Selecting and then fully embracing the right online platform, combined with a well-thought-out targeted intervention strategy and plenty of positive supervision, can be the key to closing the attainment gap between your students.
The thing about online learning that I find most impressive, and essential for continued improvement, is its ability to understand and adapt to the child’s way of learning – and of course, your own staff and timetabling availability. One school I recently visited had a handful of students who learned most effectively before the school day began, one who preferred assistance from a certain member of staff in a specific quiet space, and many who preferred to access their tasks in total silence at home.
Whenever schools come to me for advice on targeted intervention platforms and strategies, I always tell them to strive to find one singular hub that covers a range of subject matter (so, not just one that focuses on maths and English, but one that extends to science, computing, MFL, and beyond), and one that is unbound by the usual timetabling and textbook constraints, progressing as steadily as the students’ pace will allow. Most importantly in my view is to select a platform that is Proven to improve students grades, such as SAM Learning www.samlearning.com
In a typical classroom lesson, there are no pause, rewind, or redo buttons, plunging the student deeper into a state of confusion with each subsequent lesson if they don’t have the chance to catch up. With online learning, there’s no limit on the amount of times a particular lesson or tutorial can be played, and students can always revisit the topic whenever the need arises. Plus, if the student is progressing at a faster or slower rate than expected, the online hub will have no problem adapting to changes in their plan of action.
One thing teachers always ask me when I talk about online learning is how the students will manage continuing their targeted intervention strategy at home. On the one hand, they know their students will fare better with the same learning format, assessment style, and topics they’ve become accustomed to from their online lessons. But, equally, they express their worries about whether encouraging computer-based work will just lead to online distractions, and how they’ll know whether the students actually did the work or not.
I always encourage teachers to access the platform’s assessment system and reports suits, meaning they can keep an eye on exactly how their student got on, how much time they spent on the task, if there’re certain questions they continuously get wrong, and which topics they do or do not need support with. I’d also suggest they implement specific pass criteria – perhaps requiring 80% of the task’s answers to be correct – which stops the student haring off, speeding through each task without taking anything in just to say they’ve completed it! Quality and quantity of online learning is so important!
Correspondingly, the online platform will provide the student with instant feedback on their tasks, set activities and test scores with the option to go back and learn more about their incorrect answers. Oh, and it’ll also produce instant, accurate reports on each student; perfect evidence for their next student progress meeting and to satisfy Ofsted.
If it’s not already crystal-clear, I’m a huge advocate for this targeted intervention strategy, and I’m thrilled so many teachers agree with me. With the correct implementation and some careful supervision, online learning really is a hugely powerful tool with the ability to faultlessly narrow the attainment gap across your entire school and improve GCSE results by 2 grades.
I really do hope this strategy is one you’ll consider implementing yourselves – I can tell you now just how positive an impact it’ll have on your students. In the meantime, that’s it from me, but I’ll be back very soon with my take on another of my favourite targeted intervention strategies.
Stay tuned and thank you for reading.