Are you able to recognize when your students are at risk of failing?
If you somehow managed to ask a teacher which understudies in a specific class were probably going to come up short, the least demanding pointer would be grades as that presents proof of understudies who are not gaining critical headway. The majority of educators are aware that grades are only one aspect of the learning process, and it is still possible for any student, even those who perform exceptionally well, to be at risk of failure. While some students are able to do well in any classroom, the majority of them have varying levels of success throughout their academic careers. If a teacher is aware of the risk factors that are present at every level of performance, they have the opportunity to have a direct impact on each student’s ongoing development.
Because I have been actively involved in the development of faculty, particularly in the field of distance learning, I am aware of the amount of time faculty devote to their responsibilities. Because they are teaching classes with a large number of students and frequently at marginal pay rates, adjunct faculty, including online adjuncts, were referred to in a recent article as the working poor. This is brought up because adjuncts themselves are frequently at risk of failure because they are working at their maximum capacity, and talking about spending more time with students can seem overwhelming. Even administrators have advised me that if students were in danger, I should simply forward them to another teacher to ensure that they receive a passing grade for their classes.
Teaching adult students, particularly online students in the for-profit sector, presents two challenges posed by this. I have needed to settle on a choice as a teacher about my position in regards to aiding understudies, having classes with high enlistments, and being told to pass understudies along. Even if I had to spend more time helping students in need, my decision was to leave schools that asked me not to focus on teaching and stay at schools that allowed me to be an educator. I chose to become an educator because I wanted to help other people learn, including faculty and students. This has served me well. I would rather not see understudies battle and afterward conclude that I need more time. I need to be available and accessible, mindful of how all understudies are performing, alert for signs that they might be in danger of falling flat, and prepared to help.
Analyzing Chance Variables.
It is possible for you to get the impression that this is how your students are developing academically when you look at their grades in your gradebook. For instance, a student who receives an “A” grade probably excels naturally at all assignments. However, maintaining a specific grade isn’t always guaranteed. There might be stumbling blocks. The majority of students, with occasional ups and downs throughout the class, perform well within the average range, according to my observations. How well students are writing their papers and participating in class discussions is the best indicator of performance. The following are normal execution levels and an interesting point for every one.
Above Normal: Consider the following inquiries regarding a current student at this level: Can they keep it up? Will they be under pressure to keep it going? Was it a one-time occurrence or a breakthrough? You can learn more about your students’ abilities as you get to know them, which will take time and effort. This can help you be aware of their potential dangers. For instance, if this was their first accomplishment, you will want to support them.
Average: Consider the following concerns for students at this level: Is there a reason why the student is stuck? Did this student previously perform above or below average? Is this the best they can do? Does this student require motivation to succeed? Is there anything this student needs to get better? Is it necessary for this student to change their attitude? Does this student require self-assurance or motivation? Similarly, the more you know your student, the more you can assist them in their development as a coach. Until someone else demonstrates to them that they have a greater ability or capacity to learn, some students perform at an average level for such a long period of time that they come to accept this as the best they can do.
Marginal: This student is very close to failing. It might appear to be that they are investing the negligible energy and maybe they may not think often about their advancement. Because perceptions have a direct impact on the learning process, it’s possible that they haven’t previously established a productive working relationship with an instructor. You can help to change this. While you may never know about this student’s negative experiences in a previous class, the more effort you put into connecting with them, the more you will be able to assist them in improving. As a result, the effort you put into working with this student may also result in an increase in his or her level of motivation.
Above Average: It is evident that this student does not attend class, does not submit assignments, or does not respond to your coaching efforts. If you really want to help this student connect with the class again, you will need to give them the most care, time, and attention. Although it is understandable that this student may never participate again in the class, I have frequently been surprised by the students who responded to a personal call or other communication that showed I cared about their progress.
Students’ and Instructors’ Assumptions
There is frequently a game of assigning blame when students fail a class. It can begin at the institutional level, where an adjunct’s teaching scores can be used to assign classes. The accusation of an instructor being to blame follows. The instructor might then state that the student is self-directed and accountable for their own progress, which implies that they are accountable for adhering to the requirements of the class and completing all assignments. Instructors will assert that they do not have the time to analyze each student and that it is not their responsibility to perform additional duties.
Students may believe that their teachers are supposed to assist them from their perspective. I’ve heard understudies express that they “don’t have the foggiest idea what to do” – and they are looking out for their educators to answer. Understudies might stall out on the off chance that they don’t have the foggiest idea how to improve or they accept this is everything they can manage. Even though I cannot change any of this, I can tell you that if you decide to become an educator, your job is to focus on the students’ developmental needs and not to blame anyone when they get a failing grade. Even students who may not yet be aware that they could benefit from your coaching and guidance can benefit from your assistance.
#2. Written Assignment Feedback: I understand that a well-written academic paper that is easy to read may appear to be an opportunity to save time; On the other hand, each paper ought to take the same amount of time. After reading the paper once, I try to understand the student’s perspective. I start by looking at the content. After that, I think about the requirements for the assignment, the subjects that need to be covered, and the learning goals that students are expected to achieve. You will have a good idea of what is acceptable and what you expect students to address after evaluating an assignment enough times.
By making comments and asking questions, I try to interact with students through the content of their writing. The objective is to keep them interested in the subject further while offering my own perspective to help them broaden their perspectives. It will, at the very least, reassure them that they are on the right path, and it frequently aids in their comprehension of the subjects. Regarding the expected standards for academic writing, I have learned to make suggestions rather than demand compliance or correct what was written. I also try to coach students by encouraging them to use the resources they have, including any additional resources I might share to address particular requirements.
#3. Providing Your Perspective and Experience: Working with pre-developed courses presents a challenge because the structured materials may lack their voice. Through the use of course announcements and the creation of substantial discussion responses, I have discovered methods for sharing my experience and perspective. I can share supplementary materials and resources, provide a preview of upcoming topics, and summarize weekly topics by including course announcements. In addition, I am imparting my knowledge through these strategies. It gives the impression and impression that online students are truly involved in the class when they “see” an instructor actively involved in this matter. It additionally exhibits that the educator has dedicated the time important to make ideal circumstances for learning.
#4. Serving as a Student Mentor: Being a mentor and coach for your students is the most engaging instructional practice you can use. How much time this requires relies on the educator and their ability to make ideal class conditions. In addition to the methods I have described for providing feedback, I occasionally send students check-in emails. My students feel more connected as a result of this. I will email or call the student, depending on their availability, if they are having difficulty or haven’t been in class recently. This tells them that somebody wants to think about it and that can frequently have an effect with understudies and their capacity to endure at whatever point they feel tested. I want to mentor them by serving as a coach and support system, fostering their academic growth, which in turn generates internalized positive feelings.
There is no doubt that every student needs to know that their teachers are available to them and that they are valued. It may suffice to demonstrate that you care about them and that they are not just a randomly assigned student number in your class by responding to a question in a caring manner. Students must also be aware of your presence and involvement in the class, which serves as an example for them to follow for their own level of involvement. If you are currently teaching, I am certain that you are concerned about your students. Just make sure you have enough time each week to be there for them, and if you need to, add more time to meet their needs. I can appreciate the difficulty of adjunct teaching while maintaining other responsibilities; However, think about how good it will feel for both you and your students to see them flourish as a result of your weekly attention and time.