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Stephan Derr - SteelcaseStephan Derr is a member of the Board of Directors of Steelcase and an expert in the world of work. He studied business administration at the University of Augsburg and Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. Since July 1, 2011, he has been Director Finance and Dealer Development at the office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Werndl AG in Germany. Derr, who lives in Munich, was previously Chief Financial Officer and responsible for “Dealer Development” at Steelcase, a consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and a partner at Quest Consulting AG. As a consultant in the Partner Council, he has already successfully supported the collaboration between Steelcase and its specialist dealers.

Attention and motivation to learn: 5 strategies to increase

How can lectures be designed in such a way that instead of restrained yawning there is concentrated attention? Decisive is the right mediation. 5 strategies to promote learning motivation and attention.

More attention in the lecture hall - Photo Steelcase

Set learning content and teach

Getting attention is not easy these days. Example students. Preparing you for jobs that don't even exist today and that are subject to constant change is a challenge in our fast-moving world. Lecturers generally face two challenges.

  1. The one difficulty is determining the right learning content.
  2. The other challenge is to convey this content.

Motivation of students

Achieving this goal is also difficult because students hardly seem to get involved in the lecture. According to studies by Steelcase and Gallup, the motivation of students is steadily falling - and these problems seem to extend to universities.

What is the reason? Traditional learning concepts do not match the workings of our brain. All the more easily, there are countless confusion factors that influence student attentions: conversations with fellow students, new messages on the smartphone or personal problems all too often distract from the lecture.

Attention is of the essence

Attention, however, is the key to engagement and thus to learning success. In order to awaken and maintain student attention in learning spaces, both brain functioning and physical factors need to be considered.

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So it's high time to take a closer look at the dedicated students to find out why they are happier with their learning environment than the unmotivated ones.

How is the individual learning environment rated?

The evaluation of one's own learning environment includes more than just the hard facts such as the technical equipment, the lighting or the noise level.

A good learning environment facilitates the current task and supports the respective needs, eg after rest, exchange with colleagues or physical activity.

5 strategies to increase awareness

Based on research at various universities, the Steelcase WorkSpace has futures Team Therefore, 5 has developed strategies to promote attention.

  1. (Inter-) Active Learning Concepts: encourage students' attention and commitment more than traditional, passive learning approaches. The environment must also fit in. An ecosystem of active learning spaces supports and integrates pedagogy, technology and the space.
  2.  Selection and control options for students: increase their motivation to participate in the teaching process. Formal learning is just one of many learning styles. The learning needs and behavior of students can vary greatly. A wide range of flexible rooms with a wide choice of options ensures that everyone finds the best place - whether it is concentrated work, informal exchange or social learning.
  3. Exercise gives power: and transports fresh oxygen into the brain. Ensure changes in didactics, but also in the spatial situation during the lecture. Flexible learning environments allow teachers and students to adapt their learning rooms quickly to a wide range of activities.
  4. Link between learners and learning content:  Design classrooms with multiple “stages” (instead of a teacher's desk), diverse presentation spaces and mobile seating so that students can focus their attention on the learning content anywhere in the room.
  5. Rhythm of learning:  The capacities of the brain are limited and therefore tired when overused. Focusing on a task for longer than 45 minutes is almost impossible for most people. Offer spaces that support both concentration and creative thinking. Enable students to adapt the learning environment to current needs, take breaks, and classify work.

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