5 Tips for Keeping Students Engaged in Health Science Courses Blog Feature
Sarah Layton

By: Sarah Layton on January 17th, 2012

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5 Tips for Keeping Students Engaged in Health Science Courses

Health Science | Student Engagement

Keeping students engaged in class can be a real challenge for health science teachers. And students who are bored or distracted can be a disruption to other students as well.

You don’t have to learn to “sing and dance” to have engaged students in your health science education classes (though it might be fun!). 

Instead, try integrating blended learning tools like those included with HealthCenter21 to keep your students interested, motivated, and engaged.

The five best ways to keep students engaged in health science are:

  1. Student-directed learning
  2. Interactive exercises
  3. Multimedia content
  4. Hands-on activities and projects
  5. Teacher-led presentations and discussions

Infographic: 5 Ways to Engage Students

5 Tips for Keeping Students Engaged

Now, let's dive into each strategy!

1. Student-Directed Learning

If your students are bored in class, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are boring! 

Students have different learning styles, and they often learn at different paces.  Traditional lectures and “lock-step” activities may be too fast for some students and too slow for others.

Try mixing in activities and assignments that students can complete at their own pace, such as the HealthCenter21 online learning lessons. 

Assignments can still have “due dates.”

But allowing students to control when and how they work on those assignments will help to make sure you are not boring your faster students or leaving your slower students in the dust!

2. Interactive Exercises

Computers and mobile devices are quickly replacing newspapers, magazines and even television as our primary sources for news and information.  The main reason is “interactivity.” 

Just as we prefer to interact with our information sources, students also want to interact with the instructional materials you provide.

Are there ways that you can transform some of your passive reading or listening lessons? 

For example, interactive exercises such as HealthCenter21’s “drag-and-drop” activities” engage students in simple vocabulary lessons by drawing them in as active participants, and providing them with immediate feedback.

3. Multimedia Content

When large blocks of information must be learned in a short amount of time, “reading assignments” may seem like the only alternative. 

But some students have reading difficulties, and others simply refuse to read.

To keep students motivated and engaged with these types of assignments you could try reading to them… (better get out your tap shoes!).  Or you could provide them with multimedia content such as the online content in HealthCenter21. 

Through photos, animation, and video, students receive information in a way that is visually interesting.  Narrated text ensures that all students can hear as well as see the written words.

4. Hands-On Activities and Group Projects

Although multimedia content and interactive activities can be very engaging, students can get too much of a good thing. 

So to keep students engaged, it’s important to mix it up.

In health science education, there are lots of opportunities for students to move around the classroom, work with their hands, and to interact with other students. 

That’s why HealthCenter21 lesson plans include hands-on activities such as medical skills and procedures practice, as well as small group projects, experiments and role-playing scenarios.

5. Teacher-Led Presentations and Discussions

Sometimes teachers just have to teach. 

In fact, standing in front of your students and sharing your healthcare knowledge and experience with them is often the most valuable blended learning tool of all.  And just because it may be called a “lecture” doesn’t automatically make it boring!

Many teachers are now comfortable using Microsoft’s PowerPoint software with their lectures.

HealthCenter21’s ready-made PowerPoint presentations can enhance those lectures further with visually appealing graphics and photographs, as well as discussion questions that help transform a one-way talk into a two-way conversation.

Now that’s engaging!

Craft Your Own Student Engagement Strategy?

Are you ready to launch a student engagement strategy of your own?

We've got you covered with our 25-page guide of engagement strategies that can work in any classroom!

Get your free guide today!

Keeping Students Engaged in CTE


About Sarah Layton

Sarah is a contributing author to the AES blog. She is committed to helping instructors and students succeed both in and out of the classroom.