Like learning within a seminar or lecture, learning outside of the classroom often works best if it is 'managed' to a degree. Although HE students need to be self-motivated and take their own learning forward through independent study, we can encourage them into good habits. Some of the ways you can manage learning outside the classroom are:
- Setting a specific task, with a deadline for completion, or submission of work, for example.Following up the learning (and telling students that you will be doing this) via whatever means is appropriate (e.g. a blog comment).
- Giving students an objective (e.g. a task, piece of reading or research) which needs to be done and submitted before the next lecture, seminar or group meeting.
- Asking students to work together outside of the classroom and/or prepare something for each other - students feel responsible for each other and are, therefore, more likely to engage.
- Making content available on a course VLE at a specific time and date (and publicising this) so that students are encouraged to log in.
- Similarly, giving students a 'window of opportunity' soon after the lecture or seminar to access further learning materials (e.g. additional lecture slides, answers to a quiz etc) might encourage them to take their learning forward sooner, rather than later, or not at all.