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Tips for Inspiring Overachieving Students

In our last blog, we discussed different Tips for Engaging Underperforming Students. This week, we’re looking at ways that instructors can inspire their overachieving students. Even the best students can have difficulties staying motivated in the classroom. While many educational programs focus on engaging the at-risk learner population, it is equally important to recognize and address the needs of those students who are overachievers. Here are a few strategies that instructors can use to keep their top performing students inspired.

Flip Your Classroom: A hot topic in educational circles, the flipped classroom is challenging the traditional approach to learning by literally flipping it on its head. According to Educause “the term is widely used to describe almost any class structure that provides prerecorded lectures followed by in-class exercises.” Rather than sitting through lectures that they already understand, students can learn at home and use class time to work on more engaging activities. In 2012, the Flipped Learning Network in collaboration with Classroomwindow reported data from a survey of 453 flipped educators. 80% reported an improvement in their students’ attitudes.

Transition from Lecturer to Learning Coach: Technology is continuously changing the relationship between student and teacher. Given the abundance of information readily available at students’ fingertips, the role of the instructor need to evolve in the 21st century classroom. To keep students engaged, teachers need to step away from the podium and allow their students to take more active roles in their education. The teacher becomes the coach as students learn how to innovate, problem solve, as well as gain a better understanding of themselves as learners.

Gamify Your Classroom: What’s more motivating than video-games? Human beings spend a total of 3 billion hours a week playing video and computer games. The quests, the obstacles, the rewards – there is no better method to increase motivation in the classroom than an effective gamified system. For students who are ahead of the class, games introduce a new challenge that allows them to test their knowledge for points and badges. Gamification also provides teachers with large amounts of data that they can use to further drive improvement in their course design and delivery.

Form Educational - Business Partnerships: By forming partnerships with business within the community, educators can provide academic enrichment opportunities for students. These can include mentoring, job shadowing and apprenticeships. Educational partnerships can lead to more enjoyment in learning for students while still supporting the curriculum. As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, eXplorance has an internship program where students from universities can earn on-the-job experience in their chosen fields.

Get Students’ Input on How They Want to Learn: Getting feedback from overachieving students is important because it can help teachers understand the effectiveness of their teaching and course design.

What other strategies do you use to inspire overachieving students? How might different teaching styles impact learning? Comment and let us know.

Chanel M. Sutherland
Marketing Content Specialist, eXplorance