August 24, 2022
Electives have always been an important part of the school experience, allowing students to choose different avenues of subject matter and activities. Students typically enjoy choosing the types of subjects they want to participate in and it often provides them with a creative outlet they may not have with a core class. In this article, we will explore some strategies to enhance the elective experience in a completely virtual environment.
With a flipped classroom, the focus of the electives’ activities and interactions can be done synchronously within the classroom rather than outside as homework. This helps students emphasize collaboration and dramatically boosts engagement since students will be more excited to apply what they have learned.
Electives are all about exploration and discovery in subjects students have not encountered before. In an in-person classroom, students would often be taking explorative field trips or showcasing their projects to other students. To keep this explorative aspect of electives, it is important to keep up with interactive activities. For example, you can take your students on virtual field trips, invite them to create video projects, or even participate in gamified activities including Kahoot.
With virtual learning in place, most students may not have the proper equipment or materials to fully follow along. To remedy this, you might consider sending out mini kits that provide all the materials needed for certain experiments and activities in elective classes. This will help students feel that they are actively participating in the class rather than simply watching videos of the activity or experiment. Moreover, by sending out accessible kits, parents/guardians may be able to see the types of work their students are doing in their classes.
Collaboration is important in a virtual classroom to make sure students are actively engaging with other students’ ideas and thoughts. By creating peer evaluation activities, group projects, and even peer groups, students will also be able to effectively learn social skills and be able to properly communicate. Creating new channels of collaboration keeps students engaged as they are also accountable not only for themselves but for their peers as well.
Electives allow students to explore subjects that fascinate them while keeping them engaged. With the methods above, your students are likely to feel comfortable in a virtual environment and make academic progress in their electives.