Students feel acknowledged and valued
It’s easy to feel disconnected when you’re one amongst hundreds of students. To meet the issue head on, Dr. Broadbent enables the Intelligent Agents
tool, an automated functionality in the Brightspace platform that uses event triggers to help teachers scale personalization. “If students don’t log onto the platform for two weeks they receive an email,” she says. “It’s just-in-time attention that aims to give them a connection with the School of Psychology. Each email is personalized and comes from me, and it’s all automated so I don’t have to monitor students or manually send emails to 500 students.”
Grade time is a key moment in a student-teacher relationship. With the help of the Intelligent Agents tool, Dr. Broadbent also maximizes opportunities for support and motivation. Struggling students receive an email outlining what they can do to improve next time. High achievers get congratulations and those who are improving receive encouragement to keep going.
“Sometimes students just need someone to notice,” she says. “It’s so rewarding for me when I have been able to target someone possibly ‘at risk’ of dropping out early in the semester, and then reading their assessments pieces at the end when they’ve come so far.”
Meaningful feedback when it's needed
Perhaps the most impressive of her innovations is the creation of the Model Demonstrate, a method of feedback supported by Brightspace platform tools. “My goal with Demonstrate is to increase the level of feedback students receive and improve their critical thinking,” she says.
Now students receive feedback two weeks after submitting an assignment and at least a week before their next assignment is due. Individual assignments submitted through Brightspace ePortfolio Presentations receive audio-video feedback using the Brightspace platform audio and video messaging tools in order to draw out each student’s best possible performance on subsequent assessments.
According to Dr. Broadbent, it’s having the desired effect: “I absolutely love the audio-video tool for personalizing the experience. Some of the feedback about it from students is mind-blowing. They say it feels like someone is there talking to them about their assignment instead of scribbling notes all over their work and it makes them want to try harder.”