Introducing Feedback Fundamentals
As schools across Australia reimagine how they deliver education in a hybrid world, a core component of any successful strategy is the way in which feedback is delivered.
This series of blogs, called Feedback Fundamentals, will explore how digital learning platforms can close the feedback loop, foster engagement, and encourage agency among the three key stakeholders in any child’s learning journey – the student, the parent, and the educator.
We’ll also highlight the real-world benefits and positive learning outcomes of a hybrid education strategy built upon frequent and accessible feedback, with a case study of a local school who has taken such an approach and reaped the rewards.
Giving teachers the best of both worlds
The last – but certainly not least – stakeholder group we’ll explore in our Feedback Fundamentals series is teachers, principals, and other education administrators.
While we’ve covered the benefits continuous reporting and frequent feedback (along with a single unified environment to display data) can have on the student and parent experience, the outcomes from such an approach can be particularly profound for educators.
In 2020, Australia’s teachers had to completely overhaul how they delivered education. Classrooms were replaced with computer screens, chalkboards with PowerPoints, and red pens with track changes.
The amount of learning and professional development that went into upskilling Australia’s educators and supporting them as they developed new pedagogical approaches was nothing short of immense.
Now, halfway through 2021, principals are looking to the future. Rather than let all those hours of training go to waste, they’re seeking tools that give their teachers the best of both worlds – the physical and the digital.
Unfortunately for many teachers, their experience with remote learning has been defined by ad-hoc, isolated point solutions that were spun up rapidly to meet the immediate demands of the digital classroom.
While giving teachers an account for video conferencing software and a Dropbox log in might have bridged the gap in the short term, these disconnected solutions deprive teachers of the most valuable asset digital tools offer them – data.
With a Learning Management System (LMS) that integrates all the various tools in the teacher’s toolkit – collaboration, content, assessment, discussion groups, feedback – educators can track all facets of student progress through a simple dashboard.
Not only can student progress be followed at a high-level, but teachers can also drill down into individual student performance and immediately gain insights into metrics such as how often they’ve logged in, the duration they’ve stayed online, and if they’re at risk of falling behind.
This level of visibility is also invaluable for principals. With all students’ data available at their fingertips, school leaders can easily aggregate each year level’s outcomes and measure how students are tracking against standards and whether growth is in line with national averages.
Once all the data from a student’s learning experience is collected in a single platform, the possibilities are endless, but such tools need to be simple to use and seamless to integrate with a school’s existing IT infrastructure and resources.
At D2L, we understand the challenges educators face and we pride ourselves on the partnerships we form with our clients. Not only do we work closely with faculty on course design and pedagogy, but we collaborate with the unsung heroes of Australian education – the IT team – to support them during implementation, testing, and deployment.
Through our partnership approach, we aim to ensure both school and student success. We appreciate that the education feedback loop – just like the learning journey – starts and ends with the teacher. By providing educators and principals with all the tools, data, and insights they need, they’re empowered to deliver an education experience that sets their students up for life.
For the final instalment of the Feedback Fundamentals series, we’ll look at how all three education stakeholders – teacher, student, and parent – were brought together at Wodonga Middle Years College on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.