Top 10 Interactive Activities to Engage Students and Boost Academic Performance

June 9, 2023 | By: Extramarks

Student and Boost

The first step towards leading students to academic success is to create a dynamic and fun learning environment. For teachers, a key aspect of enhancing the academic experience involves learning how to engage students in class. Incorporating elements such as online videos, interviews, case studies and pop quizzes as part of your pedagogy are sure to add an interesting spin to your class. 

Student engagement is like the glue that holds all aspects of a learner’s academic experience together. When students demonstrate high levels of engagement in a learning environment, they are more likely to succeed academically and have a positive sense of social-emotional well-being. In this blog, we explain the importance of engagement in learning and take you through 10 interactive activities to engage students in the classroom. 

Why is Engagement Important?

In a classroom environment, academic learning is generally the primary goal. So why does student engagement matter? Well, besides the obvious academic benefits, student engagement is known to pose advantages in terms of better attendance, increased motivation, higher focus levels and improved classroom behavior. Teachers who adopt a student-centric approach to instruction are more likely to witness higher classroom participation and improved student-teacher relationship. 

Here are some more reasons why engagement in a classroom is not just needed but necessary:

1. Enhances learning and retention abilities 

2. Improves critical-thinking skills

3. Fosters interaction and collaboration 

4. Builds confidence and communication skills 

5. Enhances academic performance 

6. Nurtures creativity 

10 Interactive Activities to Engage Students and Enhance Classroom Engagement 

Before we get into breaking down the specific activities to boost student involvement, it is key to learn about the five types of engagement styles. Most teachers generally hit two or three of these types but could miss out on the rest, especially if they aren’t aware of them. So, in order to help you form comprehensive strategies that boost classroom participation, here is a brief explanation about the five types of engagement styles: 

1. Social Engagement: Involves building a collaborative learning environment through social connections, interaction, teamwork, and sharing 

2. Behavioral Engagement: Promotes learning by establishing set routines like conducting discussions at the end of the class, weekly debates, etc. 

3. Emotional Engagement: Develops a positive learning environment by creating a safe space for students to share their thoughts, feelings and responses 

4. Physical Engagement: Includes physical movements in the form of educational games in the classroom that help improve the learning experience 

5. Intellectual Engagement: Enables students to demonstrate their learnings through problem solving, role-playing or other meaningful exploration activities 

Student engagement is so much more than just a one-dimensional concept. A well-rounded and holistic approach to classroom involvement results in a much deeper understanding of concepts and drives better academic performance. Here are 10 ways in which you can transform the classroom into a more engaging space: 

1. Establish Goals & Expectations

Clearly defining goals and academic objectives helps student’s work towards a set target. Outlining expectations empowers students to create a study plan and abide by it in order to keep up with peers and improve performance. This will also enable them to complete and share their work on time, which inherently builds accountability

2. Play With Game-Based Learning 

Unleash the fun in learning by introducing games into the mix! Incorporating game-based learning such as pop quizzes, brain teasers, puzzles, etc. can be a great way to boost student  attention spans and motivation to understand concepts. Introducing game-based modules at the end of a class is also an effective way to solidify important topics and revise what was taught 

3. Experiment With Storytelling

As unreal as it sounds, storytelling actually makes for an incredibly effective pedagogical approach. By storytelling, we don’t necessarily mean that teachers need to incorporate fairy tales as part of their lesson plan. But, they can illustrate concepts, ideas and information by narrating an intriguing story about them. This makes the learning material more appealing and is among the best classroom activities to engage students 

4. Level Up With Brainstorming Activities

Brainstorming is a great exercise to help students develop problem-solving skills. Simply knowing that they need to reflect and report back with ideas on a topic gets students excited and motivated to learn more. This will also help them develop their own unique perspectives and express their ideas. Brainstorming is also one of the easiest ways to keep students engaged that works effectively in both short & long lectures as well as online & offline classes

5. Use the Think, Pair & Share Approach

This innovative strategy equips students with problem-solving, creativity and collaboration skills. Here, teachers divide the classroom into different groups and encourage them to discuss a given topic. Using an online whiteboard, each group visually shares their views. The entire class then collectively indulges in discussions and peer assessments over the final results. This exercise is great if you want to encourage students to think out-of-the-box and develop strong critical thinking skills 

6. Experiment With Hands-on Activities 

Hands-on activities in the classroom can be ideal to fill in black spaces like ‘dead time’- a point during the lecture where  students are left with nothing to do. This is usually when teachers are distributing worksheets, setting up a presentation, etc. – which is when most students end up getting distracted. Keeping students busy with in-class assignments, research, open book tests or simply going over reading material are great hands-on activities to keep up their attention spans and enable classroom involvement 

7. Introduce Project-Based Learning 

This student-centered pedagogy involves working on real-world projects individually or in groups, creating a dynamic learning environment. It helps students develop their knowledge and ability to solve complex problems by reflecting on open-ended questions, being part of engaging discussions and drawing valuable conclusions. It also brings about an element of fun and gets students excited to attend classes and learn more

8. Integrate Mixed Media 

Incorporating a variety of learning mediums such as video, audio and digital are among the best classroom activities to engage students. It helps address the academic needs of varied types of learners. Moreover, it promotes student involvement during classes and helps them understand and retain concepts better

9. Implement The Flipped Classroom Model 

The flipped classroom approach is known to boost student engagement, motivation and maximize time for active learning. This unique instructional strategy involves indulging students in pre-class activities such as watching a video, reading a case study and essentially familiarizing themselves with a topic in order to be better prepared for in-class learning. It gives them the time to develop higher order thinking skills and create space for collaboration during classes

10. Explore Inquiry-Based Learning 

The main essence of inquiry-based learning lies in triggering the curiosity of each student. 

This approach focuses on going beyond the initial ‘why’ of questions and makes real-world connections that are intentional and backed by research. Students take the initiative to find answers, conduct research, make predictions and indulge in discussions, reflecting further on the topic at hand

How Does Extramarks Support Teachers in Creating a Thriving Classroom Environment

The Extramarks platform provides educators with a 360-degree holistic teaching experience. Ranging from interactive media-rich digital content to real-time polls, chat rooms and recorded lectures, teachers can enjoy the benefits of it all with Smart Class Plus. The main benefits of getting access to cutting-edge edtech solutions is that teachers can curate captivating lectures using interactive learning tools like brain teasers, animated lessons and pop quizzes, which essentially make for great activities to engage students. 

Besides this, active learning features like chapter-based prompts post topic completion is a sure shot way to assess learner’s understanding in real-time. It gives teachers an insight into a students’ progress and helps them curate a study plan based on their learning needs. With access to such fun and dynamic features, Extramarks Smart Class Plus makes for the perfect platform to help teachers boost student engagement. 

For more information on its revolutionary features, check out our blog on Extramarks Smart Class Plus: The plus that powers new-age classrooms

It is important for teachers to be intentional about creating a dynamic learning environment that not only supports but enables student interaction and engagement. When students feel supported and encouraged in the classroom, there are truly no bounds to the academic growth and development that they can achieve! 


1. Are there any methods to measure student engagement?

Student surveys, observational methods, experience sampling, pop quizzes, case studies and interviews are a few reliable ways to effectively measure student engagement in the classroom. 

2. What are the three pillars of student engagement that teachers should know about?

The three key pillars of student engagement are academic engagement, intellectual engagement and social-emotional engagement. 

3. What are some ways to increase student engagement during online classes?

Building a strong student-teacher connection is important, especially during online learning. Besides this, teachers can boost student engagement in a virtual classroom by incorporating gamified lesson plans, using visual aids, offering flexible learning material, encouraging dynamic discussions, creating an inclusive environment, and choosing the latest edtech tools.

Leave a Reply

Newsletter Signup

© 2022 - All Rights Reserved.
Toll Free 1800 - 102 - 5301