As long as they show up to class or log on to an online platform, your students must be interested in what you’re teaching. Students will gain the knowledge they need through class lectures or informative posts that an educator has taken the time to develop, and they will meet the required outcomes through activities that ensure they read and apply what they have read. When a course is designed and implemented, this is the goal.
Even though this may be the case for some students, it is more common than not for them to simply respond to course materials and activities in the same way each time. It is possible that their response is based on a current world view that is protected and rarely challenged in the classroom. Unless this is a doctoral-level course, very few students will be able to demonstrate critical analysis and original thought, and even then, there is no guarantee that responses will go beyond rote reactions.
As a result, poor academic writing can hinder students’ ability to form a coherent thought process when responding to a written paper. To some, it may appear that this is an attack on college and university, but that’s not the case. Although my experience working with for-profit online schools has taught me that students may not be ready or prepared to be fully engaged in the learning process, even if they are willing to participate, they may not know what it means to be an active participant and lack the skills necessary to do so. Educators have a responsibility to go above and beyond to ensure that students are prepared for class, and that responsibility falls on them to do so, not on “the system,” which they can’t control.
First, students must decide if they want to pursue a new degree programme. A certain amount of interest and willingness exists to participate in the research being conducted by the group. When they begin taking their first class, they often don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, and this is when they’ll decide whether or not they have the motivation to continue. An instructor can have a significant impact on a student’s progress when those moments arise. Students may lose interest in a class if the instructor isn’t actively involved and the class materials aren’t relevant or difficult to understand. This is why instructors need to be involved in the learning process in order to get their students interested in the class.
The Importance of Cognition and Memory
The way in which the mind regulates the inflow and outflow of information is extremely detailed. First, information is stored in working memory by a student’s brain when they are learning something new. As more information enters working memory, it is either processed or discarded because there is a limited capacity to hold it. The overall process of cognition includes not only processing information, but also making sense of it. As a teacher, this is important to know for a variety of reasons. An open mind and willingness to accept new ideas, knowledge, and perspectives is the first step in determining whether or not a student is willing to learn in the first place. A willingness to be open-minded can be influenced or determined by class conditions and interactions with instructors. Negative interactions can create a mindset that is resistant to new information, making it more difficult to learn from others.
The way in which students interact with course materials is another reason instructors should be aware of their cognition. Students may or may not read and process this material before completing the required learning activities that are typically assigned as part of the class. It is not enough for students to simply process information; they must also retain some of it as long-term knowledge. It is also possible that the student’s mental filters and abilities may come into play during the reading process, as well as the student’s attention span or amount of focus. Students are more likely to retain and use information if they can relate to it, connect with it, and put it to use in some way that makes sense to them.
Whether or not your students retain the information they learned in your class is something you should consider. Consider the most recent book or article you’ve read to get a sense of this. Exactly how much of it do you recall? More than likely, you recall information that has meaning for your present or future, something to which you felt a strong emotional connection and that has since been lodged in your long-term memory. If you had read the entire book or article, you wouldn’t have retained much of what you had read. Reading, processing, organising, and retaining or discarding information are all part of this process. They will only retain what is relevant to their personal or professional interests and needs, and then discard the rest.