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What are the characteristics of a great learning environment?

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What are the characteristics of a great learning environment?

We’ve spoken about how you can create a great learning environment. But there’s no point designing something if you don’t know how to assess it! To work out if your students (and the wider learning community) are responding to your efforts, look out for these five signs: 

1 - Your students ask a lot of questions

It doesn’t matter if the questions are ‘good’. All that matters is that the questions demonstrate genuine interest. Any relevant question from a student is a sign that you’re doing well.

If students are asking questions, it shows that they’re engaged. It means that they’re listening, that they want to know more, and (crucially) that they’re confident enough to ask you if they’re not sure about something.

Encourage questions whenever you can - and take every question as a personal victory!

2 - Questions and ideas come from lots of different students

Having said that every question is a triumph, it’s even better if those questions come from a variety of students. Five questions from five different students is better than ten questions from one.

Some students will always be more outspoken and confident than others. However, if only the confident extroverts in your class are contributing to discussion, it could be a sign that other students don’t feel confident in your class. 

When the more introverted students start raising their hands, it shows that you’ve created a learning environment in which they feel safe, comfortable, and confident enough to speak up. That’s a hard thing to achieve, so well done! 

3 - The learning community outside the classroom is engaged and communicative

We all know that learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school day. Parents, guardians, tutors, siblings - all have their part to play in a child’s education.

Remote learning platforms like Kinteract make it easy to build supportive learning communities around each child. If that community is communicative and engaged, it shows that your learning environment is working.

If the wider community is engaging with you, it’s often a sign that students are interested enough in your lessons to discuss them at home. It also shows that you are approachable - that you’re someone parents and families feel they can talk to about their child. 

This kind of engagement is amazing for helping kids through their education. When parents and guardians start coming to you with questions and/or for advice, give yourself a pat on the back!

4 - Students take the growth opportunities you give them

Teachers are always offering students extra opportunities. However, students don’t always take them! How many times have you recommended a book that the student never picked up, or offered a lunchtime study club, or proposed a field trip to a sea of uninterested faces?

When students start reading those books, coming to that club, and getting enthused about those trips, you know you’re doing something right. Taking the advice and opportunities you offer them is a sure sign that your students respect you and your subject.

5 - Grades are great!

Grades aren’t the be all and end all. If your students are engaged and showing an interest, you’re off to a great start - no matter what their grades say.

That being said, grades are the bottom line for a lot of schools. Ultimately, you want your great learning environment to be reflected in great grades. 

So, keep an eye on the quality of your students’ work. If you see steady improvement - keep on doing what you’re doing!

Enhance your learning environment with Kinteract

Kinteract helps to get students involved no matter where they are. It builds learning communities, promotes engagement, and makes teachers’ jobs easier. To find out more, book a demo today.