End of the Year Exit Ticket: Evaluating Online Learning

As the year comes to a close, I encourage teachers to take a moment and collect feedback from students about their experiences learning online in the last few months. We do not know what fall 2020 will look like–in person, online, or a combination of both. I think it’s likely that schools will begin the year online or adopt a blended learning model that allows for fewer students on campus at one time. Either way, it will be helpful for teachers to know what worked well for students during this time of distance learning and what didn’t work.

Collecting feedback from students is one of the best ways for educators to continue learning and iterating on their practice. Students are the “customers” in the educational system. It is important to ask them how they feel about their experiences learning online. For many teachers, this transition online was unexpected and rushed. Teachers may not have felt particularly prepared to engage students in learning online.

Below is an example of an end of the year exit ticket designed to collect data from students about their experiences online.

This exit ticket asks the following questions:

  1. How easy was it to find your assignments online?
  2. Did you feel the course materials clearly organized and easy to navigate?
  3. Which technology tools and/or online resources did you find most useful during your time learning online?
  4. Which technology tools and/or online resourced did you find challenging to use during your time learning online?
  5. Did you attend in the virtual conferencing sessions?
  6. If you did not attend virtual conferencing sessions, why not?
  7. If you attended virtual conferencing sessions, did you find them engaging?
  8. What suggestions do you have for how these virtual conferencing sessions could be improved in the future?
  9. How did you feel about the amount of work you were asked to do while learning online?
  10. Which assignments, tasks, or projects did you enjoy most?
  11. Which assignments, tasks, or projects did you enjoy least?
  12. What is one thing that worked well for you during this time of distance learning?
  13. What is one thing that did not work for you during this time of distance learning?
  14. How connected did you feel to your classmates during this time of distance learning?
  15. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions?

If you want to make a copy of this feedback form to modify and use it with your students, go to this Google Spreadsheet. Click “File”>”Make a copy.” Once you have a copy of the spreadsheet in your Google Drive, click “Form” at the top of your spreadsheet to “Edit form” to modify it for your students.

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End of the Year Project: What Are YOU Curious About?

The last couple of months have been exhausting on a lot of levels as teachers and students shift to online learning. I would venture to guess that everyone is ready for a much-deserved summer break. Teachers looking for creative ways to end the school year may want to consider a “What are YOU curious about?” project. This is a fun way to close out the year with a student-driven investigation.

This project uses the 5Es instructional model–engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate–to guide students through a learning experience focused on a topic of their choice. The goal of this learning cycle is to give students the agency to decide what they want to learn about before the school year officially ends. Once they have decided on the question they would like to investigate, they self-pace through the parts of the project and use the slide deck below to document their learning. This project is designed to drive higher-order thinking, develop research skills, and encourage reflection.

I recorded the screencast below to walk teachers through the parts of this project.

Below is the project template. Feel free to make a copy of the template below and modify it for your students!

bit.ly/5EsProject

If you have a fun end-of-the-year project or activity you enjoy using with students, please take a moment to post a comment and share it!

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The Balance with Catlin Tucker: Featuring Rachelle Dene Poth

In this episode of The Balance, I chat with Rachelle Dene Poth. Rachelle is a Spanish and STEAM teacher, presenter, author, and lawyer! In 2019, Rachelle received the Making IT Happen Award and a Presidential Gold Award for volunteer service in education. She is a Buncee Ambassador, Edmodo Certified Trainer, Nearpod PioNear, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and Google Certified Educator. Rachelle is also the author of In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking, The Future Is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead​, ​ Unconventional Ways to THRIVE in EDU​, and Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World​.

In this episode of The Balance, Rachelle and I talk about the importance of prioritizing relationships in education, thinking outside-of-the-box when it comes to lesson design, asking students for feedback to improve our practice, and continuing to learn, stretch and stay inspired!

If you are part of a professional learning community, the questions below are designed to facilitate a conversation–in person or online–about the issues discussed in this episode of The Balance. If you do not have a PLC at your school but you want to engage in an online conversation with other educators, check out my Facebook page!

1. How do you proactively build relationships with students? How do you make time to connect with your students so they feel supported in their learning?

2. How have you used technology in your class to spark student creativity and foster collaboration? Is there a particular technology-infused lesson that you have designed and facilitated that stands out as particularly powerful or effective?

3. As you experiment with new teaching strategies and technology tools, how are you gathering feedback from students? How often do you ask for feedback? How can you build a feedback loop into your practice to ensure that what you are doing is working for students?

4. Is reflection a regular part of your practice? If so, how do you capture your reflections on a particular lesson, strategy, or assignment? If not, what barriers prevent you from taking time to reflect on your work? What can you do to mitigate those barriers and carve out time to engage in reflection?

5. How do you make time to continue learning? Do you have a personal learning network (PLN) that you regularly connect with and learn from? If not, how might creating a powerful personal learning network serve to inspire you and keep you learning?

If you want to connect with Rachelle Dena Poth, you can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn. She also writes a blog and produces her own podcast.

Thank you to StudySync for producing and sponsoring this podcast! StudySync is committed to helping teachers find balance in their lives by providing them with a robust multimedia ELA platform that simplifies lesson planning, automatically differentiates tasks for learners at different skill levels and language proficiencies, and blends online and offline engagement to help students develop as thinkers, readers, writers, and speakers.

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