The start of the school year is a busy but formative time for your classroom. When students return after a summer break, educators face the challenge of quickly building relationships with a new class while simultaneously getting them accustomed to everyday processes. In the context of a blended learning environment, edtech tools can help expedite the process. Teachers can use them to encourage students to share even outside of the classroom and likewise to learn about their teacher.
In this blog, we go over three ways you can harness the power of D2L Brightspace to set up your class for success at the start of the school year.
Set Up Your Teacher Profile
When it comes to personalizing your blended learning environment, a great place to start is with the Teacher Profile. This tool allows you to share information about yourself in order to help connect with your students early on.
Avid cyclist? Have a pet dog? Been to another country? You can share details about your life with your students through your profile. This can help you find common ground outside of the classroom and encourage connection on a more personal level.
The Teacher Profile can also serve as a platform to share your hopes for the school year, your teaching style and what you hope students will get out of your class. Ultimately, it’s your space to share information with your pupils and set expectations for them.
To make sure your students review your Teacher Profile early on, make reading it part of their back-to-school checklist.
Using checklists can help students get organized from the get-go. The start of the school year can mean a fast ramp-up period after the summer break. Providing clear, easy-to-use checklists in Brightspace can set up students for success and help them understand self-management expectations.
A virtual learning environment offers students more flexibility to get work done on their own time. A learning management system like Brightspace also gives students the ability to check their progress, stay on top of due dates and access course material from anywhere. With the ability to learn asynchronously, checklists can help your learners stay organized and ensure they never miss a deadline.
Keep building those connections with students using the Discussion tool.
Encouraging students to engage with you and each other is a great way to ensure a class feels connected, even in a blended learning environment. According to a report on youth mental health by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “fostering connectedness at school and with others could be one strategy to promote adolescent health and well-being.”
You can encourage students to participate in discussions by setting the precedent early in the school year—prompt students early on with questions about their summer, their interests, their favorite books or their families. When you share the same details about your own life you can find common ground between you and your students, providing a more human dynamic to your student-teacher relationship.
Another benefit of the Discussion tool: It encourages learners to reach out to their peers for help with problem solving. In turn, that can cut down on the number of notifications and requests you need to worry about on a given day.
The return to school can be both exciting and difficult for teachers as they add classroom dynamics to their workloads. The tools within Brightspace make it easier for students and teachers to get to know one another, blending seamlessly with their other classroom activities.
Use Brightspace to Make Going Back to School Simple
If you’re feeling comfortable using Brightspace and looking to take your activities to the next level, sign up for our free webinar, Preparing for Back to School.
Chase Banger is a Content Marketing Specialist at D2L. An award-winning journalist and former communications specialist, he has a passion for helping people through education.
Stay in the know
Educators and training pros get our insights, tips, and best practices delivered monthly