Experimenting with blended teaching strategies for more than 10 years, we can quickly and easily shift to distance learning during the COVID-19. One most the most important factors when moving to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is promoting student accountability. Many schools will not open this coming fall, and we are excited to share our top 6 secret tips for promoting student accountability through distance learning.
Secret Tip # 1: Transparency to create a culture of trust and responsibility.
Using a comprehensive and flexible Learning Management System website, it is easy to establish transparency in class to promote a culture of trust and responsibility. However, teachers need to be flexible and empathetic. Some teachers have zero-exception policies during in-person teaching. It will not work for distance learning. Fortunately, teachers can personalized interventions to provide case-by-case interventions and support based on detailed data of students’ effort and progress using a comprehensive Learning Management System website.
Secret Tip # 2: Empower students ownership of their learning and achievement.
According to Hattie, “Perception of progress builds self-efficacy and sustains motivation.” (Hattie, 41). The gradebook on a Learning Management System is comprehensive and adaptive to improve their grades during their free time. For example, teachers can allow students to re-attempt for higher grades or based on students’ overall averages.
Most importantly, the gradebook on a Learning Management system allows students to self-assess their progress. Students should not be asking why they fail; instead, they should ask when to do the missing work to improve my grades. Using comprehensive gradebook and live data, students will know why they fail and improve their grades.
Secret Tip # 3: Provide instant and meaningful feedback.
It is evident by many research that feedback is the most important factor affecting students’ learning and engagement, which is evidence in Hattie’s books and Marzano’s work. Through in-person teaching before the COVID-19 pandemic, most teachers still use worksheets as their primary method of instruction and providing students with feedback. The shift to distance learning forces teachers to explore and learn how to use today’s powerful technology. For example, teachers can create adaptive activities that provide students with feedback instantly using today’s Learning Management System website. More importantly, students can immediately re-attempt the questions for partial credit. Going back to Hattie, “Perception of progress builds self-efficacy and sustains motivation.” (Hattie, 41). Therefore, providing instant and meaningful feedback is essential in promoting student accountability and providing real-time support.
Secret Tip # 4: Centralize and streamline support.
Teachers providing appropriate and timely support to struggling students are essential in promoting student accountability during distance learning. However, it is more important that teachers provide a means for students to seek support first before reaching out to teachers. Most students tend to go straight to their teachers for answers. Using a Learning Management System website, teachers can provide centralized locations for all students to view answered questions and ask new questions. This step is crucial because it encourages them to be accountable for their learning process. Again, it is the learning process, not the answer that we are trying to educate our students.