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Engaging Adolescent Learners (online)

Teenagers undergo various changes that have implications on their health, wellbeing and ultimately their academic progress. Through this short course, you will learn why adolescent learner engagement is so important, how to maximise this engagement through innovation and the impact of positive teaching ideas.



About this course

Ever wondered why it can be challenging to engage adolescent learners? Contemporary research shows that changes in the human brain during adolescent growth affect the child and the brain's optimal development depends strongly on the provision of a suitably innovative and engaging learning environment. The latest studies have revealed that positive teaching and learning can lead to increased student involvement and most importantly, can result in greater year 12 completion rates.

This course has been designed to show teachers how to increase the amount of meaningful learning taking place in their classroom through building effective teaching practice. The workshop is led by expert UTS educators. Drawing on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) research conducted by CAST (the Centre for Applied Special Technology), this short course demonstrates how to ensure access to the curriculum for all learners while maintaining high academic standards.

Course structure

Session 1

  • Identifying the changes characterising adolescence
  • Workshop activity exploring youth issues (such as alcohol, sleep, bullying, mental health and risk behaviours, such as vaping)
  • Resources available for assisting teenagers to cope with problems they may face
  • Role play, exploring how adolescent issues may present in the classroom and how teachers can respond to improve student learning.

Session 2

  • Overview of the importance of engagement and learning as a whole
  • Analysis of the range of factors that influence engagement including videos and documentation from CAST
  • Reflective group discussion exploring the ways to identify engagement or a lack of engagement and the principles of engagement (based on the UDL)
  • Practical tasks examining case studies highlighting engaging learning designs
  • Personal development of your own practice-based examples of engaging learning design.

Learning outcomes

  • Define and describe the physical, social and intellectual characteristics of adolescent students, and the challenging issues they and their teachers face
  • Outline teaching strategies to improve student learning
  • Explain different strategies that increase engagement of students in learning.
  • Apply these strategies in the development of their own learning designs.

Additional information

  • Laptop or mobile device required.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for:

  • NSW secondary teachers
  • NSW pre-service teachers & tertiary supervisors
  • Learning designers
  • School counsellors
  • Parents.


Professional recognition

NESA has recently changed its professional development requirements. Teachers are strongly encouraged to review the NESA website for the latest information.

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