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Keeping Students Accountable During Asynchronous Learning ft. Discussions

Asynchronous learning can help students flourish.

Asynchronous learning is a whole different ball game. Just because our students are digital natives doesn’t mean they’re going to succeed in the digital learning environment. But there are ways that we can create a structured learning environment that prepares our students to flourish in an asynchronous or hybrid environment.

Here are a few tips and tricks that can make that possible, including some ways that using Parlay can help.

Teaching students responsibility and giving them agency.

Student responsibility is a key factor in making sure that all students are actively involved in the processes of their own learning. Preparing your students to be engaged and on top of their own work is the first step to foster accountability.

This can be as simple as giving your students some responsibility in the process of picking what to learnsuch as letting them decide the topic that they’ll be discussing next week, or have them choose the format to present their group project. Give them agency! Allowing them to take ownership of their learning increases motivation and gives them a sense of accomplishment and ownership. If they’ve bought into their own idea, then they’ll show up to make it work.

Activities to practice student agency and accountability.

Have a discussion about it!

A discussion like this one will spark students’ ideas around what makes someone responsible (Use our Online RoundTable Lesson). The importance of responsibility can then be woven into what it means to be a responsible student. Activities like this will help to connect the two ideas togethersupporting student accountability in any learning environment!

Another great discussion that bolsters responsibility is our Classroom Contract discussion. This lesson can be used to set goals that students want to achieve throughout the year—helping to get students invested in their own success, one that they’ve determined for themselves!

Classroom roles

Every week provide a list of roles and the responsibilities that come with them. You can change up who is in these roles each week to give everyone a turn to practice being responsible for classroom functions (this is a great way to develop student understanding of responsibility).

This can also be done online! In Parlay’s Live RoundTable you can choose a student to be the Moderator of the discussion. They will be in charge of making sure the discussion proceeds smoothly as they put students into the queue—making sure everyone gets a turn to share their ideas.

Alternative roles in a discussion could include having a designated “questioner” to push the discussion forward with strategic questions, or a “scribe” to take notes on the quality of the discussion.

Student-generated questions

Give students more responsibilities in conjunction with their learning! Completing homework is one thing, but being part of the creation of how their homework looks enables accountability because they’re invested in making sure that it succeeds. For example…

Have students generate their own questions in relation to something they are learning about. In a 2020 study they found that, “Instructing learners to generate questions based on the learning material also yields medium to large effects on comprehension, recall, and problem solving.” This practice of generating questions becomes an active reflection on the learned content, and it’s also a great way to put students in charge of their learning.

If you’re looking for more ways that you can include methods of structured student responsibility…make sure to check out these links:

We’ve made sure Parlay supports student accountability.

We’ve already mentioned a few scenarios where Parlay supports student accountability. Here are some other key ways we’ve included it in the tool:

1. In the Online RoundTable, in order for students to see what their peers have written, the student must make a contribution themselves. Once the student has written their response to the prompt then they will be able to participate and see what their peers wrote. This puts the onus on them to make sure that they are accountable by participating ahead of time so that they can respond to their peers.

2. Another way Parlay helps teachers to scaffold discussions is our Close Date function. Teachers can set a close date, and send out reminder emails. These emails give students structure and remind them to be accountable to themselves and their peers.

3. Parlay also tracks your students’ engagement and participation in the discussion. Review the ‘Class-wide Summary’ with your students once the discussion is complete. This will be a good reminder that their participation matters.

Round Up

Those were the top ways that you can help support students being more accountable in an asynchronous learning environment! Best of all, they don’t just apply to online learning, they encourage students to be more responsible in all types of classrooms (hybrid, asynchronous, synchronous, online, or in-class).

If you try any of these activities let us know how it goes! Make sure to reach out to us if you have any questions, just click the smiley face in the bottom right hand corner. We look forward to hearing from you! Or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for more discussion-based tips.