Tips for Educators

5 Ways To Boost Your Students’ Active Listening Skills Online

  • Dec 15, 2021
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 5 Ways To Boost Your Students’ Active Listening Skills Online

Ever heard of the term zoning out? It’s a huge red flag for us tutors, because it means that our students aren’t really listening to what we’re saying; they’re just hearing it. Sure, they may be armed with a pen in hand, but the glassy eyes and blank stares tell a different story. 

So, what can we do if our students aren’t really paying attention to us? Well, beration tends to be counter-productive, so try to avoid that. Instead, you could help them develop their active listening skills. Not sure how? We’ve got you covered. Let’s first understand what active listening is, and then dive into how we can encourage our students to do it. 

What Is Active Listening?

Active listening means actively listening to something (yes, it’s quite self explanatory). In essence, when your students ask relevant questions, indicate understanding and are able to summarise what you just said, it means that they were actively listening to you. It is absolutely crucial for students to listen instead of hear. This will help improve information retention and understanding to an exponential degree. It might sound like a difficult task, but there are a few things you can do to achieve this goal. Let's look at five ways you can improve active listening skills online - 

1. Grab Attention With Interactive Sessions

Include engaging slideshows that captivate your students, so that they don't get distracted or bored. To bring attention to important concepts, you can use vibrant colours and fonts to make the highlights pop out on the screen. Another way to make lessons interactive is by conducting group discussions and activities. Give your students a topic and then divide them into multiple breakout rooms. Keep popping in and out of each room to see how they’re faring. When you add them back into the main classroom, ask someone from each group to talk about what was discussed. 

2. Include a Summary at the End

One of the most successful methods to encourage active listening among your students is to use the summarisation technique. An easy way to do this is by choosing three important ideas from the topic that you taught. Talk about each idea briefly and write it down on the online whiteboard. 

3. Examine Students' Knowledge

A great way to check whether or not your students are actively listening is by adding quizzes at the end of each class. It doesn’t have to be graded - that makes things a little nerve-racking. Instead, you can divide the class into two groups and make it a trivia-style game. If they answer most of the questions, then chances are that they paid attention in your class. This will help you with future classes too, since they will be more inclined to listen when they know a quiz is coming up at the end of the class. 

4. Encourage Questions

Make it a point to add a Q&A session in your classes. During this session, your students can ask doubts on what you have taught them. You can also tell them to quickly summarise the topics discussed in their own words. This will help you identify gaps in their learning process.

5. Try “Restating”

In a conversation, many of us are more focused on our next talking points, instead of concentrating on what the other person has to say. So, be a good role model, and show your children that you’re listening to them by restating whatever they say. So, if they’re talking about a golden goose, then wait for them to finish speaking and paraphrase whatever they said about the goose. Ask them to do this exercise with each other as well. 

A good listener can understand and analyze information, whereas a great listener can use that knowledge to engage and inspire. So, try to make your students great listeners with these tips and tricks. At the end of the day, active listening is a skill, and you should help your students practice it.

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