Student engagement, a challenge for distance education

Serge Gérin-Lajoie, professor at TÉLUQ, refers us to three ingredients necessary to get students to engage in their learning, valid for classroom teaching, but also at a distance.

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Part Three (see Part 1 and the Part 2) of our account of the words of Serge Gérin-Lajoie, professor at TELUQ University, during his appearance on the program “Ça s'explicable” on Radio-Canada radio.

In general, for a learner to be engaged in his training, he must first be motivated. The motivation can be found among others in external sources: the possibility of having a good grade, obtaining a reward, avoiding a punishment, etc. We talk about motivation extrinsic. "These sources of motivation are interesting, but the most important to solicit in students are those of motivation. intrinsic »Specifies Mr. Gérin-Lajoie. Indeed, this form of motivation leads young people to get involved in a voluntary or spontaneous way because they find pleasure in it or because it corresponds to their interests. 

The TELUQ professor recalls that three ingredients are recognized in psychology to stimulate intrinsic motivation and that they apply well to education.

1- The capacity

Students should perceive that they are able to perform the task or activity requested. It can be a challenge, but an achievable challenge. To achieve this, the teacher can explicitly mention the learning strategies for carrying out the tasks requested, increasing the level of difficulty, offering frequent feedback and supporting self-assessment.

2- relevance

Young people must also perceive that the task is significant. The teacher can contribute to its valuation by recalling its relevance, by creating authentic tasks (that is to say, anchored in reality, having a real usefulness), by giving concrete examples, by recognizing the efforts and by emphasizing the good moves.

3- control

Ultimately, learners should feel that they have some form of control over the task. They must be able to make choices, exercise their creativity. Offering several tasks or giving young people the choice of the medium of presentation is a good method, as is encouraging innovation and the exercise of critical judgment. 

"If a student perceives that he is able to do what is asked of him on his own, that what is asked of him is important and meaningful to him and that he perceives that he can control the accomplishment of the task, he will be involved in its training process, whether in class or remotely, ”summarizes Mr. Gérin-Lajoie.

To read, other articles of our news feed on the motivation and engagement.

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About the Author

Maryline Barrette Dubé
A graduate of a bachelor's degree in public communication, a “marketer” for more than 15 years, Maryline has been working to promote École branchée's activities and to publicize the organization's mandate since 2018. She is a devoted mother, an assumed epicurean. and IPA lover who, in her spare time, enjoys blog.

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