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The Benefits of Hands-On Activities to Increase Learning Potential

Mar 7, 2018 by

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash

Many people learn better when they get involved with a task at hand. Just writing something on a board in a classroom and expecting someone to be able to implement it is often a waste of time for real-world application. Seeing and solving problems in an interactive environment sees a host of benefits for children and adults in the classroom and beyond. Hands-on learning is becoming increasingly popular in schools and colleges and has known to promote better learner engagement and success in real-life implementation. This type of learning also helps to people to explore the connection with concepts in the classroom and how they relate to situations on a deeper level and helps to promote critical thinking while making learning a fun experience.

Hands-on activities are not a new concept but have been less favoured in previous years due to time constraints and restrictive classroom environments. Educators are actively looking to promote this way of learning due to its proven benefits of long-term memory and cognitive functions, which can lead to greater success in future careers and life situations.

Check out some of the benefits that this type of education has on learning potential.

A variety of experiences

There’s nothing better than getting a varied and interesting education, and hands-on learning can do just that. As students learn in different ways, tailoring their education to different learning methods helps to bring the best out of them. Mixing up education to incorporate these attributes hones into a students way of thinking and gives them a chance to explore their strengths in a happy environment. Some students may prefer to read while others may like making things, so providing an education where students can explore both aspects in the same classroom opens up a collaborative approach to learning. Ensuring pupils respect each other’s ways of learning also helps build better relationships in the classroom, which in turn can be transitioned into everyday life.

Experiences also don’t have to be just studied in the classroom as outside learning is also said to have huge benefits to a student’s awareness of the environment around them. Switching up learning style with guest speakers, video, interactive lessons and field trips opens up a world of new situations which students can learn from indifferent and rewarding ways.

Create positive competition

Some people are more competitive than others, but there is a common factor in everyone, that we relish rewards for a job well done. Something as simple as getting positive feedback from a peer or celebrating successes with token rewards can reap benefits for learning potential. This doesn’t have to be the case for every task that is completed but considering small, yet suitable rewards for students gives them a slice of healthy competition within the learning environment. These types of rewards shouldn’t focus on trying to be better than the next person as this can also lead to conflict but showcasing that in order to achieve the success they have to push themselves for greater achievements will test the competitiveness within their mind.

Encouraging responsibility

Students are often not taught to take responsibility for their actions until later on in life but encouraging this from an early age can reap benefits from their education. Assigning them tasks and motivating them to achieve goals in vital to ensuring they discover their own strengths and weaknesses and gives students a chance to ask for help. Taking responsibly for their learning also has rewards for the whole classroom as respecting others and working together for a better environment means they are taking charge of their own potential and learning space. During tasks, getting students to lead activities also creates a collaborative working environment, which encourages helping others to complete goals and ultimately feeling valued in a classroom.

Keeping students interested

Changing up a learning environment is key to keeping them motivated and alert. Long hours of sitting in front of a chalkboard and reading books to help with assignments often lead to boredom and lack of motivation to complete projects. This boredom not only affects classroom situations but also can affect later life situations, as students relate reading and parrot fashion learning as a waste of time. As discussed above, providing different experiences will open up this learning process and encourage interactivity, but there can be other ways to keep pupils interested. Simple things such as getting to know your students well and making sure you know their name is key to building a trusting relationship. If teachers show a valued interest in their class, they are more likely to succeed in education and view learning as an enjoyable experience. Making students feel appreciated and valued is also important when listening to their grievances and giving them feedback. If trust is there, you will have a personable bond, which in turn helps students to achieve long-term success.

Collaboration is key

Every student is different, so bringing them together in a safe and educational environment is vital for increasing their learning potential. Getting everyone working together in a fun way is also great for team building and student bonding and can be incorporated in each type of learning. Things such as using rewards for great achievements can also be used a learning tool and activities such as an Escape Game or getting everyone together for pizza open up communication and collaborative efforts in a fun way.

There are many ways in which education can provide a rewarding experience for all students. Identifying each type of learning method and mixing it up with new and fun ways to increase potential is vital to the success of the next generation. Making goals achievable, tracking progress, providing opportunities and managing expectations are all beneficial ways to not only improve learning environments for all students but give educators better tools and experience to cater for a range of learning styles for improved success. These attributes also pave the way for better communication between peers and educators that can be carried into everyday situations and improve overall life skills.

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