One common issue that I hear about a lot, is that as teachers have adopted a more digital workflow in their classrooms, students are not always clear on the how/what/when of the class. Students may get lost in all of the resources or become unclear about what they are supposed to be doing, due to the complexity that happens as we bring in a large amount of digital tools and resources without looking at our workflows. Ideally, the digital tools and resources we use in our classrooms should be improving the learning and not hindering. We can’t expect students to automatically be able to adapt to our newly adopted digital workflows if those workflows are not clear and explicit.
The biggest tip I can give is to think about this: How easily can a student figure out what is expected of them? How easily can they find what they are supposed to do and by when?
Make it as clear as you can about what students are supposed to do and learn. Even if you said it in class, we know that people (adults and students alike) don’t always listen well the first time. Find an easy way for students to quickly see what is going on each day and when the important, and graded, stuff is due. Find ways to make it easy for those students who are gone to be able to get caught up quickly and remove any questions they have about what they are supposed to do. We must have empathy for our students because we do ask a lot of them and it is very easy to get lost in the vast amount of work that is expected of them, especially when they are sick or are dealing with issues at home.
Classroom Workflow Clarity Tips
Have one place (Site, Calendar, Document) students can go to see the schedule (classroom topics for the day, assignments due dates, next assessment).
Reduce the steps/documents/sites needed to complete a task.
If you are using Google Classroom, make use of the Topics tool to make it easier for students to find information.
Have all steps, directions, outcomes clearly written out where students can get to them. If you are using a rubric to assess, make sure the student has this ahead of time. If it went on the board, it should go online (take a pic to share with the class?)
Ask someone else to do a “Clarity Audit” to help find ways you can improve your workflow clarity.