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How could you prepare your students for success?

Explore ways to support your students with study engagement plans, a central place for sharing content and creating community.
An image showing a study space and the tools a learner may have
© FutureLearn
In the last step you started to focus on who your students are. Establishing a picture of your students should mean you’re more ready to support them with appropriate materials or ideas and make sure that what you’re communicating is sufficiently graded, relevant, and useful.

What could you get going in twenty minutes?

We know you’re short of time. In the Downloads section you’ll see some 20 minute tasks (.pdf, .docx or Google Doc formats – for Google Docs please save a copy – you do not need to request ‘edit access’) with practical ideas to get going with each of the following three areas:

1) Create and share a study/engagement/task plan with key dates and times

Knowing what is coming up and when it’s happening is important to every student. Set clear expectations in terms of the amount of time required for both directed and self-directed learning activities each week.
Diana Laurillard, UCL Institute of Education: “Help [students] with planning the time it takes to do what it takes to learn.”
Professor Mark Brown, DCU: ”Make sure they have enough time. Set clear expectations in terms of the amount of time required for both directed and self-directed learning activities each week. Ensure your students understand whether they have enough time to continue their online study on top of existing commitments, particularly in light of changing circumstance.”
Even if you can only plan one week ahead, it will help keep everyone on track.
Keeping resources in one place means students know where to find extra digital literacy information, pastoral or study support.
Amy Icke, Girls’ Day School Trust: “Visuals to help explain logging in process etc – a short video or screenshots can be much more effective than written instructions.”
Cat Scutt, Chartered College of Teaching: “It can be easy to assume that those who have grown up with technology, in particular, know how to use it for learning – but using social media is not the same as productive use of technology for learning.”

3) Create community and collegiality

When communicating with your learners, consider (while adhering to institutional guidelines and appropriacy) how you can build connections between yourself and your students, as well as encouraging student-to-student connections.
Hannah Tyreman, Chartered College of Teaching: “The methods you choose should take into account the age and nature of the learners you’re working with as well as all necessary safeguarding considerations. You may send an email, social media message, or text each morning or perhaps a newsletter summary at the start of the week instead.”

Your task (10-15 mins)

We have shared a few simple ideas above that could help support or engage with your students, and prepare them for success as they transition to online learning. You’ll find the 20 minute task ideas and other linked resources to explore at the bottom of this step.
What other student support ideas or resources do you have? Please share, read and respond.
© FutureLearn
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