When it comes to student engagement, the focus very often gets put on bringing students to the learning—getting them excited about a topic, a lesson or an activity. But when the method used to engage students is only superficial, that excitement can fade very quickly, and the deeper learning never happens. For engagement to be meaningful, students have to be motivated through the learning--the motivation must be intrinsic.
In ST MathⓇ, a visual instructional program that builds a deep conceptual understanding of math, students are intrinsically motivated to continue learning for the sake of learning.
What Student Engagement Looks Like in ST Math
When students don’t want to stop playing, and they are actively learning, it’s a good sign of student engagement that is dynamically active.
There is a difference between being engaged in the entertainment side of a piece of edtech software and being engaged in the learning itself.
ST Math does not alternate between being a game and math program; the game is integrated into the math explorations with the puzzle format. This promotes intrinsic motivation.
Brandon showed true grit today. He was the last to sign off because he wanted to pass his level. He is working on symmetry during ST Math! pic.twitter.com/0QKNPKMR60
When students set their own goals, they take ownership and have a stake in their own learning. In ST Math, goals can include time on task, number of puzzles, percent progress, explaining your solutions and more. Learn more about goal setting for intrinsic motivation using ST Math.
Student goal setting is one of the top strategies for academic success. Here we have students in Mrs. Michel-Schlitz' class demonstrating how they set goals with Jiji and ST Math. pic.twitter.com/tAdwh4NkYW
Student engagement doesn’t always mean a quiet classroom.
ST Math helps students learn math conceptually, based on neuroscience research. Creator of ST Math, Dr. Matthew Peterson, recently shared his findings around the four neural subsystems of learning. One of the neural systems is academic discourse. ST Math educators observe that students are compelled to talk about the puzzles with one another.
When educators praise students for reaching goals, persevering, helping others and trying different strategies, they are rewarding those behaviors. This can reinforce the intrinsic motivation to continue learning!
ST Math is a personalized learning program, which means students take their own path and pace to mastery of the concepts. But that doesn’t mean the learning has to end when some of your students reach 100%.
In addition to optional objectives and challenge games in the program, ST Math Central houses a list of ideas to extend the learning.
ST Math educators continuously impress us with how they embrace ST Math by incorporating elements into other projects and activities, such as this JiJi robot!