Learner Engagement

The rising educator strategically hooks and sustains learners' engagement throughout a learning experience.
Made by Educators Rising
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The rising educator blends knowledge of learners, content, responsive planning, and appropriate instructional strategies to obtain and sustain learners’ engagement from the beginning of a learning experience.

Method Components

How Can Educators Engage Learners at the Very Beginning of a Learning Experience?

In formal and informal learning environments, skilled educators take care to plan and implement learning activities that are engaging, purposeful, and tailored to the learners. The initial minutes of any learning experience are essential for setting up a sustained, quality experience.

Skilled educators possess deep knowledge of how to sequence activities, structure experiences, and engage learners. Through hands-on experiences and extensive opportunities for mentoring and reflection under the wing of a skilled veteran, rising educators make strides to develop these skills.

There are many ways to grab an individual’s or a group’s attention, including the use of images, stories, questions, and writing prompts, among other options. Skilled educators ensure that their selected strategies are purposefully linked to support learners’ engagement and growth. Establishing an equitable classroom culture and implementing anti-bias instruction are key aspects of engaging and supporting all learners.

During their teaching experiences, rising educators are expected to strategically hook learners’ attention and lay the groundwork for a successful learning experience.

Suggested Implementation Strategies

It is recommended that the lesson or learning experience you will spotlight for this micro-credential submission take place with a group of learners with whom you have worked for a sustained period. This way, you can draw upon the relationships and rapport you have cultivated with the learners.

The featured lesson or learning experience in the micro-credential submission should be planned at least one or two days in advance of its implementation. Here are some examples of questions you should consider when planning this micro-credential submission:

  • What is the goal of the lesson or learning experience?
  • How do I know this goal aligns with the curriculum or program for the learners?
  • What do I know about my learners? How have past activities, experiences, and assessments reflected their performance?
  • How can I use what I know about my learners while planning to ensure that the content and activities of the lesson or learning experience are engaging and that they support learning?

Consider anchoring your lesson by using the “High Leverage Practices” identified by Teaching Works, which can be used at the start of a learning experience to support quality engagement. These include:

  • Leading a group discussion
  • Explaining and modeling content, practices, and strategies
  • Eliciting and interpreting individual students’ thinking
  • Implementing norms and routines for classroom discourse and work
  • Specifying and reinforcing productive student behavior
  • Implementing organizational routines
  • Setting up and managing small-group work
  • Building respectful relationships with students
  • Resources on learning about students’ cultural, religious, family, intellectual, and personal experiences and resources for use in instruction
  • Checking students’ understanding during and at the conclusion of lessons
  • Setting long- and short-term learning goals for students
  • Providing oral and written feedback to students

Facilitating an equitable classroom culture and anti-bias instruction should be embedded in the lesson planning and delivery. These are critical elements of successful teaching.

It is recommended that you prepare, deliver, videotape, and reflect on more than one lesson or learning experience before selecting and submitting the one that best represents your skilled practice.

You are strongly encouraged to write a first draft of “Part 3: Reflection” within a day of teaching and videotaping the lesson. Capturing fresh memories and insights is important, and it mirrors how skilled educators have to move quickly to reflect on teaching experiences and immediately move forward.

Educators Rising Standards Alignment

This micro-credential is aligned to the following Educators Rising Standards:

II. Learning About Students
III. Building Content Knowledge
IV. Engaging in Responsive Planning
V. Implementing Instruction
VI. Using Assessments and Data
VII. Engaging in Reflective Practice

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Dyer, K. (2015, September 17). Research proof points: Better student engagement boosts student learning. Northwest Evaluation Association. Retrieved from,
  • Headden, S., & McKay, S. (2015). Motivation matters: How new research can help teachers boost student engagement. Retrieved from,


Example Unit and Lesson Plans

Sample Videos of Formative Assessment in Action

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To complete the application for this micro-credential, the rising educator will complete the Educators Rising Learner Engagement submission form. To earn the micro-credential, the rising educator must earn a score of “Highly Skilled” or “Commendable” on all components of the Part 1, 2, and 3 rubrics. If the rising educator does not earn the micro-credential, he/she is encouraged to reflect on where the submission fell short, address those areas successfully per the rubric, and resubmit. Remember to download the Educators Rising Learner Engagement submission form for compiling your submission here: http://bit.ly/EdRisingLearner

Part 1. Overview Questions

  • Instructional Context Overview: Complete the questionnaire provided in the submission form.

Part 2. Artifacts

  • Lesson Plan
    Submit the fully developed lesson plan that you created for the lesson featured in the video. It is recommended that you develop this in a separate document and then paste it into the submission form for this micro-credential.

    The lesson plan must include:
    • A clear goal and objective
    • Alignment to relevant learning standards
    • Essential questions
    • A clear progression of strategically selected activities in the lesson that will maximize engagement of all learners
    • A plan to assess learners’ understanding of the content of the lesson
  • Teaching Video (4–6 minutes)

    Submit an unedited video, no shorter than four minutes and no longer than six minutes in length, of you leading instruction at the start of the lesson or learning experience you described in the lesson plan. The video must clearly show you leading instruction, and the spoken words in the learning environment must be clearly audible.

    To maintain student privacy, we recommend pasting the link to an unlisted YouTube video of your teaching in the submission form. The video will be used by Educators Rising exclusively to score your micro-credential submission, and it will not be shared publicly.

Part 3: Reflection

Compose a reflective essay using the following guiding questions (500-word maximum; use the provided submission form).

  • How and why did you select and create this lesson?
  • How successful do you feel the learning experience was for your students and why? Please include an analysis of the lesson or learning experience implementation.
  • What would you do the same or differently moving forward? Please include your ideas for next steps after this lesson.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Learner Engagement
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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