July 29, 2021
How can you keep your students engaged through long and arduous coding lessons? Let your students flow.
Sometimes, it can be a challenge to engage your students in their coding classes. Especially through challenging sections filled with massive amounts of code, keeping students’ attention can feel like a formidable puzzle.
How can you keep your students engaged through long and arduous coding lessons? Let your students flow. By setting up a learning environment that aids their brain in focusing, your students will be able to achieve a flow state that keeps them actively participating in programming and computer science for years to come.
A flow state is a mental phenomenon that has you entirely focused on what you’re doing. In other words, you’re “in the zone.” When you’re in this state, you blend with the task you’re working on. Your sense of self vanishes, and nothing exists outside of your activity and your work at it.
This state can cause your absolute best work, as the maximum amount of your attention is on a task. The condition makes time fly past you; people in flow might find that they didn’t realize how quickly an hour or day went by. People in flow will also feel quite happy, capable, motivated, and focused.
Flow is a little different for everyone. Generally, flow states happen when four conditions are met:
It’s also important to note that flow states more commonly occur in subjects that you enjoy and want to focus on. To get to an area of understanding that allows you to flow, you need to first put much effort into struggling towards some comprehension.
Once your students know how to get into a flow state, they’ll continue to work towards that feeling. Flowing makes academics much more rewarding and fun for young learners; it can even release reward chemicals like dopamine.
Though the causes and even intensity of flow states can vary between students, you can set your students up for success with mindful adjustments to your classroom:
Flow is the perfect mindset to code in. Engineers and coders that can achieve this state have a much better time keeping track of long files, lists of variables, and sets of functions. To aid students in finding flow during code, try the following strategies:
Gaming is an excellent way to train students to develop flow. Playing esports and other video games is one of the easiest ways to get into a flow state! Many games are successfully addicting because of how they encourage flow states to occur. Take inspiration from video games and game design psychology to help your students flow in academics too:
At Mastery Coding, we know the value of flow. That’s why we use gaming as a vector for learning and discovering. When students do what they love, they learn and flow with ease!
Discover Mastery Coding’s Pathways Esports and Game-and-Learn Camps: curricula designed to encourage engagement, fun, and flow.
Olivia has background in behavioral ecology and data analysis. She develops and implements SEO, CRO, social media strategy, and authors multi-disciplinary content for our blog, & our social media sites. She's contributed to many of the STEM tie-ins within our curriculum, authored our SEL course, and is a specialist in neurodiverse learning strategies.