Once you've gotten the hang of creating tasks, they have the potential to become an invaluable tool in your remote teaching strategies.
In this guide, we'll step you through how to leverage tasks as a flexible solution while you're not in the classroom together. You'll soon be able to use them to boost your students engagement as well as results.
1. Are timely and specific
When creating tasks, make sure that the due dates match your remote class teaching schedule. This ensures that tasks are always relevant to what your students are learning in class, reinforcing and extending their understanding.
2. Promote active learning
With every task, you have the option to add instructions to guide your students. Not only is this useful in lieu of face-to-face classes, but this can be a great opportunity to kickstart your students' higher-order thinking and promote active learning. You could use personalised instructions to highlight particular sections of the lesson that students should focus on, add some active recall questions or even seed your remote-class discussion with an intriguing follow up question. The very best tasks deeply engage students in critical thinking and self-reflection, enabling them to log into your class ready to engage and contribute.
You can even paste in a link to external resources such as a survey, further reading materials or worksheets. Feel free to get creative!
3. Are well-paced
It can often be tempting to operate in bulk, taking an entire topic or two of lessons and creating tasks due on the day before the next assessment. However, if left to their own devices, many students will procrastinate until the very last minute. Setting due dates at a consistent and achievable tempo allows students to stay on track, avoid large fluctuations in workload and understand where there are issues early, while there is still time to address them.
4. Are followed up
Tasks should be a powerful tool in speeding up the feedback loop between teacher and student. As such, they'll be invaluable in keeping across your students progress whilst remote. Great tasks don't just provide informative data, they help dynamically change teaching practice.
- If the data suggests that some of your students are falling behind and not completing their work, make sure you follow up.
- If your class is weak in a particular topic, adjust your dates to spend a bit more time where it's needed.
- If individuals require extra support, arrange one-on-one or group interventions.
The very best tasks aren't just cast aside when the due date passes, they inform and promote future actions to make your classroom more efficient and effective.
5. Are unique to you
Last but not least, it's important to remember that few things will have a larger quantitative impact on your students' performance than having a positive relationship with their teacher. Rather than making tasks just about marching through the course, feel free to inject your passion, enthusiasm, and personality into your assignments. When your students know you're invested in their happiness and success, it's easy for them to do the same.