Once your school has invested in an LMS such as Blackbaud Learning Management SystemTM, it’s critical to get teachers in alignment with managing class pages to provide a consistent educational experience for students. At Blackbaud K–12’s recent User Conference, Sandy Sutty, the technology integration coordinator and upper school librarian at Sanford School, shared the following advice for successfully getting teachers to create engaging class pages.
1. Organize professional development.
Making class-page training part of dedicated professional development is essential to empowering teachers and communicating the school’s commitment to maintaining quality standards. Sutty recommends the following:
- Start by creating training documentation such as .pdfs, Google Docs, or videos with screenshots and step-by-step instructions. You can use Blackbaud’s Knowledge Base for inspiration, and it’s important to publish training documentation in a central location such as a training group or a resource board in Blackbaud’s LMS.
- Schedule training during the school’s planned professional development days, but before you do, first onboard a select group of savvy and enthusiastic teachers who can serve as mentors. Provide lunch and refreshments throughout the day to incentivize trainees and keep them focused. Also, set up ongoing training sessions for refreshers and to get new faculty members up to speed.
- Deliver training to like-minded groups to keep teachers focused on the information that’s relevant to them. Sutty has found that organizing trainings by grade level for pre-school through sixth grade and by the academic department for grades 7–12 provides the right mix.
2. Set expectations.
Start training sessions by setting the expectations and explaining why the requirements are in place. Teachers that understand the big picture are more apt to go with the flow. For each division, create a detailed checklist of the required course management items from the syllabus to grading rubrics and publish it with the training documentation as a quick-guide reference.
3. Provide inspiration.
Create sample course pages and provide ongoing inspiration through an idea board or a weekly tech-tip email. Showcase fun things teachers are doing with their class pages and provide examples such as embedding a Google Slideshow or a video on the page to welcome students, weekly photos, and posting regular letters to parents.
4. Perform checks and balances.
Run reports to check grade books and other aspects of course pages to ensure teachers are meeting the requirements. Provide friendly email reminders and offer one-on-one training for those who are falling behind.
Is your school ready for competency-based education (CBE)?
Learn why CBE is replacing traditional forms of assessment to help students develop the necessary skills to succeed in our free eBook, Individualizing Student Learning with Competency-Based Education.