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Monitoring students' learning

Your students can sometimes be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of learning that is required. To support their learning progress, it is important that teachers monitor their students’ learning in order to provide them with timely feedback and guidance. By doing so as a teacher, you also have much better insight if your students are on the right track or that you maybe should adapt your teaching a little. As an additional and important benefit, you can get to know who your “most at risk” students are. 


What do we mean by ‘monitoring’?

Monitoring the progress of your students ties in very closely with assessment for learning. So any small assignment in class or via Nestor - a quiz, a poll, a writing appointment, a question prompt in a discussion forum, etc.  - can be used to monitor progress. You can monitor students’ learning progress yourself or support your students in self-regulated learning strategies, such as self-evaluation techniques, goal setting, and seeking assistance from their peers. When monitoring students’ learning, you can focus on their understanding of the course content or their engagement in the course. 


Monitoring students’ understanding 

One easy method for when you are teaching a small group of students (30 students or less), your students will benefit if you ask thought-provoking questions. When a student answers a question, be it correct or incorrect, you could take that opportunity to ask others to elaborate on the answer. Also, don’t just say that something is wrong, but explain. This creates (another) learning opportunity for your students!

Another solid method is to let students rephrase or reformulate what they have heard from you. This can be done verbally, but maybe also digitally. Or let them summarize what they have read as homework for your lecture. You could also do this in pairs, so that they explain to each other.

While your students are not in class and are studying at home, you can also still assist and help them. You can create a Quiz in Nestor or create a PollEverywhere quiz. As mentioned before, with these digital tools it is important that you think ahead about what your feedback will be.

In larger (online) lectures it does not really work to use verbal questions. In this case, try to use digital tools such as PollEverywhere. You can prepare a quiz (graded or ungraded) beforehand so that you can easily call up the quiz in the lecture.


Monitoring students’ study behaviour

To identify your students who are most at risk for dropping out, take a look at our project Early Warning Signals. In this project, students who demonstrate sub-optimal study behaviour in the first weeks of a course study are identified. By doing so, timely interventions to change their study behaviour can be provided.


Whom to contact? 

Contact your faculty's Embedded Expert from ESI for tailored didactic advice in using these suggestions in your teaching. For technical assistance please contact Nestorsupport.


Last modified: 6 January 12:54 PM
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