Maintaining Middle School Students’ Engagement in Virtual Learning Environments

Blanca Ibarra, Pierre Lu


The current COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for teachers as they transition to teaching in virtual learning environments. Virtual learning environments have forced educators to adapt teaching strategies and become creative and innovative to maintain student engagement (Korkmaz & Toraman, 2020). Middle school social studies teachers have always dealt with a lack of student interest in learning history, and the current instructional setting is requiring a reimagined teacher craft to deliver high-quality instruction. The interaction between students and teachers often depends on the content, highly effective questioning, choice in response methods, technology tools, or learning platforms (Czerkawski & Lyman, 2016). A conceptual understanding of the types of engagement, including cognitive, affective, and behavioral (Buric & Franzel, 2020; Raes, Vanneste, Pieters, Windey, Van Den Noortgate & Depaepe, 2020; Van Uden, Ritzen & Pieters, 2013; Ding, Kim & Orey, 2017) will help inform the types of instructional strategies that will be most effective at increasing and maintaining student engagement. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences and problems associated with engaging students in virtual learning environments for middle school social studies teachers in a border school district with over 40,000 students. The overarching theme that emerged from the data collected was that teachers play a significant role in creating a learning environment that supports students, encourages participation through interactive technology, and nurtures relationships to promote student engagement. Findings suggest educators understand the challenges educators face to keep students engaged and motivated, and some of the best practices that can increase student engagement in virtual learning.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Blanca Ibarra, Pierre Lu

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © SCHOLINK INC.   ISSN 2690-3520 (Print) ISSN 2690-3539 (Online)