Enhancing Learner motivation and engagement through real world tasks.
Recently, I have become really interested in getting students excited about learning and studying. I've done all the eLearning tricks, which I do agree, help learners to be motivated and engaged in study. That said, I still felt that there is something missing from the whole learning experience.
So, I remembered my days in college and university. I studied media in college and then theatre in university. Both courses were incredibly hands on, and required the students to produce a show, which would be seen by the public. Having that real world outcome really motivated all of us to give it our best. We'd start at 8am, go home at 10pm, Monday to Saturday. I was completely immersed in the project with my main thought being that an audience would see the product we would eventually produce.
I have carried out a bunch of projects in my classes, but only recently did I start giving them a real world outcome. The main one would be the refugee book project (Click here), and film festival (Click here). I really saw a change in the students' behavior and attitude towards learning and completing a shared goal. The students were more motivated and engaged in the project, they stayed after class, held meetings, and did way more than I could have ever expected.
Projects which have a real world outcome can really bring out the best in our students as it isn't simply for a grade, but has a meaningful outcome. I'm now trying to build as many real world projects into my class as possible. Some of these include:
- T-shirt design: The students design a t-shirt for the school and the winner will actually be made.
- Promotion Video: We'd like to promote our course overseas, so the students will create a promo video for our centre.
- Researchers: As with the refugee book project, the students will be part of many other research projects and become assistants.
- Content creators: It takes a long time to make new content, so I am planning to get my students to be part of the process and become content developers.
These are just some of the ideas, which I think could work, and be set up relatively easily. I was wondering if any other teachers out there have created any projects with real world outcomes. If you have please share your experiences.