8 ways to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom | Teach Away (2023)



Connecting via webcam isn’t always easy and it takes creativity to keep students’ brains stimulated!

In fact, teaching online requires you to use completely different skillsets compared to those used to teach in-person!

With the home environment being surrounded by potential distractions, keeping students engaged, motivated, and interested in their lessons can be one of the biggest challenges online teachers face.

The question most of us online teachers ask ourselves at least once is: “How can I make the online classroom experience more exciting for my students?”

Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you increase engagement in the classroom

Let’s dive right in then.

Here are the 8 best tips that will help you learn how to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom:

  1. Present your best (online) self
  2. Use technology to your advantage
  3. Find what inspires your students
  4. Set goals and help students stick to them
  5. Keep it interactive
  6. Break down the lessons and make it digestible
  7. Make your students feel valued
  8. Be patient with your students

1. Present your best (online) self


If your students can see you via a webcam, make sure that not only do you look presentable, but the location that you’re in does too.

Tip: a simple background works best to eliminate any distractions.

And that’s just the first step!

If students can see your face, it’s going to be 100 times more motivating for them if you look engaged and interested in what they are saying (even if sometimes this requires all your saintly teacher patience!).

Also, your visual materials must be up to scratch.

Make sure your slides look clean and clear and any videos you use are of good quality.


(Video) Top 5 Apps to Make Virtual Lesson Interactive

Try changing the tone of your voice to introduce new activities or mix up the tempo of your class!

Practice your storytelling skills and offer praise out loud. This can make a huge difference in encouraging your students.

And, again, make sure any audio clips you plan to use are of good quality.

Finally, this might be stating the obvious, but make sure you can teach your online lessons from somewhere with a reliable internet connection.

Nothing will have students switching off their attention quicker than a crackly connection that keeps on cutting out.

2. Use technology to your advantage

Teaching online comes with its challenges, but it also puts a whole load of really cool tools at your fingertips.

Whether you use whiteboards, pointers, virtual games, text editors, drawing tools, file editors, breakout rooms, or screen-sharing tools, you can use the technology you have to add variety to your lessons and keep students on their toes.

First of all, make sure you know how to use these virtual tools and take time to explain them to students, so they feel confident with using them too.

Then think about how you might use them to liven up your lessons.

For example, you could use fun rewards to entice students.

There is no kid out there whose eyes don’t light up at the prospect of 30 seconds of free play on a drawing tool!

3. Find what inspires your students

8 ways to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom | Teach Away (1)

The good news is, just like in any face-to-face classroom, the real key to getting your online students involved is to find out what inspires them and gives them a reason to be engaged in the classroom.

Whether you’re teaching English online or you are a classroom teacher turned virtual, use the same mediums you would use in a real-life classroom.

Turn up the fun by playing music or just go to town with the drawing tool!

Don’t be afraid to try different things with your students until you find something that works for them.

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4. Set goals and help your students stick to them

Another way to help online students stay on track with their studies (and keep a sense of purpose) is to set goals and remind them of their progress.

Setting goals for online learners

One simple way to introduce short-term goals into your online classroom is to make sure each lesson has a clear outline that you share with your student so they know where they are in the learning process and the context for any activity they are doing.

Then think about how you might reward students for finishing tasks (or, even better, for working hard) during a lesson.

You could try positive feedback, badges, points, playing games or doing other fun learning activities your students would like.

When it comes to long-term goals, going too far into the future might not be effective, but try taking time now and then to check in with your students and set goals together for the next month, three months, or six months down the line.

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Progress checks for online learners

For short-term progress checks, make sure you build continuity between lessons by doing quick revisions or quizzes on previous topics.

A great way to remind students of their long-term progress is by building up a portfolio of work with them so they can look back themselves and see how far they’ve come.

One way of doing this online is to start an achievement page.

If you are teaching kids, every time they achieve something, you can go to the achievement page and ask them to draw something that reminds them of what they’ve learned (you might want to make it an achievement tree they can add to or a trophy shelf.) With teens or adult learners, you might prefer asking them to write something.

As the course progresses, the page will fill up with reminders of successes and proud moments for your students.

5. Keep it interactive

8 ways to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom | Teach Away (3)

In a face-to-face class, it’s typical to give students some quiet reflection time to work alone or read a text.

But these kinds of activities don’t translate well in online classrooms.

Long, dense texts are challenging to read on a screen (it’s much easier to break things into chunks).

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Silence just doesn’t translate that well in virtual classrooms as it provides the perfect excuse for a student’s attention to drift elsewhere!

Planning activities that keep your students actively clicking, typing or talking throughout the lesson is the way to go.

You can do this by asking lots of questions, including games and making sure learners have to physically do things like use drawing tools or type in the dialogue boxes.

And when you’re planning your lesson, you can make sure your student has to say something every three minutes or so.

6. Break down the lesson and make it digestible

Timing is crucial in online teaching, and you might find you need to break up your online lessons differently than you would with face-to-face ones.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep a fast pace and break down information into small, easily digestible chunks.

In practical terms, this means to steer clear of lengthy explanations and slides with too much text!

Mixing up the tempo of your lessons by adding a variety of activity types is also a great way to make the time fly by for your students.

You can also write your lesson plans for the online classroom with free lesson planners like Planboard.

And for online English teachers, there are plenty of free resources out there to get you started.

7. Make your students feel valued

The truth is, the isolation experienced by students studying in online classrooms can be a huge factor in making them feel demotivated.

They might think that no one will notice or care if they miss a class, or find it all too tempting to not log in to the classroom if they’re feeling tired.

The best way online teachers can help remedy this is by making their students feel valued in the classroom.

How do I do that, you ask?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn your student’s name and use their name throughout the lesson, and make sure they learn yours
  • Follow up on what you did in previous lessons so your students know that you’re on top of what they’re learning (and they should be too)
  • Find out about your student’s interests and incorporate them into the lesson where possible
  • Give regular feedback on your students’ work
  • Aim to be a positive, encouraging and present

8. Be patient with your students

As anyone can tell you, keeping students engaged and stimulated is no easy task. Remember that young kids sometimes don’t have very high attention spans, so it can be hard for them to sit still and focus at times.

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This is totally normal and okay!

It’s essential to give them a break now and then and be patient with them.

Your students can easily pick up whether you’re annoyed or frustrated when something isn’t clicking.

And that makes matters worse.

Give them a short break every now and then.

It’ll make a difference!

Create a more engaging virtual classroom

Teaching online takes creativity.

Online environments can be challenging to master at first, but with a little effort and time, your students will be getting the best experience possible.

And, they’ll be excited to log into your classroom.

To recap, here are the 8 ways to increase engagement online:

  1. Present your best (online) self
  2. Use technology to your advantage
  3. Find what inspires your students
  4. Set goals and help students stick to them
  5. Keep it interactive
  6. Break down the lessons and make it digestible
  7. Make your students feel valued
  8. Be patient with your students

We hope these tips gave you a great foundation for building better online classrooms, but don’t be discouraged if you still need a little more help.

If you need more help, you can always try our Online Teaching Strategies course to give you more confidence and ensureyou smoothly transition into the world of online teaching.

8 ways to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom | Teach Away (4)


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8 ways to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom | Teach Away? ›

Interactive classroom activities are activities that forgo one-way communication, or individual learning in favor of getting students involved and engaged with the lessons or material.

What 3 things can you do to engage students in an online session? ›

Student engagement in online learning – what works and why
  • Be present.
  • Create interesting learning materials.
  • Provide 1-to-1 sessions.
  • Assign some group work.
  • Create an online forum for discussions.
  • Provide and ask for a regular feedback.
  • Challenge students.
Dec 6, 2021

How do you engage students in online classes? ›

Recommendations to Increase Student Engagement in Online Courses
  1. Set Expectations and Model Engagement. ...
  2. Build Engagement and Motivation with Course Content and Activities. ...
  3. Initiate Interaction and Create Faculty Presence. ...
  4. Foster Interaction between Students and Create a Learning Community. ...
  5. Create an Inclusive Environment.

How to create a fun and positive online learning environment? ›

9 Tips on Creating a Positive Online Learning Environment
  1. Welcome students in creative ways. ...
  2. Be clear about etiquette. ...
  3. Set guidelines for videoconferencing. ...
  4. Engage students with getting-to-know-you activities. ...
  5. Record class meetings. ...
  6. Watch your language. ...
  7. Start an online buddy system. ...
  8. Partner with the home team.
Nov 8, 2022

How can I make my online lessons more interactive? ›

The Top 5 Ways to Make Online Classes More Interactive
  1. Offer Flexibility in Learning. ...
  2. Leverage Storytelling. ...
  3. Check Students' Progress More Often than in Offline Classes. ...
  4. Gamify Learning. ...
  5. Scenario-Based Learning is The Latest Trend.
Mar 15, 2023

How do you make lessons fun and engaging online? ›

  1. Present your best (online) self. Visuals. ...
  2. Use technology to your advantage. ...
  3. Find what inspires your students. ...
  4. Set goals and help your students stick to them. ...
  5. Keep it interactive. ...
  6. Break down the lesson and make it digestible. ...
  7. Make your students feel valued. ...
  8. Be patient with your students.

How do you make lessons not boring? ›

How to Have More Fun Teaching
  1. Discover new things together. ...
  2. Incorporate mystery into your lessons. ...
  3. Be goofy; show you care. ...
  4. Participate in projects. ...
  5. Avoid “going through the motions.” ...
  6. Flip your lessons. ...
  7. Review–but don't repeat–material. ...
  8. Share your passions.
Oct 10, 2015

What are interactive activities? ›

Interactive classroom activities are activities that forgo one-way communication, or individual learning in favor of getting students involved and engaged with the lessons or material.

How do you engage students in class actively? ›

Promoting student engagement through active learning

Strategies include, but are not limited to, question-and-answer sessions, discussion, interactive lecture (in which students respond to or ask questions), quick writing assignments, hands-on activities, and experiential learning.

How do you motivate students in an online environment? ›

How to Motivate Learners in an Online Learning Environment
  1. Personalizing Learning.
  2. Rewarding Students' Success.
  3. Providing Meaningful Feedback.
  4. Allow Self-Monitoring.
  5. Setting Clear Goals and Learning Paths.
  6. Encouraging Collaboration with Others.
  7. Using a Variety of Learning Tools.
Jan 22, 2022

How do you create a joyful virtual classroom community? ›

5 Virtual Ways to Build a Classroom Community
  1. Reach-out and Check-In with Students and Parents. ...
  2. Host Social Gatherings for Students to Interact with Each Other. ...
  3. Arrange a Virtual Spirit Week. ...
  4. Include Parents in Learning/ Teaching Experiences. ...
  5. Include Opportunities for Asynchronous Participation.
Apr 1, 2020

What makes a good online learning environment? ›

A good learning environment may be a great attribute to the success of an online course. It is not only about creating a positive class atmosphere for students to feel engaged and motivated. An ideal course setting should encourage the instructor-learner connection and present a sense of support and communication.

How can you as a student teacher make the interactive phase interesting? ›

Applying interactive education
  1. Encourage student participation.
  2. Use questions that stimulate response, discussion, and a hands-on experience.
  3. Use teaching aids that press for answers, and capture/hold the student's attention.
  4. Set up a workgroup environment.
  5. Involve yourself as well as the student.
Apr 6, 2018

How do you Socialise in online classes? ›

Tips for Making Friends in an Online Class
  1. Participate in Class. ...
  2. Find Small Talk Opportunities. ...
  3. Form or Join a Study Group. ...
  4. Join a Student Group or Club. ...
  5. Attend Networking and Social Events. ...
  6. Reach Out.
Aug 25, 2022

What makes the students enjoy the class? ›

Incorporate mystery into your lessons – Learning is the most fun when it's surprising. Don't just tell them information; cloak it in to mystery. Be crazy, but show you care – Let loose; laugh; make fun of yourself. Don't worry about sacrificing your authority.

How can teachers make class more interesting? ›

6 Tips to Make Class Interesting for Students
  1. Revel in the Mysterious. ...
  2. Lesson Flipping Can Be Very Effective. ...
  3. Reviewing Is Important but Avoid Repetition. ...
  4. Learn Together. ...
  5. Make the Lessons Exciting. ...
  6. Make Use of Technology.
Oct 3, 2022

How do you engage uninterested classes? ›

Hopefully, they can work for you too!
  1. Find Things They're Interested In. ...
  2. Move Them to the Heart of the Class. ...
  3. Ask Them to Help You With Something (Anything!) ...
  4. Pull Them Aside and Offer to Give a Second Chance. ...
  5. Send a Positive Note to Their Parents.
Sep 28, 2015

What are examples of interactive lesson? ›

Interactive Classroom Activities
  • Entry/Exit Tickets. ...
  • Free Writing/Minute Paper/Question of the Day Exercise. ...
  • Ice Breakers. ...
  • Think–Pair–Share. ...
  • Case Studies and Problem-Based Learning. ...
  • Debate. ...
  • Interview or Role Play. ...
  • Interactive Demonstrations.

What are interactive strategies? ›

By definition, an interactive strategy is an integral aspect of the overall marketing strategy that involves addressing issues such as channel choice, design aspects that suit various channels, technology and outreach constraints within the overall plan, usability aspects including UI and UX design, among other issues.

What makes an interactive classroom interactive? ›

An interactive classroom is an approach to creating an environment that supports interactive and active learning. It is designed to stimulate creativity and is much more analytical as opposed to traditional rote learning methods.

How do you make a lesson active? ›

Give learners clear lesson aims and refer to them at each stage
  1. keep track of the lesson stages.
  2. clearly see the connection between what they are doing in class and what they are supposed to learn.
  3. know exactly what is expected of them, reducing anxiety.
  4. self-monitor their progress.
Oct 30, 2017

What are active learning strategies? ›

An active learning strategy is any type of activity during class (face-to-face, online, or outside of class) that engages learners in deep thought about the subject matter in your course.

What keeps you motivated in online class? ›

Set smaller, achievable goals at first, such as completing a chapter of required reading or writing an outline for an assignment. You'll be more motivated to keep going when you've achieved some short-term goals. When setting goals, focus on your strengths and seek support for weaker areas.

What motivates students in online learning? ›

Selvi (2010) stated that factors that are positively affecting motivation of learners are for example:
  • Teachers' enthusiasm.
  • Relevance of the course materials.
  • Well planned and organized class sessions.
  • Instructors' expectations at an appropriate difficult level.
  • Learners' active involvement in the classroom learning.
Jan 25, 2017

How do you keep students attention in a virtual classroom? ›

  1. Read. Read one or more article.
  2. Watch. Watch one or more video.
  3. Listen. Listen to one of more recording/podcast.
  4. Reflect. Reflect on the following question.

How do you make a virtual classroom learning magical? ›

Embrace virtual classrooms and reap the rewards

“Limit the content to the bare minimum and use the time in the live virtual classroom to brainstorm, discuss, practise and reflect. Lecturing must be avoided, and content-related activity thought out differently,” says Delmas-Watson.

How do you create a fun learning environment? ›

13 Ways to create a positive learning environment in your classroom
  1. Build positive relationships with students and parents. ...
  2. Foster student connections. ...
  3. Outline classroom rules for positive behavior. ...
  4. Use positive reinforcement. ...
  5. Ensure content is culturally relevant. ...
  6. Keep a positive mindset.
Mar 11, 2022

How do you create a fun classroom environment? ›

13 ways to create a positive classroom environment
  1. Build positive relationships. ...
  2. Arrange the physical environment. ...
  3. Set high academic expectations. ...
  4. Provide positive reinforcement. ...
  5. Be open to feedback. ...
  6. Encourage collaboration. ...
  7. Use current curriculum and teaching methods. ...
  8. Be there for them.
Feb 3, 2023

What are the 5 tips to be successful in online learning? ›

Tips for Taking Online Courses
  • Develop a Schedule. Commit to making your online coursework part of your weekly routine. ...
  • Set Specific Goals. Create daily goals and set reminders for yourself to complete tasks within specific windows of time.
  • Get Connected. ...
  • Create a Designated Study Space. ...
  • Stay healthy.

What are 5 most important aspects of effective online learning? ›

Five Factors for Successful Online Learning
  • Use a systems approach to course design. ...
  • Provide professional development. ...
  • Set student expectations. ...
  • Create community. ...
  • Take advantage of the online environment.
Mar 29, 2018

What are the 5 components of a good learning environment? ›

This document identifies and articulates the characteristics of five Key Elements that are fundamental to achieving high-quality experiences and strong outcomes for preschool children: the learning environment, daily routine, adult-child relationships, teaching practices, and family engagement.

What are the three 3 ways to engage with customers online? ›

7 Online customer engagement strategies
  • Build a community or group. There are several great ways to build an online community to more effectively interact and engage with your customers. ...
  • Host a webinar. ...
  • Co-create. ...
  • Celebrate together. ...
  • Offer exclusive content. ...
  • Respond to feedback. ...
  • Engage across multiple channels.

How do you engage online participants? ›

Engagement strategies to help you maximize the ROI of your virtual event experience
  1. Make space for conversation in every session of your virtual event.
  2. Gamify your engagement.
  3. Experiment with different conversational formats.
  4. Empower your virtual and hybrid event participants to be autonomous.
Mar 22, 2021

What are your top three ways you would motivate a virtual learner? ›

Motivate your student to complete schoolwork. Serve as a reward for work well done. Teach social interaction in a quality environment. Develop the student's maturity.

How do you keep students attention online? ›

Table of contents
  1. 1 1. Cut Back to Only What is Crucial.
  2. 2 2. Make 'Eye' Contact.
  3. 3 3. Be Clear and Organized While Teaching.
  4. 4 4. Set Clear Lesson Plans and Goals for Each Session.
  5. 5 5. Work in Breaks and 'Check-In' Points.
  6. 6 6. Be Commanding and Captivating.
Feb 16, 2021

What are 4 steps which will help you engage with customers? ›

To achieve a high level of customer engagement and push your brand to its upper limits, you need to take these four steps.
  • Personalize Advertisements Toward Each Buyer Persona. ...
  • Seek Feedback From Your Customers. ...
  • Become A Part Of The Conversation. ...
  • Get Customers Involved.
Jan 3, 2017

What is online engagement strategy? ›

Your digital engagement strategy should include a digital marketing strategy for each of the channels you use to reach your target audience — as well as all the channels they can use to contact you: Social media pages. Social media groups. Email marketing. Your company website.

How do you engage digitally? ›

How to engage customers: The effective digital engagement strategies
  1. Develop a comprehensive digital customer engagement strategy. ...
  2. Create a digital community. ...
  3. Always be responsive to online customer engagement. ...
  4. Delight customers with personalization. ...
  5. Offer a variety of customer engagement channels.
Nov 21, 2022

What are 3 ways to encourage active learning? ›

Give learners clear lesson aims and refer to them at each stage
  • keep track of the lesson stages.
  • clearly see the connection between what they are doing in class and what they are supposed to learn.
  • know exactly what is expected of them, reducing anxiety.
  • self-monitor their progress.
Oct 30, 2017

How do you encourage participation in a virtual classroom? ›

How to Encourage Students to Speak Up in Virtual Classes
  1. Share Your Questions Ahead of Time. ...
  2. Establish Rules That Encourage Participation. ...
  3. Ask Simple Questions in Chat. ...
  4. Follow Up on Those Questions. ...
  5. Be Clear About What You're Asking For. ...
  6. Don't Shame Attendees. ...
  7. Count Away the Silence. ...
  8. It's a Conversation, Not an Interview.
Jan 20, 2022

How not to distract in online classes? ›

  • It's easy to get distracted and check your social media during online classes. ...
  • Close any social media sites & apps. ...
  • Limit your smartphone usage. ...
  • Turn off your phone or leave it out of reach. ...
  • Create a social media schedule. ...
  • Research where your time is going and use reminders.

How can I make my online school less boring? ›

Tips to Eliminate Boredom Before Class
  1. Get enough sleep. Mental resets are critical. ...
  2. Read and preview all supplied materials. ...
  3. Be prepared to ask questions. ...
  4. Don't be too hard on yourself. ...
  5. Don't check out. ...
  6. Don't multitask. ...
  7. Enjoy a beverage while you learn. ...
  8. Ask for help.
Oct 8, 2021

How students stay motivated in online classes? ›

Set small, attainable goals for each class to avoid getting discouraged and overwhelmed. Keep track of your goals by writing them on sticky notes and placing them around your home, or create a spreadsheet to track your progress. And remember, small successes will help lead to your ultimate goal — earning your degree.


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