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The psychologist and professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced Flow Theory as it is “the moments where people are happiest and are in a state of ‘flow.’ A state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter” (https://en.wikipedia.org/). Commonly this state is observed among musicians, artists generally those having autotelic personality.
Research found that when students achieve the “in the zone ” i.e. flow, they are more productive (Ceraulo, 2003, May). But unfortunately the majority of people don’t have the ability to immerse in what they are doing and stop distraction from standing in their ways. And thus educators must find ways to provide a conductive environment to stimulate flow to help their learners to achieve this state. In this post I will provide few guidelines for educators desire to facilitate flow
1- Goal Centered: Educators must clearly define courses’ goals and objectives. Confusion often occurs with poorly written syllabi or assignments. In assignments they can provide students with sample examples, checklist or rubric for what is required.
2- Eliminate distraction: The most important element is students’ focus and concentration “losing the sense of sense” (Pappas, 2016, April 9). Educators should emphasize the purpose of each session, give students the exact material, create authentic activities make students lose track of time while working and command students’ attention.
3- Application: It is very important for students to have opportunities to apply the information or skills they are learning in real-life applications.
4- Control: Learners must be given some choice in their learning experience, and thus educators must provide a variety of options in their in-class activities, assessments and assignments that let students express themselves and use their own solving strategies.
5- Challenge: Educators must design learning material that challenges studentS, but not too difficult to discourage and frustrate students. They must putt into consideration that content get to be complex at reasonable increments.
6- Intrinsic Motivation: “Flow centers on intrinsic motivation” (Pappas, 2016, April 9) not rewards or badges. Educators should work to create a sense that make students feel autonomous, competent and relatedness which will foster their self-determination (Kelly, 2014, May 13).
7- Rules: Flow activities such as games, sports are mostly associated by rules, likely educators should put rules that make sure that learners are in the right direction to achieve success.
8- Timely Effective feedback: Rapid constructive feedback emphasize positive aspects in students’ work and encourages students to learn from their mistakes
9- Supportive Learning environment: It is crucial that educators set the tone of class to help learners become acquainted with the educator and each other as well.
- Ceraulo. S. C. (2003, May). Instructional design for flow in online learning. E-learn Magazine. Retrieved from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=792530#
- Kelly, R. (2014, May 13). Using Self-Determination Theory to Improve Online Learner Motivation. FACULTY FOCUS. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/using-self-determination-theory-improve-online-learner-motivation/
- Pappas. C. (2016, April 9). Components And Dimensions Of The Flow Theory. E-learning Industry. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/applying-the-flow-theory-in-online-training