Empower meaningful conversations between school and home with effective digital learning tools that showcase learner progress and achievement.
In a previous blog post, we explored how teachers can use online rubrics in the Brightspace platform to provide better feedback for students. Now let’s look at how teachers can improve classroom transparency for parents and guardians with the Brightspace for Parents tool.
Engaging parents and guardians is a crucial part of supporting student learning. But while providing effective communication is important, sharing classroom work with every parent and guardian can be a time-consuming task for teachers. Whether they’re sharing reminders or ensuring that updates are effectively communicated, teachers can sometimes feel like they’re repeating their work.
When thinking of the best way to connect the home and the classroom, we solicited information from parents and guardians about their top concerns when it comes to their child’s learning experience. Their main questions were: “Is my child okay?” “How are they doing?” and “How can I help?”
These findings, combined with our commitment to providing effective digital tools for teachers and administrators, inspired us to build a dedicated solution to help educators better share student progress from within their learning management system. And thus, Brightspace for Parents was born.
By integrating with existing activities in the Brightspace platform, Brightspace for Parents provides a window into the classroom for a child’s home community to see how they are doing with coursework and to inspire conversation. So, what exactly can a parent or guardian see when they sign in to Brightspace for Parents?
The Parent View is comprised of five sections:
- Upcoming Work
- Overdue Alerts
- Recent Grades
- Portfolio Items
- Latest Posts
Each section collects information from Brightspace tools such as:
- Activity Feed
Let’s take a closer look at each of the sections in Brightspace for Parents.
The Upcoming Work section notifies parents of assessments due in the next two weeks, including work such as assignments, quizzes, discussions, surveys, and checklists delivered through Brightspace. Automated alerts can prompt conversations on upcoming activities and where a student may need assistance.
The Overdue Alerts section highlights any student assessments that are past the due date. Whenever a due date has passed with no student engagement, an alert will show for assignments, quizzes, discussions, surveys, or checklists.
The Recent Grades section displays the latest grades from assessments. Any grade item that’s visible to a student is also visible to their parent or guardian. In addition to grades, feedback from the teacher is also visible to give insight into student progress and encourage conversations.
The Portfolio Items section showcases student artifacts that the teacher has shared with parents or guardians. When the teacher reviews and approves items, they have the option to manually select whether to show the item in Brightspace for Parents.
The Latest Posts section allows parents and guardians to keep up to date with updates that the teacher shares on the Activity Feed. This section is perfect for quick reminders and instructions and allows parents to log in to see the latest class information in real time.
Considerations for Rollout
Brightspace for Parents is a powerful tool that connects the classroom with a student’s home community. It’s credentials based, so only appropriate parents and guardians have access. For parents or guardians with multiple students in the same school district, it acts as a one-stop shop where each of their students’ progress can be viewed with a single login.
Informing teachers of the information that parents and guardians can access in Brightspace for Parents is key to a successful rollout in your district. Consider starting with a small pilot group and have open discussions about what information is to be shared.
You should also establish routines for posting to the Activity Feed and ensuring that all due dates are accurate. Once parents log in, they’ll be eager to view this information, and preparation is essential in order to provide the most accurate view of each classroom.
By pulling information from some of the most popular tools in Brightspace, Brightspace for Parents can ultimately save teachers time, gives parents peace of mind, and personalize learning for students. Fostering conversations between teachers, parents, and students is critical to learner success, so let Brightspace for Parents help guide them!
In our next post, we’ll explore how teachers can empower students to track their learning with tools in Brightspace.
Want to learn more about Brightspace for Parents? Check out our webinar Understanding Brightspace for Parents: For Principals to discover how you can improve conversations between school and home.
And don’t miss the other upcoming and recorded sessions in our K-12 Teaching and Learning webinar series.