Boredom is the biggest enemy of productivity, especially in academics. However, every student has one subject or more that they’d rather not study, simply because it bores them. Trying to help them study a topic that they don’t find interesting can be a challenge, but it does not have to be a stressful or negative process.
Here are 11 tips that will help you make boring subjects more fun for students:
- Break the Topic Down – Staring at or listening to the same thing for too long is bound to make even a fun subject seem like a drag. Instead, make sure you don’t spend more than an hour on a single topic, as far as possible. If a topic requires longer than that, schedule breaks in between.
- Use Music as a Study Aid – Dates, names, facts, and figures can be memorized more effectively by setting them to a tune, which can be recalled more easily than words alone. Playing soft instrumental music in the background can also help improve focus while studying a dull topic. However, songs with lyrics might be distracting.
- Remove Unnecessary Distractions – There’s no effective way to study even an interesting subject when the phone beeps every few seconds or other distractions keep drawing attention. Multitasking is a temptation best avoided, especially when it comes to staying on track with a boring topic. Set some rules, and maintain them.
- Explore Interactive Study Tools – There’s a huge range of learning materials available at your fingertips today, in any format you may want. Online courses and multimedia resources are designed to make study fun for teachers and students alike and are particularly helpful when the subject isn’t very interesting on its own.
- Visual Cues Can Help, Too – Flashcards, diagrams, posters, and graphs are a great way to compress large amounts of information into smaller, digestible portions. Pairing colorful images with written notes also triggers associations that allow students to remember and recall information more easily.
- Get Fun Writing Materials – Taking notes by hand is a great way to improve concentration, and great stationery or desk equipment can act as a motivational tool as well. When you want to make study fun for students, encourage them to use notepads and writing materials that appeal to them.
- The Power of Mnemonic Devices – Acronyms, rhymes and other mnemonic tools are perfect for simplifying and compressing important information and make it easier to study. Condensing information into easy-to-remember forms helps make learning more enjoyable, efficient and effective.
- Set Goals and Rewards – Setting a goal is important, but it’s a lot more effective when there’s a reward at the end of it. While dealing with a dull or difficult subject, it helps to break each topic down into smaller sections and link a treat to its completion – whether it’s a break, a snack or a game.
- Seating Positions Matter – While assigning seats, placing less motivated students closer to the front can help improve their concentration. According to some studies, average exam scores for students placed in the back and middle rows are lower than those in the front row, even if they don’t choose seating on their own.
- Encourage Group Learning – It’s always more fun to study with other people than alone, whether it’s in a physical classroom or online. Encourage students to work with others, help them when needed, compare notes, quiz each other and engage in debates, discussions or competitions for each topic.
- Change the Environment – Sometimes, the best way to break the monotony of studying a boring subject is to change the setting where it takes place. Heading to the library, outdoors or even a different room can boost motivation, but only as long as the new study environment isn’t too distracting.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent or even a student, the tips listed above will help you improve concentration and focus, even with subjects that aren’t a favorite.
Remember, it’s difficult to retain the interest in any topic if it’s all being flung at you in one go. It’s the same for students. Take your time to plan study methods, lessons, and motivational techniques, so they remain fresh and enjoyable!