We were recently speaking with a high school chemistry teacher about how she measures student participation. During that conversation, she made what I found to be a great point. She said that she tracked participation differently for each student. I don’t remember the exact words, but she said something like,
For one student in particular, she never raises her hand in class. However, she is very engaged in class and I notice her participation via tons of different behavioral and nonverbal cues.
I love that idea; the idea that participation can be defined differently for different learners. However, I worry that, with less attentive teachers or larger class sizes, these cues might often go unnoticed.
So one of the things we’re trying to do is bring transparency and visibility into the learning process. And that manifests in two ways.
For teachers, we want to provide data and insights that might help to improve the classroom experience. Data points like questions asked, questions followed, answers provided, and answers saved can tell you a lot about what’s happening in a class room. How does that activity look over time? Are there tons of questions, but few answers related to a particular topic?
For students, we want to provide transparency into the questions that other students are asking. It’s our belief that learners become teachers in the development of their competence. Therefore, students providing answers to other students’ questions helps develop their own mastery of the subject matter. Further, seeing questions from other students might help an individual to craft their own.
-Jeremy & Jake