We’ve all heard the urban legend (or maybe the true story) of the university prof who tells his/her class on the first day “Look to your left and look to your right. Two of you won’t be here at graduation.” I think (and hope) that the “survival of the fittest” model of education has, well, become extinct. Educators really do hope that their students will meet learning objectives and succeed as learners, even in circumstances where the time and resources necessary to help them do so are limited. Although there’s never a worthy substitute for a dedicated educator and an eager bunch of learners, there are facets of educational technology that can make it much more easy to assume that students will succeed.
Here are a few features that may help:
- Emphasize the importance of process over product. Choose a learning platform that makes it easy to break down larger tasks into a series of brief, but meaningful and well-supported activities. Structure lessons in such a way that students can’t move on to the next step until they’ve demonstrated learning at the current one.
- Use real-time analytics to track a student’s progress. Take note of how quickly they’re moving through various steps, and where they’re encountering difficulties.
- Include mini-assessment and evaluation pieces with these smaller tasks. Let students (and yourself) know how they’re doing along the way, and not just at the end. These can be a simple as a few pop-up questions, an online discussion, or a reflective response.
- Make it possible for students to document and share their progress through a variety of media. Use a learning platform that allows for traditional note-taking, but also sketching and audio-video recording.
- Be available to students, in real-time. Provide them with a way to call upon you at the moment they need help, and have a variety of multimedia materials available for reference.
- Take advantage of cloud-based systems that allow a student to go back and review not only the lessons they’ve already completed, but their own hands-on documentation of it. Seeing that they’ve already been successful may be one of the most effective forms of encouragement.
Contact us to find out how we can help you use educational technology to create a learning environment that assumes success.