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[Teacher Tips] 5 Ways Teachers Boost Student Success in Courseware

[Teacher Tips] 5 Ways Teachers Boost Student Success in Courseware

Courseware online courses from Edmentum provide engagement and a wealth of information, but teachers will always be a critical influence on learning success. Students may encounter content and direct instruction from the course, but the teacher facilitates learning and maintains availability to help make sure that all students are able to make sense of the content.  Schools have found the most success with Courseware when it’s paired with teachers who weave the program into their instructional lesson plans. The most successful Courseware implementations incorporate using the program as a robust teaching tool. 

“The technology is not replacing the teachers, and the teachers just need to make sure that we are still instructing. There's a time and place for the technology, using it to the best ability that we can in our classroom but just knowing that students still need teachers. They still need instruction, and it's just going to enhance what we're already doing in the classroom.”

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Technology and teaching can work hand in hand to achieve better student outcomes. In this post, we’ll cover five tips that teachers can implement to boost student success when using Courseware.


Establish expectations from the start

Establishing a routine at the beginning of class and telling students exactly what is expected of them as you onboard them into Courseware is critical to success. Help students understand how they will be using the courses and how assignments will be graded. Students also need to know what steps to take to get help, especially in virtual or hybrid class settings, where raising their hand won’t suffice. Be sure that you answer these questions for your students: How will the students access their assignments in Courseware? How will they submit their assignments? If they have a question about their assignment, what is the best way to get in touch with their teacher for help or feedback? Be intentional about explaining what you expect from your students as they work in their assignments and what your students should expect from you in return.

Not only do students need to be onboarded into Courseware, but their parents need to be onboarded as well. Host a webinar in which you share your expectations and how-to resources with parents. Here are a few resources to get your started:


Build teacher-student relationships

Teacher-student relationships can have a huge impact on student achievement. Make your brick-and-mortar or virtual classroom a welcoming environment where students are free to learn and ask questions. Essentially, be your students’ coach: cheer them on when they succeed in a lesson and pull them aside when you notice they’re struggling with a topic and need more practice. If students feel like you’re invested in their success and future, they’re likely going to try that much harder to do their best job and make you proud.

[Tina] Sawyers summed up the Clearview staff’s commitment to students perfectly: “Hey, I see you, and I'm here for you. And, we're not going to let you fail. So, what do we need to do?"

Read the story: [Partner Spotlight] How Courseware and EdOptions Academy Support Clearview Horizon’s Holistic, Whole-Child Residential Program

Use data in a meaningful way

Courseware’s actionable data allows teachers to monitor progress and adjust instruction as needed. Based on the data, you can create student groups, organize one-on-one sessions, or reteach a whole class if you see the majority of students struggling with a particular topic.

Besides using data for intervention and remediation, information on the progress of the whole class can help you determine what topics you want to discuss live in class, giving your students an opportunity to ask questions where the whole class hear your responses. Some Courseware teachers have found success after in-class discussions by asking students to write down one or two new things that they learned during the lesson and any other questions that they still have but weren’t able to ask.

“Sometimes, a student might need additional time to demonstrate mastery of content,” stated Dr. Hinds. “And so, if we know that to be true, why not give them that opportunity? And so now, what that means is training our teachers on how to create an atmosphere, an environment, that will allow for us to have that level of flexibility when it comes to understanding the notion that we all don't learn at the same time.”

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Actively communicate with students and parents

Be consistent with your communication with both students and parents. For example, you can send announcements within Courseware every week to keep families in the know about student progress and to remind everybody about expectations that you initially brought up when you first onboarded the class.

“I could send out mass announcements to the entire student body—we can send out grade-level messages, classroom messages,” explained Ms. Bowles. “We were able to post recordings as well. If a student had to miss class, they could go back and watch the video recording all in one place.”

Read the story: Focusing on Growth Instead of Grades Helps One Oklahoma School Achieve Both and its related blog

Make a difference with engaged teaching in online learning  

Videos and interactive learning elements are great, but students won’t remain engaged in online learning if the teacher isn’t also engaged in the subject matter. No curriculum resource tool—not even Courseware—can take your place as an instructor; having a passionate teacher makes a difference. Students will have questions, or they’ll get stuck on a problem, or they’ll do a great job and appreciate when you recognize their hard work; that’s the kind of human experience no online program can ever replace.

“We think everyone should have a five-star life,” said Dr. Battle. “Edmentum is helping us do that because we're tapping into each individual student's gift. We continue to shoot for the best we can do. That's the mentality we want our students to have.”

Read the story: Striving for Success and Supporting a Transient Population in Halifax, North Carolina

Interested in more virtual instruction tips? Check out our blog post: Best Practices for Teachers Making the Switch to Virtual Instruction: Q&A with Online Education Experts.