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Using Courseware to Keep Students Engaged with Virtual Learning During Winter Break

Using Courseware to Keep Students Engaged with Virtual Learning During Winter Break

This much-needed winter break is a great opportunity for students and educators to rest and recharge with family for the holidays−you’ve all earned it! This break could also be a great opportunity to help students continue learning virtually—whether they need to recover skills they struggled to master this fall semester or to get ahead in their coursework before the new semester begins. Check out these strategies for using Courseware, Edmentum’s 6-12 online curriculum, if you’re looking to encourage students to continue learning at their own pace over the winter break.

Identify Learning Gaps

Courseware offers a variety of user-friendly reports to help you access and act on your students’ data, review their performance on specific topics, and analyze their performance on the end-of-semester exam. Whatever you choose to focus on, use data results to identify three to four topics for each student that they need to master in order to be successful in the next semester.

Use Flex Assignments for Personalized Content

Once you have determined each student's areas of strengths and weaknesses, create personalized assignments based on these topics using the Flex Assignments feature in Courseware. Unlike semester-long courses, Flex Assignments are modular and can support individualized learning with targeted instruction. Remember, don't give students more than three to four topics total; winter break is only typically two weeks long and you want to make sure that students still have time to spend with their families and rest.

Give Students Clear Instructions and Incentives

Before your wrap up this semester and send your students off with their assignments, it’s important to make sure that they understand your expectations and the benefits of meeting those expectations. Depending on how grading works in your district, you may be able to offer students some extra credit toward their first semester grades. For students who didn't pass the semester, this will be invaluable, as it can mean that they won't have to make up an entire semester. If this isn't possible, consider offering students points toward the upcoming semester so that they have an opportunity to start out ahead instead of behind. Whatever incentive you choose, be sure that students understand it and know exactly what they need to do to meet expectations.

Schedule Individual Follow-Up Meetings for Struggling Students

After the break, schedule time to meet with each student who worked on review topics. In this meeting, review expectations, the student's results, and the incentives received. Talk about what topics and skills they can expect to work on in the coming semester and review options for receiving extra help if they are having trouble, such as after-school tutoring or open office hours. This can help prevent students from falling behind in the new semester.

Using the winter break to allow students to review, earn credit for concepts that they didn’t master during the first semester, or get ahead on their coursework can be a great strategy to increase motivation and teach students about the importance of hard work and persistence. Courseware makes it easy for you, as educators, to identify students in need of these opportunities and deliver high-quality instruction virtually.

Looking for resources to combat learning loss? Learn more about Courseware’s accelerate courses, designed to improve high school math and ELA readiness.

This blog post was originally published on November 26, 2019, and has been updated.

fabiola.garcia's picture
Fabiola Garcia

Fabiola Garcia happily joined the Edmentum family in the summer of 2014 and spent several years in the support and sales teams before serving as a Marketing Specialist. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Sociology with a Social Science Research Methods certificate from Texas Woman's University. Fabiola is passionate about education and strives to empower educators with relevant resources so that they can continue transforming their classrooms one student at a time.