In our recent whitepaper on learning and wellbeing, Education Horizons concluded that schools should view learning and wellbeing through a single lens. This was based on our hypothesis that effective teaching and learning is one of, if not the most powerful in-school drivers of student wellbeing.
In this blog we explore what viewing student learning and wellbeing through one lens means in practice.
1. Connected, visible data
To begin with, student wellbeing, attendance and learning progress information must be connected and visible in one place.
When teachers take attendance, they need to be able to see information about each student’s learning and wellbeing – recent wellbeing notes, medical alerts, behavioural incidents, attendance trends, academic achievement, academic progress, student expectations and response to feedback.
Ideally, each one of these data sets should be available in the roll, the place where teachers perform their most common repetitive tasks. High-level data should be present on the screen, with more detailed data available at a click within the same system.
In consultation for our whitepaper, a number of senior educational leaders described this as painting a picture of each student’s ‘readiness to learn’ – potentially shaping a teacher’s approach to their lesson in real time.
2. Rich and rigorous data
To be truly effective, high-level data should be based on rigorous and rich data capture.
For example, many systems capture Attendance for compliance purposes, allowing schools to report overall half-day attendance or absence. For practical insight in real-time, however, schools need much more sophisticated attendance data, including presence at school and in-class attendance, to identify trends in student behaviour and engagement.
In one example from a leading independent school in Western Australia, SEQTA’s rigorous ‘minute-by-minute’ attendance helped school leaders identify an emerging trend of students being 5-6 minutes late to class. On further inquiry, the school found there weren’t enough girls’ toilets and students were having to wait – directly impacting teaching and learning.
Similarly, the ability to capture and access wellbeing observations and records needs to go beyond traditional behaviour management – simply recording behaviour incidents and recommended punishments. True insight depends on data as rich as each student’s experience – capturing observations of positive, negative and neutral experiences relevant to each student’s development and aligned to each school’s vision.
3. Easy data capture
In practice, rich and rigorous data capture depends on two elements:
- Sophisticated data capture technology designed for nuanced and relevant observations; and
- Easy data capture for busy educators on the go.
Too often, educators are forced to take time at the end of each day to capture detailed notes about each student’s experience that day. In this model, the data quality suffers with disruptive behavioural incidents more likely to be remembered and highly valuable observations getting forgotten.
Beyond wellbeing and attendance, rich learning progress can only be captured if students are given a richer voice. Student expectations, reflections on feedback, pre and post-assessment feelings, forum discussions and self-recorded work are some of the basic tools that start to paint a truly rich picture of each student’s learning progress and achievement – alongside easy capture of their formative, summative and standardised assessment results.
Making rigorous attendance, wellbeing and learning data easy to capture should be the objective of all school leaders and technologies. Rigorous attendance in minutes, nuanced wellbeing observations in real-time, and purpose-built student feedback tools should all be standard in any learning management system.
4. Sharing information
Rich, connected and visible data capture is essential for every teacher. But we know that each student’s development is a collaborative effort involving many teachers, non-teaching staff and parents. Ensuring other teachers, school leaders, wellbeing staff and parents can be contacted and notified in real-time about important attendance, wellbeing and learning information is essential to making student development a collaborative effort.
One example from a SEQTA school in Western Australia describes a student demonstrating behavioural issues in each of their five classes – but generally not bad enough to warrant being sent to that student’s wellbeing staff leader. By reviewing observations from each class during the day, that wellbeing leader was able to send a note to each of that student’s teachers notifying them of the emerging trend and asking that, following the next low-level behavioural incident, that student was to be sent to the wellbeing manager. By sharing observations and insights, this group of teachers and wellbeing staff were able to identify a trend and intervene before a major behavioural incident emerged.
One-click email, SMS and direct message notifications for staff, leaders and parents should be available for educators in the same place where they capture attendance, wellbeing and learning information. Seamless sharing and communication are essential for true collaboration and student development.
5. Purpose-built analytics
As in the example above, leaders have important roles in using rich and rigorous data to identify trends and insights that individual teachers might not have the time to explore. Effective analytics are essential in supporting school leaders to be able to perform this role.
A useful example is measuring student engagement in real time.
While purpose-built surveys are an important tool, being able to connect and analyse rich attendance, wellbeing and learning information has significant potential to help leaders identify otherwise hidden trends, challenges and insights in more detail.
This is the logic behind the SEQTA Analyse tool we have developed at Education Horizons. Through SEQTA Analyse, schools can select from a range of dashboards which connect and surface critical data across student attendance, wellbeing and learning.
Good examples include our new Engagement Dashboards, which connect and surface SEQTA’s rich data to indicate each student and teacher’s level of engagement with the school. For example, SEQTA’s new student engagement dashboard brings together evidence-based data to provide an overview of each student’s engagement with school, including:
- School attendance;
- Class attendance;
- GPA trend;
- Wellbeing records;
- Assessment feelings;
- Forum contributions;
- School participation; and
- Student traits.
6. Where to from here?
To learn more about how your school can use SEQTA to view learning and wellbeing through a single lens, please contact us or complete the form below. To discover more about the relationship between learning and wellbeing, please download our white paper.