How to make classes more interesting

Sometimes, it is observe that many students take a lot more interest in certain engineering courses than others. There are courses that students want to learn, sessions are well attended. Student performance in these classes is often reflected in their grades. On the other hand, there are classes in which students enroll only because those classes are required for the degree they are pursuing. Those classes usually do not fill up, students often skip sessions, and the poor performance is reflected in the grades.

So, the author tells how to make such classes so appealing to generate the student interest. In the best university in Jaipur, JKLU, an engineering class can be made interesting and enjoyable by engaging students in activities that are required in an active class. These engaging activities include but are not limited to inviting guest speakers, taking students on field trips, showing related documentaries, involving students in laboratory work, involving students in research projects, having students develop laboratory apparatus and involving them in writing grants and research papers. By using these and other activities, Instructor not only earns respect in the eyes of the students but also make the discipline of engineering a worthwhile field of study. There are some other activities that an instructor at top universities in Jaipur, Rajasthan can add to his class to make the class more interesting for students.

  1. Teaching the Subject with Interest: An instructor should know his subject well, enjoys it, is willing to let his students see his enthusiasm for it and also cares about the education that students receive. For this the teacher must get engage in the basic and advance research to enrich the course content and must deliver the same with the full interest to the students to make them attentive in the class.
  2. Caring for Students: An instructor needs to get students to realize that he cares deeply about each and every one of them and wants them to learn and succeed in the course. It can be done by truly knowing their names and other aspects about them. What are they interested in? What motivates them? A good teacher does not underestimate the capabilities of students, but also generates a substantial amount of participation by all the students through project work or team building exercises which are conducive to the nature of whatever class is being taught. Never ever read to the class. Avoid even using notes too much. Never be too rigid but be willing to flex as needed. Never insult any particular student or tell anyone they are stupid for asking any question.
  3. Making Connections: An instructor must able to make a connection between the course/lesson with the career goals of the students. Students need to be aware at least 3-4 possible career goals during the lesson. The instructor needs to make the connection by first creating awareness about the “content need” for the course/lesson. Then the instructor needs to tie the content, with the help of real world examples that students can relate to, with the course learning outcomes.
  4. Cultural and Historical Context: Students often respond better when they understand the cultural or historical context of the theory. In some courses instructor can try to center the focus on the basic concepts and wherever possible, apply those concepts to the students’ world. Instructor can also develop an understanding of core concepts in relation to the student’s own backyard.
  5. Simplicity: There are so many simple things that an instructor might do to keep their students engaged and excited. Each semester can be start with a simple exercise of meeting each and every student and asking the students to meet someone new. This can be done on the first day of class. The Instructor can also share information about himself i.e. family, hobbies, volunteer roles in the community, where he is from, etc.
  6. Class Projects: One of the best ways to engage students at top engineering colleges in Jaipur is through relevant projects. Projects allow the students to be creative and invest themselves in new ways. Taking written tests alone just doesn’t provide a clear picture of student learning. Big multi-week projects could be used but it is observed that even small projects are beneficial.
  7. Discussions:   An instructor might easily be able to conduct discussion-based classes in certain courses. When students can actually enter a conversation, ask questions, and share their opinions without fear of a “wrong answer,” they naturally are going to be more engaged in a class. When students finally realize that they can speak their own truths rather than what they think the instructor wants to hear, they generally become more open. Student opinions need to be valued and they learn a lot from each other when everyone shares in the teaching and learning environment. At best universities in Rajasthan for engineering, In order to help those students who are just plain shy when it comes to speaking up in front of 25-35 of their peers, an instructor might vary the size of groups in discussions and workshops.
  8. Respecting Students: It is important to respect the students and consider each one individually. While this does not mean surrendering to their total demands, it does mean a willingness to actually listen to the student and respond accordingly. Students need to know that they are important to the instructor and being taken seriously by him. Instructor should try to treat students with respect no matter what the situation.
  9. Providing / Accepting Feedback: Another very simple tactic that might be used is to give students positive feedback. A detailed handout might be given to students at the beginning of each semester that explains the grading system and that it is done that way so that they focus on the soundness of their work rather than the final grade. Instructor might also ask students for their feedback on a regular basis during the semester, and listen to what they have to say. If a majority of students really do not get much out of a particular assignment, it could be changed for the next semester. If they really do not like a particular reading assignment, a new assignment can be added in lieu of the unfavorable one.

About the Author:

Divanshu JainDivanshu Jain

Assistant Professor – Electronics & Communication Engineering, IET, JKLU

Mr. Divanshu Jain received his Master’s degree from BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus and BE Degree from Rajasthan University in ECE in 2011 and 2008 respectively.