Tips for Inspiring Overachieving Students

Written by Chanel Sutherland.

A group of Higher Education students engaging on a topic

In a recent blog post, 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.

  1. Flip your classroom
    A hot topic in educational circles, the flipped classroom is challenging the traditional approach to learning. 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 introduce a concept or topic, students can tackle these topics first at home, and then use class time (remote or in-person) to engage, discuss, and work through these topics. This approach may particularly benefit high-performing students. 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 after employing this approach.
  2. Transition from lecturer to learning partner
    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 needs 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 a partner as students provide in-the-moment feedback on how they want learn, and how to approach it. Checking in, especially in a remote learning scenario, will help students innovate, problem solve, and take a leading role in their student experience. This process can be made faster and more efficient with continuous listening platforms like Bluepulse.
  3. Gamify your classroom
    What’s more motivating than playing games? Human beings spend a total of 3 billion hours a week playing video and computer games, with the pandemic pushing both adults and teenagers to play even more. The quests, the obstacles, the rewards – this can be an effective way to maintain student learning, even among high-performers: by layering an effective, gamified system on top of the syllabus. 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 instructors and institutions with large amounts of utilizable data which can further drive improvement in their course design and delivery.
  4. 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 virtual or non-virtual apprenticeships. Higher Education / private enterprise partnerships can lead to more vigorous, real world focused learning experience 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.

Student success in Higher Education is build on engagement. This is an ongoing challenge for instructors in both the in-person and remote learning environment. Employing the above methods can be a way to ensure that better experiences are reflected in evaluation forms and student feedback, ultimately helping to ensure better student retention.

Ultimately, these approaches can form part of a dynamic, ongoing Experience Management (XM) strategy – which can be actively supported by Blue, an XM platform.  

How to engage students in our new normal

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