What is it that makes a student want to learn? What is the reason students seek course-specific knowledge?
In higher education, the normal method is to introduce students to a curriculum that is pre-designed. This creates an environment for learning. It is planned out activities and resources that are readily available to students in order to help them engage in the learning activities. This can bridge the gap between students’ learning experiences and their own. Intellectual curiosity is a natural thing which is uncontrollable. But, it may be stimulated through the completion of planned tasks, or by the involvement of instructors.
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In a classroom, learning can be an energizing intellectual exercise. Engaging students’ intellects can elevate cognition beyond automatic thinking, to higher-order thinking and even critical thinking. Intellectual curiosity then, becomes an interest in understanding why, when reading new information, the search for a fundamental basis for what is being read that may be new or otherwise different, the need to discover new ideas and perspectives, and a time when existing beliefs may be challenged.
It is essential for instructors to understand the reason why students are interested and active in class. While teaching as an instructor in a traditional setting it was much easier to monitor the degree of engagement of the students in class, and ask specific questions that helped them think further about the subject matter. This strategy must be modified for online instructors. This is something I’ve learned to do over time. You must think beyond asking questions. It is crucial to think about what questions should be asked and what tone conveys the message. The next article you read could help provide your teaching practice with fresh ideas and strategies.
The importance of learning activities
The two most commonly used teaching activities in a traditional online class is synchronous discussion in class and writing assignments. The reasons for these to be the most frequently used activities is twofold. They encourage engagement from both an individual and group perspective. Asynchronous discussions are designed to help students locate specific details and respond to targeted prompts. The idea behind the discussion is that the text discussed with the discussion will prompt the student to reflect and prompt further research which will lead to intellectual curiosity.
In the case of writing assignments, the same assumption holds true for writing assignments. Students are directed to specific facts and the belief is they will think about the information, and through the engagement of their cognition their curiosity about the subject will be prompted. This will lead to a well-researched and written paper.
The reality is that most students post a reactionary blog post about discussions without actually reading the material. This means that it takes more effort to create interest in the material and also to stimulate an interest in the subject. Students who are not familiar in writing or who want to finish their assignments quickly should use minimal sources. To assist students in focusing and direct their attention the instructor is essential.
Why Engaging Intellectual Curiosity Is Important
Take a look at the first perspective from a casual reading. While the intention behind casual reading could be different, the goal isn’t to gain extensive knowledge or long-term memories. In contrast, formal learning is a goal with a specific goal, and the mind takes on an important role in the acquisition of knowledge for the long-term. The first thing to be engaged is cognition and the processing of information during the reading process when students are reading the assigned materials and then search for additional reading.
Students who are actively engaged are more likely to demonstrate higher-order thinking or critical thinking. They also have the ability to think logically and write effectively. They are able to process and comprehend information, and synthesize it. This leads to another conditioncalled mental acuity or having a clear state of mind. This is also the result of being intellectually curious. However, the ultimate purpose of this kind of curiosity is to seek knowledge for the purpose of being able to learn.
How can we encourage intellectual development in Students
In any class, and especially one that is online the instructor with the greatest influence on the growth of a student’s intellect and enthusiasm is the instructor. I’ve found it occurs as a result of my direct involvement in the classroom regardless of the amount of time that I spend in the classroom. This is due to the fact that I’ve learned to value every interaction I’ve had with students, whether through showing appreciation or encouraging their intellectual growth. In other words, you don’t have to spend every day in the classroom to be successful. You are able to interact with students on the internet, even when you are taking breaks.
To stimulate the curiosity of your students, perhaps the following strategies can be added to your teaching strategies.
#1.Maximize your knowledge
The curriculum you have designed should not be considered as a substitute for your own experience and knowledge. Your experience is highly important in class discussions and feedback. In other words, all aspects of the course you participate can benefit from the knowledge that you possess. Your knowledge can make course topics more engaging and interesting, and increase student interest.
#2.Ask frequently-asked questions
When used in a strategic manner, questions can be an effective tool to stimulate further thought regarding the subject matter of the course. When I’m involved in course discussions I always conclude the discussion by asking a question in order to in extending the conversation. I understand this follows the Socratic method of dialog, but I do my best to not be too explicit in my responses, given the online class format. It is essential to be aware of the tone of the article and make it as inclusive as you can. Since I may not be able answer every student every week, I’ll try to make a suggestion that is open to everyone.
#3.Learn more about the course materials
One of the most common mistakes I’ve observed in my role as Faculty Development Specialist is faculty members who don’t refer to course material during class discussions. I’m not suggesting there is a need to integrate discussions with course materials in every response you post; however, it can be helpful to refer to specific points which are important to the major topics of the week. This can be helpful for students who don’t study the material or miss crucial details. Additionally to this, if I am able to make the materials appear interesting, I might be able help in engaging students in the course materials.
4.Always Be Curious Yourself
Here’s something to keep in mind: You set your example. If you’re curious about the subject matter of the class, and demonstrate a true excitement for what is being studied, it is likely to inspire your students. You will often hear educators speak of being always learning, and that is exactly what it is about, maintaining a curiosity and interest for acquiring new knowledge. It’s also about asking questions whenever you hear or read something. It has been a while since I received my degrees. This means that I need to stay current with my profession. I do this by constantly looking for new information.
#5.Utilize Feedback as a prompt to encourage engagement
It’s not necessary to be a pro at providing feedback. All you require is a rubric and a few repetitive comments. You can instead utilize this as an opportunity to ask questions and share insights, and spark interest in your students. I’ll include questions in my feedback, something as simple that begins with: Have you considered? What you want to consider is the person who has written the essay and attempted to comprehend the assignment and think about it in a way that meets the requirements for questions. It is possible to continue the thought process by introducing your own prompts, and this will include a couple of questions. Some students write me a message and I’ll respond immediately, whereas many will continue to reflect on the subject and will use the information I’ve provided as a point of reference.
Developing an Engaged Learning Environment
These strategies are designed to create an environment for learning in which students are interested in the subject matter, want to know more about it, and are curious about what you’re teaching them. As an adult student I understand that students need to be self-motivatedand have motives to study for their degree. However, as we know the reality is that online students are typically non-traditional in that they have to balance various responsibilities, and are likely to try to finish the minimum requirements as quickly as possible.
It is important to take the prompts from an instructor to help them become deeply interested and want to spend more time. The good news is when I’ve made the effort students are more interested and time is no longer an issue since they seek to know more about course subjects. This in turn makes the course more enjoyable for me to participate as an instructor. discussions become more interesting and relevant for everyone The passion for learning can lead to an enlightening learning experience. There are always students trying to make it through, but the majority of students are more than happy being taught by an instructor who is enthusiastic and eager to learn.