No more waiting for end-of-year scores. Technology can provide teachers and students with a wealth of data during the learning process, allowing for continuous personalization when it’s most needed.
Technology Personalizes Learning Process
New technology gives educators and students feedback in real time with a tap of a finger. Educators can reach more students anytime and anywhere—in the classroom, on their mobile devices, or when they are doing homework at the mall with friends. Educators continuously and immediately impact the learning process in real time and students have the power to chart their own learning paths.
Instant Feedback Leads to Immediate Change
Without feedback, misconceptions build. Students unknowingly make the same mistake again and again and can quickly fall behind. With rapid feedback, however, students and teachers can adapt, modify and innovate within the learning process.
- Rapid feedback helps build a strong foundation of understanding from the very beginning of a lesson. By intervening early and often, teachers can monitor that a student understands the concepts and can move forward on the learning path.
- Today’s students are digital natives who expect instant results. Immediate scores for homework, quizzes and tests give students the guidance they need to adjust their own learning paths.
Supported by Research
Neuroscientists have a well-established understanding of how our brains acquire, process and store information (i.e., learn) through neural pathways. Rapid feedback, as learning scientists and researchers report, strengthens neural pathways by making memories.
Both in and outside of school, students who receive immediate feedback about their learning are able to evaluate what they know and revise mistakes or misconceptions. This helps them deepen and sharpen their understanding of the content. Numerous studies have bolstered the positive effects of rapid feedback on learning and student performance.
Teachers in West Ada School District in Idaho are driving innovative uses of technology to give students rapid feedback. They give examples and advice to other educators.
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) faced the dual challenges of educating in a completely virtual environment and the global challenge of keeping up with a face-paced, tech-savvy student population. To address individual student learning needs and keep students on the path to success, FLVS educators use digital, instant feedback tools.
Recommendations: Digital Teaching Strategies
- Don’t expect technology to do all the work. When students are struggling, teachers should evaluate the feedback and intervene.
- Not all teachers are statisticians. Use technology that makes sense of data for teachers and provide professional development for rapid feedback technologies and data-supported instruction.
- Adapt teaching strategies to students’ current forms of electronic communication. They don’t wait a week to receive a text message or find out what their friends are doing, and they expect the same for their academic feedback.
- Technology should make grading more efficient, not add another step.