Online Learning Shrinks Student Attention Spans: 6 Ways Educators Can Improve Concentration in Hybrid Learning Environments

If you’ve ever watched a kid bounce from activity to activity, you’ll know that young students sometimes struggle with short attention spans. Nowadays, with an increased level of online learning, teachers face various challenges to keep children engaged in the course material. Below are six tips to help promote and develop a lasting attention span for students in a hybrid learning environment. 

Use creative plans that inspire 

Developing and maintaining a learning environment that leverages students’ creativity can increase their attention span. For instance, if a student is learning to write their name, reinforce a pen-to-paper learning style with a craft activity like asking them to “write” their name in Play-Doh. Lesson plans with flexibility and creativity inspire students to pay attention because of the anticipation of a surprise activity. 

Invest in a positive classroom environment, even in hybrid-learning structures

The classroom environment has a tangible influence on students—high-impact classroom decorations from trusted retailers like Sproutbrite impact student learning. With the expansion of online education, teachers might push classroom decor to the bottom of their to-do list. Still, a well-decorated and inviting classroom is critical to maintaining a welcoming learning environment for those days of in-person learning during a hybrid schedule. 

Teach shorter lessons 

On average, young minds can maintain focus for about ten minutes. When teachers plan lessons, they should break them into sections, conforming to how students can best absorb information. Try changing learning styles from individual work to partner assignments to group presentations within a given subject. 

Include physical activities

Movement breaks during a traditional learning day can help students who struggle with maintaining focus during a lecture. Between the sections of your lesson, include tasks like standing and performing ten jumping jacks or hopping up and dog like a frog. Even including movement in active learning is exciting. For instance, when teaching verbs, include some acting so kids can move about the space enacting the described action. 

Incorporate a daily mindfulness routine 

Like learning any other skill, practice makes perfect. Including focusing exercises as part of the learning day can help children set the intention to listen more carefully and absorb information. Adding a concentration exercise to your morning routine can help enhance a student’s attention span. 

Adjust the expected time required to complete a task

Lesson plans are essential to meet learning goals, but the ability to adjust how much or how little time students can spend on a particular lesson is invaluable. Repetition is as vital as a lengthy learning period. Rather than lecture for an hour about how plants grow, try introducing the concept as a daily theme, then circling back to learning points throughout the day. Tangible tools can also be helpful, like timers or checkpoints scattered across the room. 

Before you go

Remember that teachers know their students’ learning patterns more intimately than anyone else, so incorporating tips and tricks that work best in your classroom is essential. Using some of these ideas to increase concentration during virtual or hybrid learning might help keep those bright minds engaged and learning. 


Back to top button