Using technology to increase student engagement and retention – FE News

Since the start of the pandemic, educators have had to adapt to new teaching methods to engage their students. Overnight, we saw that teachers and students have to embrace online learning, which has rapidly accelerated the digital transformation of the education sector.

Ensuring that students stay engaged with their studies and their fellow students while sitting in the comfort of their own homes has been a challenge like no other. However, technology has really helped bring education to life.

Although many have returned to the classroom, the hybrid learning approach is becoming more popular. For this reason, institutions continue to introduce new and innovative technologies to support the learning experience of students and keep them connected, engaged and motivated.

So, with a hybrid approach to learning in mind, how can technology bring creativity back into the classroom while ensuring students continue to learn and stay engaged?

Modernizing the learning experience with augmented reality and gamification

From outdated textbooks and study materials to formal lectures, the traditional learning method is not for everyone. In fact, our latest research reveals that two in five people find traditional learning methods boring and half of those surveyed believe they would be more successful in their studies if the learning experience was more personalized and engaging.

In recent years, there have been many technological advances that provide a more exciting learning experience – including augmented reality (AR) and gamification. These technologies provide students and teachers with a fun and interactive experience that ultimately brings learning to life.

One of the most engaging elements of gamification is that it taps into students’ competitive drive by encouraging healthy peer competition. Like learning through play, gamification creates a much more memorable and interesting approach to learning, which ultimately leads to better retention of information.

Bringing learning to life is an essential part of driving course retention rates and increasing engagement. An effective way to do this is through AR technology. Many professional courses such as dentistry, engineering and nursing to name a few depend on practical experience. However, the shift to online learning during the pandemic has resulted in many students missing out on this crucial experience.

By introducing AR and other technology-driven solutions into the classroom, students were able to experience the hands-on side of learning from their chosen learning location. Our research found that more than half (54%) of students say they learn best through visual aids, so it’s important that educational institutions take this into account now that we’re moving back to in-person learning rather than -“traditional” teaching methods.

Keeping students engaged is one thing, but using technology like AR and gamification can actually help improve grades. In fact, a McKinsey study revealed that more than 60% of students believe that the technology used in the classroom since the start of the pandemic has not only improved their learning, but also their grades.

Keeping communication alive

There is no doubt that a factor influencing young people who want to go to university is the social element. A sense of community among peers has been shown by cognitive scientists to enhance the human ability to learn. Studies reveal that a sense of community, combined with social situations and activities that require cooperation, supports the ability to learn.

Although distance learning is increasingly part of the normal educational experience, there needs to be a real focus on building a sense of community among students. Fortunately, technological advancements over the years have allowed us to communicate with each other whenever and wherever, and we need to ensure that technology in the educational space continues to allow students to connect with each other.

We know that gamification gives students the opportunity to interact with like-minded people, but it also really helps to expand that community bond. At Immersify Education, we’ve integrated gamification into the Immersify Dental platform so learners can connect with like-minded people from around the world who are either studying dentistry or interested in the field. This allows users to create a community on the platform, which will ultimately make the learning experience more enjoyable by allowing them to share their learning experiences with each other, no matter where they are in the world.

What does the future hold for technology in the classroom?

It can be easy to forget, but no two people learn and retain information in exactly the same way, so education should not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Also, when it comes to individuals, one method may work for studying one subject but may not work for another.

In fact, our research reveals that one in five (19%) people are lifelong learners and constantly use different methods to learn new skills – this can include everything from educational games and quizzes to watching video tutorials and reading books.

This highlights that educators must continually explore different, more personalized approaches when seeking to engage a range of students. Not only will this help the student process the information more easily, but it will also ensure that they learn in a memorable way. Personalization is often overlooked in education, but it is an important part of the learning experience. For this reason, as the technology in this space evolves and adapts, we must ensure that personalization is taken into account.

When it comes to where we learn, whether we like it or not, hybrid learning is here to stay. This is the new norm and educational institutions must ensure they use technology to keep students engaged while maintaining retention rates. I believe we will continue to see new technologies enter the market to support the learning experience of students while ensuring they remain connected to their peers and teachers.

Here at Immersify Education, our platform offers a personalized and inclusive approach to learning. It uses advanced technology, interactive experiences, expert content, and gamified and personalized learning to enable students to have the best educational experience. Whether a student retains information better by reading, doing, or seeing, the Immersify Dental platform has experiences that will help them enjoy their learning – something I think all educational institutions should consider.

After all, technology was once a nice-to-have in the classroom, but now it’s a necessity.

By Chloe Barrett, CEO and Co-Founder of Immerse educationthe expansion of edtech that bridges the gap between theoretical and practical learning

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