Back in June of 2014 Saga Briggs wrote The Science of Attention: How To Capture and Hold the Attention of Easily Distracted Students. In this article she describes the findings of research which indicates that university students do best when their attention is captured by periods of active learning. She then gives the reader 15 Tricks for Capturing Your Student’s Attention. I’ll highlight just 5:
- Change the level and tone of your voice
- Make a startling statement or give a quote
- Write a challenging question on the board
- Involve students in lectures
- Introduce change and surprise
This research ties into an article posted by Faculty Focus this past week, authored by Illysa Izenberg. It was called: The Eight-Minute Lecture Keeps Students Engaged. Izenberg describes why she has chosen to do short 8 minute lecture bursts and how she prepares her students for these mini-lectures.
Her technique for segmenting lectures works regardless of whether your lecture is live or delivered online. In Ms. Izenberg’s article she gives an example of how she uses this technique in a module on global business.
If you weren’t already convinced, check out this graphic by the Statistic Brain Research Institute. They claim in their “About Us” page that “they love numbers, their purity, and what they represent.”
Finally, this all ties together with our post inviting, no, challenging YOU to create some stick figures that you could use throughout your course. These figures could add interest and help to maintain your student’s attention. So don’t forget to read and give it a try. We’re hoping you’ll make an attempt and submit a drawing, stick figure, comic, for Faculty Challenge #5. Send us your example of drawn figures (refer back to FLC posts from August 31 and Sept 02) by Wednesday, September 9th! We know you are busy, but if the research is correct, your low-fidelity drawings might just be the presentation enhancement your students need to “click” and retain your content’s message.