom in class. In that situation, it could be worth re-examining how your engagement strategies are working for you, and whether you need to improve them.
It’s important to remember erratic student performance could also be the sign of a learning disability. If that’s the case, you may need to seek additional support to provide a better learning experience for affected students.
Need better strategies to engage students in your classroom? Then check out one of these articles to see whether it has strategies that will be helpful to you:
2. Present Lessons at the Front of Class & Walk Through Together
One strategy to get students to slow down during their eLearning lessons is to present a lesson at the front of class and walk through it together with students.
This process is called “modeling”, and by working with your students this way, you set the right pace when it comes to working on each lesson. This will help you clue students in so that they know about how long each lesson should take to complete.
This can also serve as your chance to answer any clarifying questions the class might have, and to ensure they fully understand the assignment. Make sure your students are clear on the expectations---let them know how long a lesson should take, and provide rubrics so they can review their work.
Be sure to take it slow during this presentation so you don’t encourage students to rush through their own lessons.
3. Use Your Class Pacing Settings
There are some pacing settings within the AES platform that can be tweaked in order to better fit the needs of your class.
For one, it’s possible to close a unit or module within the platform so that students can’t access it until you want them to. This can cut down on students completing lessons ahead of time, before you want them to.
Another option is to require students to complete the previous module in class before starting the next one, which should prevent students from working too far ahead.
You can also require students to complete all lessons in a unit before taking the unit quiz, or all units in a module before taking the module test. This will ensure students are learning all the necessary material before taking their summative assessments.
For more information on some of these pacing options, check out this article on Advanced Pacing Settings
4. Reflect on Your Classroom Patterns
Another good way to understand why your students rush through their lessons is to reflect on how often it occurs and other important classroom patterns.
Ask yourself questions like: Is this a problem that continuously pops up? Is it multiple students, or just one? Does it happen every class, or just occasionally? Are your expectations clear?
The bottom line is, your students and classes will be different from semester to semester or year to year. How your students acted last year will have little bearing on how they act this year, and you will have to adapt your class accordingly to ensure you’re meeting their needs.
By reflecting on your classroom patterns, you may realize that some classes have quirks that others don’t, or that some teaching strategies are working differently this year than another year.
For instance, some classes may have students who thrive on independent work like eLearning lessons. However, in other classes, you may have to scaffold with students---supply them with more resources and support to get them to complete their lessons.
With this reflection, you begin to see the big picture of your class, and dig into the subtext of your students and their interactions. You get a sense of who is acting up, and even why they’re doing so.
This is valuable insight that will allow you to create the best learning experience possible for your current students, by continuously adapting your class to their traits and personalities.
5. Be Prepared for Leftover Time
Even if you employ every strategy in this article, there may come a time when your students still complete their eLearning lessons quicker than you would like. A good way to make the most of this is to simply prepare yourself for leftover time at the end of your class periods.
Here are a few options for activities your students can complete to fill up the last few minutes of class:
Have students journal or complete a “Write for Five” where they write about the things they learned from each day’s lesson. Try pulling journal prompts from the AES Reinforce phase, which is full of interesting questions for each module.
Sit your students in a circle and have them discuss topics that have caught their attention or need clarification. This type of educational technique is called a “parking lot”, where students “park” topics on a sheet that they want to know more about.
If class projects are a part of your curriculum, allow students to break up into groups and work on these projects. You can also pull activities from the AES Explore phase to make the last few minutes of class both fun and productive.
Give your students a brain-break, where they can meditate, stretch, or simply relax until their next class begins. It’s okay to have a few minutes left over---why not use that time to strengthen relationships with students?
By preparing to have a few minutes left over at the end of class, you ensure your class time is productive, even if students complete their lessons quicker than anticipated.
Need More Guidance from Teachers like You?
You’ve learned a few different ways you can prevent students from rushing through lessons in your class, but why not take advice from teachers like you?
Consider joining the AES Educator Community group to see how other teachers use ensure their students pay attention and engage with the eLearning lessons in the AES curriculum.