[Plato Courseware] Teacher Graded Activities and the Value of Real-Time Feedback

Monday, May 16, 2016 -- Shannan LaMalfa

Communication is key in any learning environment. It makes learning easier, helps students achieve goals, and increases opportunities for expanded learning. Overall, effective communication between the student and teacher strengthens the relationship and leads to improved outcomes.

That’s why we’re excited to share with you Edmentum’s new Teacher Graded Activities, a tool to facilitate effective communication between students and instructors within Plato Courseware. Students can submit work for review prior to finalization, giving educators the opportunity to read questions or comments from learners on their work in progress and provide feedback while changes can still be made. This allows educators to communicate directly with students within their actual graded activity and makes a record of all comments back and forth available.

Plato Courseware Teacher Graded Activities


Here, we’ve outlined three scenarios to help you get started incorporating Teacher Graded Activities into blended, personalized, and intervention learning environments.

Providing Whole-Class Instruction in a Blended Learning Environment

In a traditional brick-and-mortar learning environment, teachers can introduce an assignment from Edmentum’s Plato Courseware and talk through it with learners just as with any other offline activity. In a technology-rich environment, teachers can also walk through topics using a smartboard or shared screen. Together, students and teachers can engage in dialogue incorporating vocabulary terms emphasized in the activity that they will complete. Students may also locate these terms in the student toolbar resource area. Teachers can discuss objectives of the assignment and view the entire group’s progress, as well as each student’s individual progress. Because the scoring rubric is embedded within both the teacher and student interfaces, educators can review it with students and preview the activity in the discussion format. In a blended environment, students have the ability to ask questions and dive into more detail for each lesson activity either in person or via Teacher Graded Activities. This helps students feel confident that they have the necessary information to complete the assignment and empowers them to break off from the group and learn independently.

Extending Learning in a Personalized Environment 

An important aspect of personalized learning is allowing students to have a choice in what they learn. Teacher Graded Activities can easily be adapted to offer these choices. For example, if a student is passionate about economics and has requested an additional activity based on his or her interest, he or she would be able to choose a unique extension activity. After completion, the student can upload the activity and receive feedback via Teacher Graded Activities. Teacher Graded Activities are designed to help educators enhance any course through additional file-sharing capability. Students could even be exempt from a graded activity and, instead, choose an extension assignment to complete and submit via Teacher Graded Activities. Teacher Graded Activities help teachers differentiate instruction for one or more students and still ensure that the requirements of the course are being followed, making student management a seamless process. Teachers enter all grades in the same location, even if assignments are different for individual learners. The Teacher Graded Activities functionality also helps address the needs of gifted students by providing opportunities for challenge and enrichment activities.

Feedback in Plato Courseware Teacher Graded Activities

Facilitating Student Success in Intervention Programming

Teacher Graded Activities support learners in need of intervention by providing an opportunity for feedback prior to the final submission of an assignment. Teachers can partner with a student to plan to submit work for review before submitting it for a score, offering an opportunity for the student to receive feedback and refine his or her work. Students can submit for review as often as needed, and teachers can see exactly what lessons have been completed by students within Teacher Graded Activities. This also provides teachers with the chance to scaffold learning and to offer specific feedback, which helps boosts confidence for students in intervention or special education programs and sets them up for continued success. A full record of all comments on every assignment is available in Teacher Graded Activities to help show progress in a conference setting for parents or resource teachers working with the learner.

The essence of teaching is the ability to facilitate learning, and this cannot be done with a one-size-fits-all approach. Edmentum’s Plato Courseware is flexible enough to facilitate independent learning and also provide educators with tools to enable collaborative, data-driven instruction. As the world of education technology continues to evolve rapidly, the once-common fear that online learning will replace teachers is slowly dissipating. At Edmentum, we truly understand the importance of teachers and the irreplaceable role they play in the classroom. We are a company of educators committed to fostering relationships between students and teachers, and that is why we’re so proud of features like Plato Courseware’s Teacher Graded Activities.

Interested in learning more about how Plato Courseware can help you facilitate learning for every student? Check out an overview of Plato Courseware here!