What causes a student to seek out knowledge? What is the reason students are seeking specific knowledge in a course?
In higher education, the usual process is to include students to a pre-built curriculum. This creates a learning atmosphere. The planned activities and resources are available to students to help them engage in the activities. This can bridge the gap between the learning experience of students and their own. But intellectual curiosity, a process that is not controlled, is either inherent or is triggered by the completion of planned activities or the involvement of instructors.
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The classroom environment can be a stimulating intellectual exercise. If the brain of a student is engaged in learning, their cognitive abilities are raised from auto-pilot to higher-order thinking, possibly even critical thinking. When reading new information, curiosity can lead to understanding why. It could be a catalyst for the search for an underlying principle or premise that could be revolutionary or fundamental. This could include the desire to find challenging views or perspectives and to question existing beliefs.
As an instructor, you may be required to know why students need intellectual curiosity while engaged in your class, and also what you can do to inspire this. When I was an instructor who was traditional, it was easier to be able to see the level of engagement of students in class, and ask specific questions that helped them think further about the course topics. However, as an instructor online, this kind of approach has to be adapted, and it’s something I’ve learned to do with time and practice. I’ve learned that you must be more than simply asking questions. There must be thought about the manner in which the questions are asked along with the perceived nature of the message. The information you’ll read in the next paragraph could help provide your teaching practice with fresh ideas and strategies.
Learning activities are essential for learning.
The two most common learning activities that are part of an online class are synchronous class discussions and written assignments. These are the most popular activities due to two reasons. They provide engagement from an individual and group perspective. Asynchronous discussions are designed to help students discover specific information and respond to targeted instructions. It is assumed that students will think about the discussion and ask further questions, leading to an interest in the subject.
In the case of writing assignments, the same assumption is valid for written assignments. It is believed that students will learn specific facts and then analyze it. This will spark their intellectual curiosity and allow students to be engaged with their cognition. This can lead to a well-researched, written paper.
It is a fact that the majority of students post reactions to blog posts about conversations without having read the source material. This means that more effort is required to create interest in the material as well as an interest in the subject. Students who aren’t experienced in writing or who want to be able to complete their assignments quickly should use only the most basic sources. This is why the need for guidance from an instructor is essential, in order to direct the attention and focus of students where necessary.
The reason why engaging in intellectual curiosity is crucial
Think about it from the perspective of casual reading. While the intention behind casual reading could differ, it’s not to gain vast knowledge or long-term memory. In contrast, formal learning is pursued with a particular purpose, and the intellect takes on an important role in the process of acquiring knowledge for the long-term. After students have read the material cognition and processing are the first to be engaged. Then , they search for supplemental reading materials.
Students who are actively engaged will be more likely to exhibit higher-order thinking, or critical thinking. They also possess the capacity to think rationally and write effectively. They can, for instance, absorb and process information and synthesize its meaning. This can lead to a different conditioncalled mental acuity or having a focused mental state. It is also a result of being an intellectually curious. This kind of curiosity has one purpose: to gain knowledge.
How to Prompt Intellectual Development Among Students
An instructor is the one who has the biggest influence on a student’s academic development and enthusiasm for any course, whether online or otherwise. I’ve found it occurs as a result of my direct involvement in the classroom regardless of how much time that I spend in the classroom. This is due to the fact that I’ve learned to value every interaction I have with students, whether it’s through acknowledging their efforts or encouraging their intellectual growth. Also, you don’t have to be every day in the classroom to be effective. You are able to interact with students online and take time off.
To prompt the curiosity of your students, maybe the following ideas can be added to your list of teaching methods.
#1.Leverage Your Expertise
Pre-designed curriculum should not be considered as a substitute for your own knowledge and background. Your expertise is most valuable in course discussions and feedback. This means that your information can benefit any aspect of the course you are involved in. Your knowledge can help make topics more engaging and interesting, and increase student interest.
#2.Ask frequent questions
Questions can be a powerful tool for prompting further thinking about course topics, if used in a planned manner. In class discussions, I always conclude with a question that will expand the discussion. I’m aware that this is a Socratic form of dialogue, however, I don’t try to be as explicit in my responses, considering the online format of classes. It is essential to take into account the tone of the blog post and be as inclusive as is possible. I’ll also ask questions that draw the attention of the entire class, as I’m not able to always provide an answer to each student each week.
#3Get familiar with the course materials
One of the biggest errors I’ve observed in my work as a Faculty Development Specialist is when faculty members do not use the material from their course in class discussions. I’m not saying there’s the need to incorporate the course material into every discussion response you write, however it’s helpful to refer to specific points which are important to the major topics of the week. This is useful for students who don’t study the content or forget crucial points. Additionally to this, if I am able to make the course materials seem interesting, I may be able to assist in engaging students in the course materials.
4.Always Be Curious Yourself
Keep this in mind Remember that your example is your best guide. If you are curious about the course topics and show a genuine excitement for what is being taught, it’s likely to inspire your students. It’s commonplace to hear teachers talk about being always learning. This is due to keeping a keen interest and a passion for learning new things. It is also about asking questions whenever you encounter something new or read about it. In my case, it’s been a while since I completed my degrees and that means I have to be up-to-date within my chosen profession This is done by continually searching for new knowledge.
#5.Engage with Feedback
The task of providing feedback isn’t always easy, with just a rubric and a few rote comments. You can instead take this as another opportunity to ask questions, and offer insight, and continue to prompt interest within your students. I’ll ask questions within my comments, something as simple that begins with”Have you thought about?” What you should consider is the person who has written the essay and tried to comprehend the assignment, and then think about it in a way that meets the requirements for prompts. It is possible to continue the thought process with your own prompts, which may include a few questions. I’ve found some students will send me a message and then respond, but the majority will think about the topics and will use the information I’ve provided as a reference point.
How do you create an engaged learning environment
All of the strategies provided above are designed with the sole purpose of helping you to develop an educational environment that’s one where your students are eager to read the materials for the course as well as research more information about the course topics and be curious about the things they’re learning. I understand that adults, are self-motivated and have their reasons already for wanting to acquire their degree. However, online students are not always traditional due to the fact that they must balance other responsibilities. They may also be working to complete as much as possible in the shortest time possible.
It will take an instructor’s instructions to get students to be interested in the course and make them want to continue to study. The best part is that after I’ve taken the time to do this students begin to be curious and time becomes less of a factor as they do want learn more about the topics of the course. This in turn will make the course more enjoyable for me to take part in as an instructor, discussions become more interesting and meaningful for all of us The enthusiasm for learning leads to a transformational learning experience. There are always students struggling to survive, but most students will respond positively to being taught by someone who is passionate and eager to learn.