Building connections with students to encourage engagement: Opinion


Connect with and building relationships with students is essential to engaging them in learning, writes Gretchen McKay. With dropping student engagement, McKay notes how education has become more transactional over time. “With an increasingly businesslike higher education landscape and an emphasis on the ‘return on investment,’” she writes, “students are missing the value of learning, critical thinking and wonder.” The author argues that instructors should refocus on building relationships with their students through three approaches: explaining the “why” behind a course to students, beginning courses with a “mystery box” exercise to help students get to know their instructor, and allowing students to see them as vulnerable in order to demonstrate that failure and difficulty is often part of the journey.

Inside Higher Ed (Acct. Req.)