Retention is critical for colleges and universities. It’s the key to better student outcomes and a solid revenue base to keep you operational. But often times, it’s neglected.
The good news is that you can do some simple things to start increasing retention. There is a wealth of academic literature that goes into proven predictive models, methods, and interventions that will help you decrease attrition.
Below we outline five papers about the topic. Glean from these researchers insights, or join us on our webinar about the topic and we’ll tell you exactly how to use this knowledge to increase your graduation rates.
Paper 1: Early Identification of College Dropouts Using Machine-Learning
In this paper, they looked at whether a machine learning-based prediction model could be made for the likelihood of university students dropping out. They tested different models based on data from the National Education Panel Study. They used information about a student, such as their basic information and subjective information that might be assessed when they enroll, to compare different models.
The results showed that prediction accuracy can increase when students are continuously surveyed about their satisfaction with the course and themselves.
Practitioners need to know different ways of measuring how effective a computer program is. They should not just look for the best one but find the most cost-effective one. They also discussed other hidden costs that might be involved with this type of system. Read more of this paper here.
Paper 2: Early Detection of Students at Risk – Predicting Student Dropouts Using Administrative Student Data and Machine Learning Methods
Education policies and student retention are important issues. Students who drop out of the university system waste the money, time, and effort spent by everyone involved. This paper develops a forecasting system to predict when students will drop out. The system is based on administrative data that is available.
To predict whether or not someone will drop out, they use different methods. They also use machine learning algorithms that are self-adjusting with new data. This helps to reduce the disadvantages of using any single method and the problems caused by heterogeneity between universities with different programs.
In this paper they use data from a state and private universities to develop and test the model. The more semesters, the better.
The Early Detection System (EDS) helps students stay in school. It can help prevent dropouts, or it can help speed up when students decide to drop out of school. This way, you don’t have to spend as much money on drop outs because the EDS starts with early intervention and support for at risk students. Read the full paper here.
Paper 3: What matters most for college completion? Academic preparation is a key predictor of success
This paper suggests that a student’s academic preparation in high school is one of the strongest predictors of college degree attainment. Research has found that students who take more rigorous courses and get higher grades are more likely to score well on college entrance exams, be better prepared for college, and have a higher likelihood of completing their degree. A student’s gender or race also have important correlations with the likelihood of completing a degree, but policymakers cannot change these characteristics.
Instead, policymakers should focus on working to increase the number of students who enroll in high quality postsecondary programs that are a good fit for them. For example: a four-year degree or vocational training program.
It is hard to know what policies to put in place when there is not much research. The problem is that it can take a long time for research to come out, and by the time it comes out, it might not be helpful anymore.
A solution that may not be perfect is to use research that links measures at different points in time. For example, test scores and grades in high school could predict a student’s success in college. Using this information, they can see if an intervention has a long-term effect on a student’s education.
Academics are not the only thing that matters when you go to college. For example, policies can also affect other things like extracurricular activities and school safety. This is important because it will help students succeed in college. The best plan is to create methods for measuring college readiness and then use them in policy and practice.
Paper 4: Beyond Early Warning Indicators: High School Dropout and Machine Learning
This paper combines machine learning with economic theory to predict which students will drop out of high school. The paper also shows that schools can do better by using even more data. This paper emphasizes that early warning systems are not good enough on their own. Other tools like machine learning are needed to be effective at predicting who will drop out of high school. They identify different clusters of students that might drop out, then they try to fix that by using a model.
Paper 5: Academic Performance and College Dropout: Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Estimate a Learning Model
This paper is estimating the cause of college dropouts. They are using data to help make better assumptions. Their simulations show that 45% of college dropout in the first 2 years can be attributed to what students learn about their academic performance, and this type of learning plays a smaller role later in college. Poorly performing students leave because they don’t want to stay at school if they’re not doing well and they don’t think it’s worthwhile to keep going and trying harder. When people do poorly, it makes school less fun or enjoyable for them.
In conclusion, there is no question that data and analytics will help increase your school’s retention rate. The only question remaining is, will you let Teach Beacon do the work for you? Join us on November 2nd for our webinar and find out what we’re all about.
Higher education has never been more important. Nowadays, you need a college degree to get the job you want, and it’s necessary for advancement in many careers. So understanding how to increase student retention rates can actually have huge impacts on society as a whole. When done well, analytics can help higher education institutions save time and money by increasing efficiency, but can also help them understand where they are succeeding and where they are failing to engage their student body.
Most universities have analytics in place for things like tracking demographics, financial information, athletic performance, research output, major achievements by students and alumni, etc. These data sets are often used to inform marketing campaigns or admissions programs. However, educational institutions need to be able to use this data for more than just knowing what their reputation is within the greater community or seeing which university provides graduates with the highest earning potential. Colleges should be using that data to prepare students for success after graduation. This means understanding how different majors engage different populations of students who have differing levels of academic preparedness so that you can best support your students before, during, and after they graduate.
The biggest insight that data analytics provides is the ability to map out students’ journeys through their time in school. To be an effective higher education institution you need to track what happens not just at orientation but all the way through graduation. That means understanding student retention rates, which majors lead to high levels of engagement and success for your students, how many students are successfully advancing towards a degree every term or semester, attrition rates by major or program so you can provide targeted support systems to certain groups of students who may have more trouble graduating, etc. These insights allow you to address problems with retention early on so that students can continue without being lost along the way.
Read below 7 of the most important things analytics can tell you about your college or university, and how to increase student outcomes, engagement, and retention.
1. Where Are Students Falling Off the Wagon?
Retention is one of the core functions of higher education institutions, so being able to accurately track who stays and who leaves is essential. For a school, every student that isn’t retained has a direct cost associated with them. At 4-year universities retention typically falls between 50% to 60%. By knowing where students are dropping out you can begin building programs for those populations or majors that tend to be more at risk for attrition. You can also use these insights to create better academic advising systems by understanding which groups of students need more assistance along the way towards their degree.
2. How Do Different Majors Engage With Students?
It’s well known that certain majors (such as computer science and engineering) tend to provide higher rates of employment after graduation, but do these majors also lead to more engaged students? Some students may simply be focused on the end goal (a job) without worrying too much about what happens in between. By understanding whether or not different courses of study engage students you can assess their impact on student retention and engagement. Are certain courses making students drop out at a higher rate than others? Which majors have lower attrition rates during summer break? Are there some specific groups of students who struggle with some disciplines more so than others?
3. How Can We Improve Course Retention & Completion Rates?
Every year thousands of classes are added, changed, or dropped from university catalogs across the country. But what effect does this have on student outcomes? What programs are being added or dropped? By looking at course addition and drop rates from year to year you can assess how students and professors engage with new programs (and whether they’re sticking around). This also allows the institution to test the effectiveness of changes to current course curricula, and then make further adjustments as needed.
4. Which Courses Do Students Struggle With Most & Least?
Once again it comes back to understanding student engagement. If certain courses tend to drive away students more than others, why not look into adjusting those courses so that they better support your student body? You may want to consider re-emphasizing key concepts within certain subjects or adjusting the way grades are assigned. If certain groups of students are dropping out in high numbers but other disciplines don’t have the same problem, you can start looking into what causes these differences in student performance.
5. Which Groups Of Students Are At The Highest Risk For Dropping Out?
Certain schools may have higher or lower dropout rates than others, and it’s important that institutions are able to identify when students are not sticking around for their full term. By knowing which groups of students are more likely to drop out early on you can provide them with the support systems they need to complete their degree without unnecessary financial challenges or delays. You can also use this data when making changes to current course curriculums so that specific courses within that degree do not become too challenging for students at any given time.
6. How Is The Financial Aid Process Impacting Students & Institutions?
It’s not uncommon for students to struggle with the challenges associated with financial aid, including applying, receiving, and simply understanding it. By tracking the impact of financial aid on student outcomes you can start looking for ways to make this process easier through changes in technology or communication strategies. You can also look into whether or not financial assistance is actually playing a role in student retention by identifying which students are most at risk without it. If certain groups of students have higher dropout rates during significant financial aid disbursement periods (such as summertime) then you may want to rethink your reimbursement schedules because they could be causing too much added stress for already busy students.
7. What Are The Financial Costs Of Improving Student Outcomes?
One of the best ways to start to understand the true costs associated with improving student outcomes is by simply tracking how retention and engagement rates change as you implement changes that seek to improve them. If implementation of certain programs or initiatives actually causes an increase in retention, then you should expect to see a corresponding decrease in operating costs because more students are completing their degrees on time (and so they require fewer resources). This could be anything from housing costs, faculty expenses, or even food service reductions. By knowing which specific areas are ripe for optimization through improved data analytics strategies, colleges and universities can better ensure success among their current student body while also increasing access for future learners who will benefit from the changes.
Higher education is complex, with a lot of moving parts that need to be coordinated. There are many ways data analytics can help higher institutions make improvements and better serve both students and the school. This article has introduced you to some of these important principles for how to use data in order to provide more effective programs, lower costs, increase student retention rates, and improve engagement among your current population of learners. If you’re looking at implementing any changes but want guidance on what will work best or if you just want someone who understands this stuff already on hand as an advisor – drop us a line! We’ll partner with you so that we can start making smarter decisions about how best to manage all aspects of your institution’s operations through data analysis strategies which will lead to increased value, efficiency, and effectiveness.
If you’d like to get instant insights to help increase your student retention and engagement, have a look at what Teach Beacon offers.
There is a lot that goes on in K-12. Between all the classes, the scheduling, the teaching, the learning, the administrative operations, and even the transportation and building maintenance, there are a lot of ways data could help inform how a K-12 school district’s operations could be optimized. If done right, this can lead to significantly lower costs and a higher level of achievement for both the students and the school.
Here are just a few ways data, used the right way, can help.
More time to help students
Teachers have to do a million things every day. They have to worry about the material they are teaching from, what to go over each day in class, how each student is absorbing the information and how they are feeling, how to manage grading and re-grading, how to handle attendance, and now how to deal with blended learning models and virtual learning.
Oftentimes their day gets bogged down in mundane tasks like manually inputting grades, data, and attendance (sometimes in multiple systems), and just trying to manage everything coming their way.
Data analytics can free up their time. It can take much of the busy work off their plate, and even help direct them to the most optimal things to teach and student interventions to apply.
The result is happier teachers and better student outcomes.
Better strategic decisions
Schools, districts, and administrators need to make hard strategic decisions. They need to plan for the future, make sure they are within budget, make curriculum choices, hiring decisions, and more. They are responsible for ensuring high student achievement, safety, and sustainability.
Analytics can help.
When you can see at a granular and big picture level what is working and what isn’t, and what the trends are, all of the sudden it becomes clear what decisions need to be made, and the optimal way to make those decisions. K-12 analytics, predictive models, and dashboards provide the clarity you need to make good decisions.
Less frustration and burnout
One of the largest issues in education is the enormous amount of work that is required of teachers and administrators, often for little pay or recognition. People go into education because they love it, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t burn out if they are continuously overworked. Turnover in education is a problem for the teachers, students, and administrators.
Analytics can alleviate this. When good data and analysis are employed, everything runs smoother. The school and district are better run and managed, the teachers have less busy work, and the students get more targeted attention and learning.
It’s clear that data and analytics can play a critical role in improving our schools.
So, what exactly can data analysis and predictive models tell you?
What Data Analytics Reveal About Your School
1. Individual student risk and early warning
Students’ risks aren’t always clear. What’s more, there are many factors that go into whether a student might need additional interventions, but not all of them can be easily measured or seen right away. This is where data analysis becomes eye-opening. Data analytics can be used to identify individual student risks for specific academic, social, emotional, and behavioral concerns. This means that schools are able to intervene with the students who need it the most, which improves their outcomes over time.
When you can granularly see which students need help and can catch the needs early on before it’s too late, you can change the lives of more students.
Individual teacher performance is one of the most difficult things for schools to measure. There are so many factors that can affect a teacher’s success in the classroom that it’s impossible to know exactly how every student will learn. This makes it very difficult to make decisions related to hiring, dismissal, and advancement of teachers.
Data analytics make this possible. Data analytics can be used to analyze teaching practices, assess student outcomes, and identify areas where tools may be needed or where interventions should be applied. It provides districts with a clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t, so you can ensure the teachers on your staff are doing the best they can for students, or if not, offer targeted training to help.
3. Class Material Performance
Data analytics can also help educators and administrators understand the success and efficacy of various kinds of content and curriculum. This can be very helpful when districts are developing new course offerings, assessing what’s more/less successful, and understanding how different interventions might serve their students. For example, data analytics provide educators with a more complete understanding of the impact on student outcomes when vocabulary is built through context or explicit instruction.
Data analytics is important for understanding the performance of your school district. It can tell you all about your class material performance, the performance of individual teachers, school district performance, and it provides districts with a clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t.
You can see the metrics that you need to hit for funding, and to meet the requirements of your state. Having all of this data together also allows you to report on these metrics effortlessly, saving an immense amount of time and effort bringing everything together.
Automatic reporting is offered in the Teach Beacon analytics engine.
5. Predicted trends for important metrics
It’s not always easy to know what the important metrics for your school are going to be. You can find out a lot of that information through predictive analysis and machine learning. Data analytics will tell you what trends your metrics have been following and how they’re likely to change in the coming years. It will also help you understand how different things might affect the outcomes of those metrics. This can be helpful if you need to make decisions about hiring teachers or developing new programming – it lets you have a clearer picture of what’s going on and what might work best.
Again, Teach Beacon runs all of these models for you and helps you see the future so you can take action.
6. Recommended student interventions
Predictive analytics is the process of analyzing data to identify trends that can happen in the future. The smarter you are with predictive analytics, the more accurately you can predict what is likely to happen.
K-12 schools can use predictive analytics to see which interventions they should recommend to students, based on their individual needs and performance over time.
Examples of potential interventions: Educational games, vocabulary lessons, extracurricular activities, and more.
Interventions for groups of students and for individual students are both helpful and can be recommended with the Teach Beacon system. That way you can spend one on one time with the students who need it most, but still reach others who need some assistance with less intensive interventions.
The Bottom Line for K-12 Education
The Bottom Line for K-12 Education: Data analytics can provide many benefits to schools and students alike. For example, data analytics provides insight into the performance of individual teachers or school districts while also providing recommendations on how best to intervene with struggling students. If you’re considering using a service like this in your own district, make sure that it’s from a company that specializes in data information and analysis for education. There are some pitfalls when dealing with other types of services which may not have the same level of expertise as someone who is dedicated to understanding educational institutions and their needs.
Get in touch with our educational data consultants to get your questions answered and see how you can optimize your school.
Education is so meaningful and so impactful. The difference that it makes in somebody’s life is tremendous. Their ability to think, their ability to solve problems, their experience, what they’ve been exposed to, what they can think through, what they can reason and read—all of these things are so important, and not to mention the career preparation and then how they’re going to contribute to their own families and communities and societies.
Aiming for Academic Success
It’s so important. And yet, so many schools struggle with graduation rates, with students persisting all the way through school and then ultimately graduating, becoming productive, successful members of society. Why is that? Well, it could be a whole number of factors, right? It’s financial, it’s family, it’s grades, it’s academics, it’s something somewhere along the line that doesn’t work quite right for them.
I’ll tell you for me personally, I was always a good student in school except for math. Growing up . . . which is funny, I own a data and analytics company and I wasn’t good at math growing up, and somewhere along the line in elementary school, I missed some key foundational stuff in math that caused me problems for a long time. I got through math, but I didn’t always really understand how things worked. And it wasn’t until college that I then took some remedial math classes and I really learned math, and I really worked at it.
If the instructor assigned fifty problems, I worked a hundred, ’cause I was like, “I need to understand math.” And so finally I learned it, and it, of course, has been hugely beneficial in the rest of my career, doing data analysis, work. But I missed some things, right?
Decrease Risk with Data
If somebody doesn’t have the support structure or something in place to then be able to say, “here’s what I need to do to make an adjustment to improve my life,” then they’re at risk of not graduating. At Data Crunch, we solve that problem. We help you use data and analytics that comes out of all your different systems and help you determine which students are at risk.
Who’s likely to struggle? What are they likely to struggle with? What kinds of interventions need to be taken to help them get on track? Maybe they need to go visit the math lab. Maybe they need to go visit the writing lab. Maybe they just need a call from an instructor or from a counselor that’s going to help them and talk them through how to schedule, how to work their financial aid. All of these sorts of things, they’re little tweaks and adjustments that can make major differences, but without the right information helping you target and prioritize who you talk to and what you say and how you help them, how do you ever solve that problem? But with the amount of big data that’s being produced and what we’ve got, we can help you know, at a super granular level of detail, who’s at risk who’s in need, how to help them.
Teach Beacon Can Help
That’s what we do. We’re going to help you improve these students’ lives, help them graduate, which of course then helps them in their lives after graduation and helps you and your university continue forward, stay viable, grow and achieve all the metrics that you desire to achieve.
Virtual classrooms can be used by students in education systems at any stage of their life and with great results. Online classrooms can actually be very effective and are the future of learning. Even before Covid, online learning was increasing by leaps and bounds. Introduce a global pandemic and e-learning numbers increased exponentially. Now, almost two years into a pandemic that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, online learning has become the norm. Online learning is a great way to learn and we’ll explain how it works with students at all levels in our education system and what the benefits can be.
What is virtual learning?
Virtual learning refers to education or classes conducted in a virtual learning environment. Virtual learning may be either synchronous (live instruction and guidance from the teacher) or asynchronous (self-paced). In both of these environments, the emphasis is on efficient communication between students and instructors. In a virtual learning environment, you can easily find online courses that can be automated or manual. You will also be able to see your progress in real-time, which you will never get in a traditional classroom setting.
What is a virtual classroom?
The virtual classroom is usually an online learning environment where both the learner and teachers communicate with each other just like in the normal classroom, but they don’t have to be in the same geographical location. As the need for online learning exploded, the options for learning management systems did as well. However, when it comes to learning management systems not all are created equal. The Teach Beacon system has you covered. It offers video conferencing, whiteboard, chat, file sharing, gamification, assessment tools, and more all at the touch of a button.
Advantages of Virtual Classrooms
There are numerous advantages to using a virtual classroom for your school, district, college, or university. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Access to accurate real-time analytics
Good virtual classrooms use analytical and reporting tools to help you track your data and make better decisions. They can measure individual learning activities such as work completed in the system or the competence and progress during a learning cycle by individual students. Accessing these statistics helps you develop your perception of learners’ needs. For example, you can compare learner success between various teaching methods or subject materials in your courses and make adjustments to increase the quality. Teach Beacon’s analytic reporting is generated automatically and can be seen at a glance on the comprehensive dashboard (example below). This is something you would never have access to in a traditional classroom.
2. Flexibility in time and location
Virtual learning allows students flexibility on how exactly to complete their studies. Students can register for courses online from anywhere. In other words, the learners are not confined to one geographic area. Does every member of your family work or attend school from home? Why not rent a beach house or an RV for a couple of months and take advantage of the freedom!? Also, location freedom opens courses to students from all over the country or even other countries, creating highly-desired diversity among the students. Schools can use the flexibility of the virtual teaching model to provide education to students from other locations. With a simple click of a button, Teach Beacon’s browser-based virtual classroom makes this possible. This not only saves institutions time and money but also makes classes more consistent as students will access the same course material no matter their location.
3. Students of all types may thrive in virtual environments
Integrating coursework with technology provides several advantages. Students who find it difficult to concentrate in class could take part in online courses. Students who are less assertive may have more chances to participate in class discussions online. Teach Beacon’s chat and discussion board features can accommodate these types of students.
Virtual learning can be ideal for introverts, shy students, or ESL learners who are not confident enough to speak out in the traditional classroom environment. The nature of asynchronous online learning allows introverted or less self-assured students to receive their education without having to interact with others.
4. Identify at-risk students with predictive models in the background
Because the classroom is online, participation, attendance, and other factors can be easily seen and tracked. Teach Beacon’s predictive models can then sift through this data to help identify at-risk students and can offer interventions that may help them stay in school and do better in their coursework.
Identifying at-risk students is important for institutions especially, because if they are not identified, they may drop out and affect the school’s graduation rates. Teachers can help them preemptively by using predictive models to see what kind of problems they might have and give them the right interventions.
5. Affordable for students and educators
Virtual learning environments eliminate physical space and can significantly reduce cost. Virtual learning is far more affordable for students AND institutions than traditional learning experiences. Students studying at a traditional educational institution face expenses such as meal planning, textbooks, and transportation costs that aren’t necessary for a virtual learning environment. For institutions, property rent is a cost that can be avoided along with utility maintenance, janitors service, office equipment, and rented parking spaces. BONUS: it’s better for the environment!
Remember when we said that not all learning management systems were created equal? Well, they also don’t cost the same either. Teach Beacon has you covered there, too. The Teach Beacon system won’t break the bank. You can get your free quote here!
6. Virtual facilitation is more accessible to learners
Virtual instructors are much more accessible – facilitators simply can provide asynchronous coaching and feedback when they have time. Teachers at school are surrounded all day by students with questions and maybe are unable to give the desired attention to each individual. Online participants can easily send messages, ask questions, and share notes with virtual facilitators. Virtual instructors never have to worry if 1:1 opportunities are missing in a virtual program. It’s a win-win for teachers and students. Learn more about that here.
Online courses delivered through a virtual classroom offer so many more options but still allow you to accomplish similar types of diplomas or certificates to those obtained through regular training methods.
Virtual classrooms have many advantages, including affordability for students and educators. The flexibility in location also opens up courses to all types of learners from around the world which creates a diverse student body. Virtual facilitation allows instructors or facilitators to provide asynchronous coaching and feedback when they are available so it is not always necessary to take too much time away from their other responsibilities. If you still think virtual learning may be difficult even with these benefits, we’re here to make it easy. Teach Beacon is a full virtual classroom, LMS, and analytics platform that gives you a turn-key solution to implement virtual learning quickly, while gaining all of the advantages mentioned above. Contact us today for your free trial!
Covid has been hard for everyone, and for K-12 it’s been especially difficult. Virtual and remote learning has been hard for teachers and students, but it’s here to stay as schools try to reach more students, avoid learning loss, and look to a blended learning future.
Schools that can make virtual learning a win for teachers and students will see better outcomes, more participation, and more funding as they reach and retain more students. Here are seven ways to increase student engagement in the virtual classroom.
1. Create assignment deadlines that are realistic for those learning remotely.
Being flexible is important, but it’s also important not to let too much time pass before taking action or assigning a grade.
We know from experience how difficult it is to keep students engaged remotely. One of the best things you can do as a teacher is create a schedule that includes realistic deadlines. If there are too many assignments or they’re due too soon, then a student has a better chance of getting distracted and procrastinating.
Give out prizes or rewards for work completed on time. This will encourage all students to complete their assignments early and avoid distractions that could hinder them from completing them on time.
Students are more likely to complete assignments on time if they know there is a reward or prize at the end of it. Even some students who don’t normally give in to distractions will procrastinate when they start missing deadlines, but by rewarding them with something small, you can help boost student engagement and participation through all stages of your course.
You can use gamification to great effect here, offering badges, level students up, having a leaderboard, and using other fun game-centric ways to make students want to meet these deadlines and make it fun for them. Having these visible in the virtual classroom adds to the fun of the experience.
If you need a platform that can help you set deadlines and reminders for students, and has built-in gamification for students, check out the Teach Beacon virtual classroom.
2. Use A Short Survey At The End Of Each Class Session So You Can Quickly Identify Problem Areas And Course Corrections.
Short surveys can be part of the virtual classroom experience. They can be as simple as a single question, or contain up to 4-5 questions. These questions can be used to help the teacher assess how each student is doing on a day-to-day basis. Because you aren’t able to see the student in person, having this direct feedback from the student can be really valuable in assessing how they are doing, and how you can better tailor the virtual classroom experience for each particular student. Some questions you may want to ask include:
• Did you understand everything we went over today? Why or why not?
• What was the most interesting thing that happened today?
• How well do you feel you are doing in this class so far, and how can I help improve your experience?
You can even offer badges or awards for filling out these short surveys, which works into the gamification aspect of the classroom we mentioned in the previous point.
Because they are so effective, we built in an automatic way to both send short surveys in class, capture the results, provide gamification points, and point out important trends in student responses. Check out more here.
3. Provide More Content Outside Of Class Hours, Like Blog Posts Or Videos.
Giving students blog posts and videos after class is important. This way, they can do them without being in school. It’s much easier for a student to watch or read something outside of class than it is for them to pay attention in the classroom. Many students are more interested and motivated when they don’t have someone standing over their shoulder, and may feel less pressure to review materials on their own schedule. As long as these materials and activities tie into the virtual classroom lessons, they will absolutely boost student participation and engagement.
One great way you can do this is by taking advantage of our Teach Beacon virtual classroom because it gives you a place to put your blog posts, videos, and other learning materials that students can review at their own pace. It’s all integrated into one easy interface.
Even if they’re not available right away, getting this information to the student outside of class time is a great way to increase student engagement.
You can also include things like quizzes to help students reinforce their knowledge after class, and the automated nature of our virtual classroom makes this just as easy as it is in face-to-face classes. And yes, we have that too. Built-in quizzes, automatic grading, and providing students easy access to these activities with deadlines and reminders. The Teach Beacon virtual classroom has it all.
Once again, you can offer gamification badges and other goodies for completing these extra activities, (noticing a pattern?). On top of that, Teach Beacon collects all this data so you can see who is most engaged outside the virtual classroom, which helps you understand what to do during the virtual classroom session (noticing another pattern?).
4. Keep The Virtual Classroom Engaging By Creating A Schedule And Posting It In Advance So Students Know What To Expect Throughout Each Session.
The teacher needs to make a schedule before any class starts. The schedule should have what students do and when they do it. This way, you can know what is going to happen next and if you need to prepare anything beforehand.
You can either make a schedule before class starts, or you can go back and edit it during the virtual classroom session if you need to make modifications on the fly. Either way is fine, but make sure your students know what to expect before they start!
This will help with student engagement because they will know when something important is happening in class. The schedule should include things like:
– Class introduction
– Lesson content
– Break time or activity time
It’s also great to use this schedule for students because they will know what activities are next, regardless if they’re online or not. So even if the teacher makes changes during class, it won’t affect them as much since they may have already done their activity by then anyway!
Once again, Teach Beacon makes this easy with the ability to create lesson plans beforehand, post them for students to review, and have a live outline in the shared notes section for dynamic changing during class, as needed.
5. Use team-building activities! There’s no better way to engage remote students than to get them communicating and working together.
Think you can’t do team-building activities in a virtual setting? Think again!
In fact, you should maybe even do more of them in a virtual setting. Fostering relationships between students is so important, especially when everyone is virtual because we crave belonging and it’s important to our psychological health.
There are many ways to foster these kinds of exercises—interactive whiteboard sessions, shared note-taking, and one of the most powerful, breakout room activities. (And yes, Teach Beacon can do all of those things).
Breakout rooms in particular are great because you get groups of students in smaller settings where they can interact with each other. Some really great activities to do in breakout rooms include:
– Who am I? (have students take turns asking questions about each other’s hobbies)
– Let’s play word association! (get students to respond with the first thing that comes to mind when they hear a certain word)
– What can you tell me about yourself? (students ask each other questions about themselves and then take turns answering them in front of their group members or even the whole class)
– Show me your talents! (get students to show off their hidden skills)
– Discuss classroom topics and prepare to give a short presentation together to the class
All these activities are great for student engagement because they are active. Students have the chance not only to listen and learn but also to have fun and connect!
6. You can also keep them engaged with polls, videos, discussion boards, random student selection for questions, or live tutorials during your time together.
It can be hard to keep students engaged in a virtual classroom. There are many ways you can do this, but there are some that are better than others. Some of the best ways include using polls, videos, discussion boards, and live tutorials!
Polls are great because they let the students see responses from each other and show what everyone is thinking. It is also great because it lets them see how everyone feels about something without having to answer questions individually with their classmates. It’s also really good for finding out if people know things or not because you can ask questions like “Who knows about this?” or “Do most people agree with what I’m saying?” and have them do a quick yes or no poll.
Videos are another great way to engage your students remotely through your virtual classroom. It can be a relief during a class to take a short break and watch a video together and have a discussion about it afterward.
Discussion boards are also a fun way to engage students with remote classroom activities. It’s fun for the whole class because it can be like a chatroom and everyone gets their own say about what they think. Or you could even use them as an activity where different groups post questions back and forth with each other on your discussion board, which is a great way of getting people talking!
Live tutorials are also a great way to engage students in the virtual classroom. It’s really nice for people who aren’t quite grasping what you’re teaching because they can ask questions and get clarification on content, which is always helpful. And if someone posts a question, everyone will know who answered it by looking at the virtual classroom interface to see who is speaking.
All of these things can be gamified to make them even more fun, and data can be captured on all of them so you can gauge participation from each student and learn who may need a little extra nudge. Teach Beacon is your jam if you want all of this at your fingertips.
7. Use a chat platform with students to increase dialogue between them and the instructor.
Make sure you use the chat platform to talk to your students. It’s really important because it lets you talk and answer questions. The more you engage with students, the better chance they will feel like part of a community.
It’s also important to use the chat platform because it is another way for your students to talk and answer questions! Student engagement will go through the roof when there are multiple ways for them to communicate.
Make sure that you include some activities in which groups have to talk to one another. These activities are really good for the students because they will get a chance to meet new people and learn through conversation.
The more ways there are for students to connect, the more likely they are to feel like part of a community and engage with the content.
Including activities where students have to talk is great because it helps them learn through conversation, which can be really beneficial! Plus, making sure you use an online chat platform gives you more opportunities for teaching and learning as well as data-gathering on participation from each student.
You want to be able to have a public chat forum and a private chat forum, depending on the activity and purpose. The private chat allows students to ask you questions they may be embarrassed about, and the public chat helps facilitate group activities and relationship building.
This is all possible with Teach Beacon! Contact us to learn about your free trial today to see how we can help your virtual classroom engage students like never before.
Keep an eye on attendance, participation, engagement, and student behavior patterns to help students who need extra help with virtual learning.
Like we mentioned several times in the bullets points above, having all of the data for activities across the board in the virtual classroom opens the door for an observant teacher to know who to help, and how.
The way to help students who need extra help is by paying attention to how they are doing. For example, if a student does not come to school or participate in class, it might be a good idea for the teacher to try and find out why this is happening. There may be an issue going on outside of class that’s affecting their participation.
For example, if attendance is down week after week, there could be something really wrong with one of your students. Paying attention to this will help you figure out what is going on so that you can work with them individually outside of the virtual classroom setting.
But attendance isn’t the only thing you want to watch for. You can see small trends and patterns in how students participate in the chat, the activities, and more.
Even better, Teach Beacon has predictive models running in the background to help identify students that may need some extra attention. So even if a teacher misses some signs (they are really busy people!), Teach Beacon can automatically bring those signs to their attention.
Gamification For Student Engagement.
We’ve mentioned this one several times above as well, and that’s because if you weave gamification throughout the virtual classroom experience, you can see dramatic results.
Gamification is a great way to increase engagement across the board for students, and it’s something that can be done really easily with Teach Beacon.
In fact, gamification takes points from the most popular system used by teachers (like grades) and brings them into an online learning environment!
Teach Beacon allows you to incorporate badges, levels, and progress bars to make it easy for the students to see their own growth through gamification.
And this is just one example. You can weave gamification throughout your virtual classroom in as many ways as you want to make the curriculum more engaging and interactive for students!
We hope that these strategies give all teachers, both those who use a virtual environment and those without access to such an amazing learning management system like Teach Beacon, some ideas on how to increase student engagement.
We are really excited to be working with schools that have adopted the virtual environment because we know it’s a great way to keep students engaged and having fun while they learn!
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