What is the New Meaning of Student Progress?

Times have changed us. We have changed. Our learning communities have changed. And it’s all happened at a pace that we’ve never experienced before.

That’s why this month’s #822chat topic is focused on student progress, what does it mean in our current times?

Meaningful Student Progress

Before Covid-19, there were plenty of established assumptions about student progress. For example:

Math and reading are essential for all students and should be monitored and publicly evaluated at the school level.

While the established assumptions were often criticized (see this 3 part discussion), now those assumptions are largely pushed aside for more immediate learner needs.

Many schools are now functioning as wifi coordinators, food banks, and online course mentors. The roles vary as largely as the needs of the students they serve.

And the variety of basic needs also feed the need for greater differentiation.

Progress is often simply getting students to show up, coaching their independence, and prompting engagement.

Feedback, Not Grades

There if a lot of common ground on this aspect of student progress. Monitoring progress is second to promoting progress. That is, feedback is preferred over grades.

The need to create opportunity for learning has changed. The focus on social and emotional learning often supersedes the need for grading or evaluation of academic learning.

Social and Emotional Growth

Whether or not the impromptu distance environments have any staying power, one thing is for sure – the social distancing and emotional impact of Covid-19 will have a lasting impact.

For example, the basic social skills of being on time, listening actively, and contributing appropriately are paramount in a distance environment.

What Do You Think?

What does student progress look like for you right now? Are your students ready to focus on academic learning? Is distance learning a near impossibility for your students? What progress are you looking for?

Leave your thoughts in the discussion below.

1 comment

  1. Matt Foster – Writer, Educator, Creator, and Lover of Outdoors. Co-founder of Principals' Seminar, LLC. Co-founder of TeamTom Education, LLC. Business Development at Mafost Marketing. Sailing Exploration at The Foster Journey Dad and Family Man who travels the world on a sailboat @thefosterjourney.
    Matt Foster says:

    This discussion is a great reminder about the aims of education – to learn and grow. These aims are in stark contrast to some of the structures of institutionalized education. Structures such as grading, certifications, and batch pathing. It reminds me of quality practices such as Common Formative Assessment, https://teamtomeducation.com/common-formative-assessment-best-practices-benefits/

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