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Ways to Make Learning Awesome!


Are you a “human” alarm clock in your class?


Why are students scrolling on their cell phones?



Have you thought about doing something extreme to get students’ attention?


Did you know instructors are the first to see and feel the impact of classroom disengagement?  Instructors are “best suited to correct the trend by incorporating new techniques and new technology into their teaching.” (Preville 2016, p. 5)



 Instructors used cell phones to play educational learning games?



Instructors used questions related to their lecture or real-world experiences to solicit feedback from students?


Students Raising Hands in Class.jpgPhoto courtesy:















Himmele and Himmele (2011) suggested “teaching techniques that allow active participation, cognitive engagement, and higher levels of thinking” promote student learning.



  1. Educational Games. Fun Faves!
    1. Kahoot-a tool to administer quizzes, discussions, or surveys in real time.
    2. Quizlet Live- Teams of students work together, racing to learn the material in a Quizlet study set. Students love the competition and they’re learning!
  2. Twitter Pages
    Twitter improved contact between instructor and students, encouraged collaboration, promoted active learning, provided prompt feedback, aided in completing tasks on time, communicated high expectations, and showed respect for diversity. Students and instructors were active participants and highly engaged in the learning process (Junco, Heibergart, & Loken, 2011)
  3. GIFS and Memes 
    “GIFs and Memes foster connections to students, puts them at ease, affirms their identities and creates a sense of belonging by referencing a relatable piece of media.” (Memes and GIFs as Powerful Classroom Tools | Faculty Focus, 2018).
  4. Padlet
    Padlet creates an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. You can add images, links, videos, and more. Can be used in the classroom or online courses.
  5. Nearpod
    An interactive lesson, students are given a code to a lesson that is synced to all devices. Instructors can evaluate student responses and clarify concepts missed. This encourages full student participation.
  6. Small Groups with Problem Solving Activities
    Students break into small groups to discuss topics, prepare for class presentations, or work on problem solving projects. Professors can take a few minutes to “chat with different groups of students-this helps students build a relationship with their professors” (Preville, P. 2017).
  7. Flipping the Way College Students Learn
    Students are expected to cover the lecture material out of class. Classroom time is then spent in groups, where the students discuss, with guidance from the professor, and problem solve (Michigan State University 2013, April 18).
  8. Poll Everywhere
    Ask the class a question/survey. Watch as the chart updates automatically with student responses. Great for students who are afraid to talk during a discussion. Students are engaged in real time from their digital devices.
  9. MindTap-Cengage
    A personalized program of digital, cloud-based products and services that engages students with interactivity while also offering students and instructors choice in content, platform, devices, and learning tools. Can be used for face-to face and online classes.
  10. Here are more Interactive Techniques you’ll enjoy.


Have you used any of these awesome tips in your class? Were you successful getting students engaged?




  1. GIPHY. Search All the GIFs & Make Your Own Animated GIF.
  2. Himmele, P., & Himmele, W. (2011). Total participation techniques. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development-ASCD. 
  3. Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119.132. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010. 00387.x
  4. Memes and GIFs as Powerful Classroom Tools| Faculty Focus. (2018, November 26). Retrieved from Michigan State University. (2013, April 18).
  5. 'Flipping' the way college students learn. Retrieved from
  6. Preville, P. (2017) Reaching Today’s Distracted Students: A Handbook for Professors from