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Suite 2: Creating Engaging & Interactive Lessons

Tools for Activating Prior Knowledge

Course Code: ODST07

LENGTH: 30 mins

AITSL STANDARDS ADDRESSED:

  • 2.2 – Content selection and organisation
  • 2.6 – Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • 3.3 – Use teaching strategies
  • 3.4 – Select and use resources
  • 4.1 – Support student participation

Divided into 3 parts, this session is designed to give you:

1. an overview of the theoretical concepts behind student engagement in the classroom and the role interactive tasks play in that engagement.

2. a ‘how to guide’ providing you with an overview of the SAMRT Learning Suite Online platform so you can go and  build your interactive class content

3. the opportunity to apply your knowledge and share that with other teachers in the PAVE Academy Network. 

DESCRIPTION

Activating a students prior knowledge is not only a key element to engage them in the learing that is occurring in the classroom, but is also a great way of including them in the delivery of the content that is being covered. Our ability to think of students as having various levels of existing knowledge and then using that knowledge in the delivery of a lesson can be a great way to create a inclusive and engaging classroom,.

A key benefit of the SMART Learning Suite Online or SLSO platform is the fact that there are a variety of ready made ‘Activating Prior Knowledge’ templates built right into the platform, so you can quickly and easily add these to your lessons without having to stress.

Students simply connect to your SMART Learning Suite Online digital classroom using the hellosmart.com portal and then engages with these tools and templates directly from their personal devices. Saved to your lesson dashboard, you can access the students responses from your computer, the front of classroom display or read them later when reflecting on the lesson. 

  • An introduction to the concept
  • Expanding your understanding
  • Knowledge Check
  • Building this Game in SMART Learning Suite
  • Using this Game in your classroom
  • Knowledge Check
  • Exploration
  • Course completion
  • Getting your certificate

Let's begin

Part 1: Theoretical Background

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND HOW IT EFFECTS LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM.

In education, student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education. Generally, the concept of “student engagement” is predicated on the belief that learning improves when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired, and that learning tends to suffer when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise “disengaged” with improved student engagement being a common objective expressed by educators. The term ‘student engagement’ has grown in popularity in recent decades, most likely resulting from an increased understanding of the role that certain intellectual, emotional, behavioural, physical, and social factors play in the learning process and social development. For example, research studies on learning revealed connections between “non-cognitive factors” or “non-cognitive skills” like motivation, interest, curiosity, responsibility, attitude, work habits, self-regulation, etc. and “cognitive” learning results, resulting in improved academic performance, test scores, information recall, skill acquisition, etc.

Educators and schools may also hold different views on student engagement, and it may be defined or interpreted differently from place to place. For example, in one school observable behaviours such as attending class, listening attentively, participating in discussions, turning in work on time, and following rules and directions may be perceived as forms of “engagement,” while in another school the concept of “engagement” may be largely understood in terms of internal states such as enthusiasm, curiosity, optimism, motivation, or
interest.

While the concept of student engagement seems straightforward, it can take fairly complex forms in practice. The following examples illustrate a few ways in which student engagement may be discussed or addressed in schools:

Source: https://www.edglossary.org/student-engagement/

According to Phillip Schlecty, there are 5 categories for identifying how students engage in learning tasks or activities:

Source: https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/11/a-must-see-visual-featuring-5-levels-of.html

ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES

There are a number of different student engagement strategies that teachers are able to use, in order to increase interest, participation and overall enjoyment of their lessons. Some of the most popular and significant student engagement strategies are outlined below, and are strategies that we will explore in this On Demand course suite:

Active Learning is focused on involving students in the learning process through meaningful activities, which help them to actually think about what they are doing and why. The idea is to provide students with the chance to really take part in the lesson. It could be applying theoretical learning to a simulation, demonstrate a process to the class, conducting an experiment, carrying out field research, and a variety of other activities that go beyond what might be experienced in a somewhat passive approach to teaching

ACTIVE LEARNING

CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY

Classroom Technology can assist with engagement in the ability to create lessons that use varied content and mediums to convey the curriculum or learning intention. Using tools like slideshow presentations, audio content, videos, augmented/virtual reality, teachers can not only increase engagement by ‘mixing up’ the learning approach, it can also increase the speed of content delivery while catering for students who have different learning styles or preferences. The use of Interactive whiteboard technology like the SMART Board,  can create an immersive learning experience for students to become more directly involved in their own learning.

A strategy used to boost student engagement through the use of game based elements, game design principles or game features in learning contexts. Intended to make learning more enjoyable and memorable for students, and to connect with them on a level that interests them, gamification increases the chances that they will take an interest and maintain the knowledge or skill being taught. Game based learning can also help to challenge students, introduce a competitive element, encourage collaboration and metacognitive strategies while embedding feedback directly into the learning activity. . Meanwhile, research suggests that esports in schools can improve attendance and emotional engagement.

GAMIFICATION

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Collaborative Learning or cooperative learning is based around the idea of teamwork where students are arranged into pairs, small groups, or even much larger groups, with the premise that they work together to achieve their learning objectives set by the teacher.  Examples could include problem-solving activities, experiments, presentations or debates and are designed to enhance the social aspect of learning, develop a sense of belonging, and skills related to communication, delegation, and compromise.

ADDITIONAL READING

The following resources are provided to further develop your reading and understanding on the topic.

The importance of activating prior knowledge and building background
By: Johnathan Bifield

The importance of engaging
prior knowledge
By: Laura Wenk

Activating prior knowledge with
English language learners
By: Larry Ferlazzo & Katie Hull Sypnieski

In the video “Prior Knowledge” by RFM, we explore the concept of Prior Knowledge and how it can be activated to create powerful learning experience for students

Click on the image to the right to watch the video. 

Video Length: 8.56min

In this short video “Prior Knowledge” by Teach for Life, we have a quick overview of the concept of activating prior knowledge. As students learn, they build upon the knowledge they already possess. Asking students to demonstrate prior knowledge of a topic can help lay the foundation for a lesson, as well as connect other, related lessons to the subject at hand. 

Click on the image to the right to watch the video. 

Video Length: 1.00min

KNOWLEDGE CHECK

Below you will find 5 True/False question cards. 

Designed to review the content that was covered in Part 1 of this course, you need to reflect on the learning that we have covered thus far, answer the question in your mind and then click on the card to flip it over to see the correct answer.

While this assessment task does not affect your ability to pass this course, it is designed as a formative self-assessment task to allow you to reflect on your understanding from Part 1 of the course. 

Generally, the concept of “student engagement” is predicated on the belief that learning improves when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired, and that learning tends to suffer when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise “disengaged”

TRUE

Yes this is true, when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired they tend to be more engaged in what is happening in the class, and that when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise “disengaged” they disconnect from what is being taught.

In the section above, we unpacked 5 different stages or examples that illustrate ways in which student engagement may be discussed or addressed in schools.

FALSE

We actually discussed 6 areas or exampes that can be duscssed in schools
1. Intellectual engagement
2. Emotional engagement
3. Behavioural Engagement
4. Physical Engagement
5. Social Engagement
6. Cultural Engagement

Phillip Schlecty identified 5 categories for how students engage in learning tasks

TRUE

This is correct. He identified the following 5 key areas for student engagement in learning activities
1. Engagement
2. Strategic Compliance
3. Ritual Compliance
4. Retreatism
5. Rebellion

One strategy to incorporate student engagement into your classroom is the concept called Active Learning where students apply their learning into a simulation, demonstration experiment or carrying out field research, in an attempt to create a meaningful learning experience.

TRUE

TRUE. Active Learning focuses on involving students in the learning process through meaningful activities where they have the opportunity to apply their learning.

Collaboration and team work in the classroom is not an effective tool to engage students in the learning .

FALSE

FALSE. While there may be a few students who are not a fan of working in groups, for the most part students who are able to experience their learning through a group based activity will be more engaged than solo tasks. The social element of group work, coupled with the constant negotiation between members creates a highly engaging environment.

Part 2: How To Guide

In this part, we will provide you with video guides that will walk you through two key aspects of using this the SMART Learning Suite, in both the SMART Notebook and the SMART Learning Suite Online platform to create engaging and interactive lessons for your students. 

Below you will be able to access a series of video guides which will walk you through completing this process on your own. 

Activating Prior Knowledge Tools in SMART Learning Suite Online

In this video by SMART Technologies, we are given a brief overview of the Activating Prior Knowledge tools in the SMART Learning Suite online platform.

Video Length: 1.18min

Activating Prior Knowledge Tools in SMART Learning Suite Online

In this video we dive deeper into the different templates available in the Activating Prior Knowledge menu of the SMART Learning Suite online platform and we unpack how you can use them in your classroom to engage students and form an understanding of their learning at the beginning of the lesson

Video Length: 5.30min

KNOWLEDGE CHECK

Below you will find a series of statements that relate directly to the information that was covered in PART 2 of this course.

Click on the blue icon under the Tick/Cross if you think the statement is correct or incorrect to see if you are in fact, on the money!

Question 1:

SMART Learning Suite Online is a cloud based platform that can be accessed on any internet connected device.

Question 2:

Activating Prior Knowledge tools are pre-build into the SLSO platform and these templates can be access easily and quickly.

Question 3:

Activating Prior Knowledge tools are available as a part of the SMART Notebook program which you can access on your computer.

Question 4:

Activating Prior Knowledge is a waste of time and provide no educational value to the learning of students in the classroom 

Part 3: What's Next?

Now that you have developed an understanding of some elements behind Student Engagement, creating engaging and interactive lessons, and you have seen how to build your own lessons in the SMART Learning Suite, you are ready to complete the final 3 steps in the course: 

Click on each box to find out more.

Step 1

BUILD IT

Sign into SMART Learning Suite on your computer and start building your very own engaging and interactive lessons.

NEED HELP?

Click on the button below to be redirected to the SMART Learning Suite Online page here you can sign in and start building your lessons.

CLICK HERE TO LOG ON

Step 2

USE IT

Apply your new learning and lesson resource in your classroom.

NEED HELP?

You can either re-watch the "How To Guide" in Part 2 of this course, or if you are a partner school with Pro AV Solutions, you can reach out to one of the PAVE Academy staff who can arrange a free coaching session.

Step 3

SHARE IT

Share your lesson with other teachers in the PAVE Academy Network. Click on the button below to share your SMART Learning Suite Online file.

HOW DO I SHARE?

SMART Learning Suite Online:

Click on the "3 dots" icon on your game in the SLSO dashboard and select the Share Link option. Follow the prompts to access the Get Teacher Share Link and then paste this URL into an email

GETTING YOUR CERTIFICATE

Congratulations! You are a step away of getting your PAVE Academy certificate.  Simply click the link below – you will be redirected to a certificate application form for you to complete. This form will also ask you to provide feedback on the course so that we can work to offer the most valuable PD sessions for teachers that we can. 

The certificate you will receive will show the course title, description, length and AITSL standards covered so that it can be used as evidence for your annual teacher registrations. Please ensure that you save them in a safe space on your device but if you misplace it, please get in contact via the Contact Us page and we will assist with acquiring a new one. 

DOWNLOAD YOUR PAVE ACADEMY BADGE

Badges are essential gamification elements that symbolize achievements completed by learners, and the PAVE Academy want to celebrate your completion of this course, and recognise your efforts with this exclusive PAVE Academy GBL Badge. There is a new badge for each GBL course you complete so collect them all to become a Recognised PAVE Academy Game Based Learning (GBL) Educator.

Attach your brand new badge as a signature on your email and share it on your social medial channels to let all you peers know the learning you have obtained. This can open professional conversations between yourself and your colleagues around your use of technology in your teaching and can encourage them to approach you for advice and guidance to help them improve their professional practice. 

CONGRATULATIONS!
You have now completed this on demand course

We hope that you have enjoyed this course and were able to get some valuable tools and knowledge that you can use in your teaching.

If you need any assistance with your schools Education Technology or have any questions regarding this training session please contact us and we will assist you with all your needs. 

And finally, our big 5 reminders:
          1.  fill out the form to get your certificate and then keep an eye out for your certificate in your email inbox
          2. download your badge, attach it to your email signature and share it on your social media platforms
          3. revisit this course as many times as you need, so if you feel you need a refresher on the content we covered this resource is always available for you here.
          4. follow the PAVE Academy on Facebook, LinkdIn, Twitter and Instagram
          5. engage with the PAVE Academy Network