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  • Stephanie Haynes

Building Student Accountability in Virtual Assignments


Many of you educators are facing finishing out the rest of the school year virtually while others have not had their entire year cancelled yet. You have been navigating how to move all your curriculum onto an online platform and still effectively educate your students.


You have worked so hard all year to build engaging lessons and develop meaningful relationships with your students and you now have to somehow transfer all of that into Google classroom posts, ZOOM class chats (when you can get everyone to show up) and online assignments.


And balance all that with taking care of your family who is also experiencing a shift in their normal lives as well.


As an educator, parent, and entrepreneur I can appreciate that struggle.


I wonder if, in the middle of April, you are looking for new ideas for helping your students to continue developing accountability in order to finish the year strong as well as develop a meaningful connection to what they are learning in the vacuum of their own homes.


This week I would like to share some strategies I have used in my own classrooms (both in schools and at home) to help my students build accountability in the hopes that they might give you some new inspiration in lesson planning and give you a break from having to create everything for your students.


How to build accountability in your virtual assignments:

  1. Invite students to create their own assignment to demonstrate mastery/understanding of a particular concept. The idea here is to identify a particular concept you want them to focus on and have them develop a way unique to them that allows them to share what they know.

  2. Offer multiple possibilities in completing a particular assignment. Let's say you are going to assign work on a particular concept. Instead of asking for only one way for students to demonstrate their knowledge, offer several that involve different learning styles.

  3. Allow students to create resources to teach their classmates about a particular concept or several topics in a unit. After teaching a concept, ask students to create resources to help their classmates learn it differently or even to use to prepare for an assessment.

  4. For year-end review: Assign review concepts to students and have them do a live teaching on the topic. Create specific guidelines for presentations and what exactly to cover and then have your students create a lesson to review the topic they are assigned/choose to share with the class via Google Hangout or in a recorded Powerpoint or video they share to Google Classroom (or any other digital classroom you are using)

  5. Assign a creative exploration of the impact of our current time on their lives/futures. Have students process their thoughts, emotions and reactions to the COVID-19 season of their lives.


This may not be how any of you wanted to end your school year. You worked hard to build up your students, develop your classroom and create engaging lessons. However, as all educators know, ours is a profession that is always growing and changing.


You've got this. You are effective with your students. You are still changing the world, even from behind a computer screen.


What other ideas do you have? Please share!


One last thing... I am her to help you. I am a certified Coach with a strong education background (15+ years of teaching). I would love to walk alongside you as your coach as you work to navigate this season of teaching. In April I am offering of to three free individual sessions to Teachers and Educational Leaders. Schedule your free sessions today!

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Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
stephanie@stephaniehaynes.net
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