12/02/2020 | Adam Rockenbach
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Digital school climate tools will help teachers to recognize even the subtlest of indicators of school climate that may normally go unnoticed, but that could serve as a stimulus for early intervention — critical for issues related to feelings of isolation, loneliness and student well-being as well as bullying.
An adaptive, responsive and flexible school climate survey tool can deliver best practices with significant improvements over traditional methods.
Once a Year vs. Continuous Assessment
Online surveys have made it more efficient to assess how students, staff and parents feel about different aspects of school climate such as school safety, learning and teaching, school environment and social relationships.
However, a survey that is only administered annually provides school faculty with a mere “snapshot” of a school’s climate. Additionally, the large amount of time that it takes for schools to receive survey results runs counter to the point of early intervention.
An adaptive school climate tool is built upon the idea that data is reliable and useful only if it is collected routinely over the course of the school year.
Fixed vs. Adaptive
Traditionally, surveys ask the exact same questions once a year. Simply offering the same fixed survey more frequently isn’t reliable nor useful especially because such practice can lead to assessment fatigue, where questions are answered mindlessly and without reflection.
An adaptive school climate tool pairs a large bank of questions with adaptive technology that identifies and strategically delivers the most relevant questions to each student over the full course of the school year.
Data Paralysis vs. Data Analysis
Teachers today are swimming in data, and it is not enough to show them student responses to questions. We need to provide teachers with data in a way that answers the questions “So what?” and “Now what?”
A digital school climate tool frames data use in new ways so that insights gleaned are seen as augmenting, instead of replacing, teachers’ valuable and intuitive observations in the classroom.
The assessment process itself is a learning experience for both students and teachers. Through the process of answering carefully designed questions that encourages reflection, students learn social and emotional vocabulary that could help them to interact more effectively with others and to express how they are feeling.
Digital school climate tools will help teachers to recognize even the subtlest of indicators of school climate that may normally go unnoticed, but that could serve as a stimulus for early intervention — critical for issues related to feelings of isolation, loneliness and student well-being as well as bullying. Moreover, they give teachers a way to think about and to clearly communicate survey results to students, school staff and parents.