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Using technology to increase student engagement and retention – FE News

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Since the start of the pandemic, teachers have had to adapt to new teaching methods to keep their students engaged. Overnight, we saw teachers and students shift to online learning, rapidly accelerating the digital transformation of the education sector.

Ensuring that students continue to engage with their studies and fellow students while sitting in the comfort of their own homes has been a challenge. However, technology has really helped bring education to life.

While many have returned to the classroom, a hybrid approach to learning is becoming increasingly popular. For this reason, institutions continue to implement new and innovative technologies to help students experience learning 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 that 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From outdated textbooks and study materials to formal lectures, the traditional teaching method is not for everyone. In fact, our latest research shows that two out of five people find traditional learning methods boring, and half of those surveyed believe they would be more successful in their studies if learning was more personalized and engaging.

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

One of the most appealing elements of gamification is that it taps into students’ desire to compete by encouraging healthy peer competition. Similar to learning through play, gamification creates a much more memorable and engaging approach to learning, ultimately leading to better retention.

Putting learning into practice is an important part of improving course retention and engagement. An effective way to do this is through AR technology. Many vocational courses such as dentistry, mechanical 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 important experience.

By implementing augmented reality and other technology solutions in the classroom, students were able to experience the practical side of learning in their chosen learning location. Our research has shown that over half (54%) of students say they learn best with visual aids, so it’s important that educational institutions take this into account now that we’re back to face-to-face learning and not back to more ‘traditional » teaching methods.

Keeping students engaged is one thing, but using technology like augmented reality and gamification can really help improve grades. In fact, research from McKinsey shows that more than 60% of students believe that technology used in the classroom since the start of the pandemic has improved not only their learning but also their grades.

Keeping in touch

Undoubtedly, the factor influencing young people who want to enter the university is the social element. Cognitive scientists have proven that a sense of community among peers improves a person’s ability to learn. Research has shown that a sense of community, combined with social situations and activities that require cooperation, helps the ability to learn.

While distance learning is increasingly becoming part of the normal educational experience, real attention needs to be paid to building a sense of community among students. Fortunately, technological advances over the years have allowed us to communicate with each other anytime, anywhere, and we must 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 strengthen the connection with the community. At Immersify Education, we have integrated gamification into the Immersify Dental platform so that learners can connect with like-minded people from around the world who are either studying or interested in dentistry. This allows users to create a community on the platform, which will ultimately make learning 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 the same way, so education shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. Also, when it comes to individuals, one method may work for studying one topic but may not work for another.

In fact, our research shows that one in five (19%) people are lifelong learners and constantly use different methods to learn new skills – this can include anything from learning 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 the learning experience is memorable. Personalization is often overlooked in education, yet it is an important part of the learning experience. For this reason, as technology in this space evolves and adapts, we need to make sure 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 normal, and educational institutions need to make sure they use technology to engage students while maintaining retention rates. I believe we will see new technologies entering the market to help students have a learning experience while ensuring they stay connected with 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 ultimate educational experience. Whether a student retains information better by reading, performing, or seeing, the Immersify Dental platform has an experience that will help them enjoy learning – something I think all educational institutions should consider.

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

Chloe Barrett, CEO and Co-Founder Immersify Educationexpanding edtech that bridges the gap between theoretical and practical learning

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