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A classroom full of prepared students

Marjolein Haagsman

“These days, I know ahead of time what my students need explained”

Student Jorrit Sijl

“Teachers should expect me to prepare properly: Challenge me!”

But how?

There is a broadly applicable saying that is especially apt in education: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. When your students fail to prepare, you end up wasting your classes repeating the textbook to students who don’t understand you because they lack the basics. There is nothing more frustrating or more recognizable to students and teachers alike.

By redesigning your course and implementing online tools, you can make this a thing of the past!

The preparation

Preparation normally consists of acquiring knowledge through reading, listening or viewing educational material. These may include articles, knowledge clips, animations or podcasts. If you would like your students to be more engaged with their preparation, you could enrich your materials or make them interactive. You could use Xerte to create your own e-modules linking your exercises and information. The student can be given instant feedback and the learning analytics from these online tools will show you how your students did and what exercises they struggled with. That means you can focus on those problem areas in your classroom teaching and build on the knowledge your students gained in their preparation.

There are other types of exercises you can use to prepare your students. Have them write an essay, then use Peergrade to give each other feedback or have them practice interview techniques with TrainTool in preparation for a classroom roleplaying exercise.

Whatever form of preparation you choose, make sure you’re not asking too much of your students, that you have made your expectations clear to them and that the exercises align with your learning objectives and your classroom activities. This will clear the way for deep learning in class.

The classroom

One thing that comes up a lot in our conversations with teachers is that many of their students still show up to class unprepared and so they feel they have no options but to go over (part of) the basics again. Unfortunately, this tends to vindicate the students who don’t prepare and demotivate the students who do. So what is a teacher to do? Ensure that your classroom activities make the most of your students’ preparation and avoid the trap of repetition.

Let's work together!

Are you interested in using Xerte, Peergrade or TrainTool? Are you curious about what else we have to offer? Come check out our tool guide.

Throughout the year, we offer workshops, online training and blended courses. Visit Educate-it Academy to browse our full listing for a training that will benefit you.

If you’re unsure where to start or how to continue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll work together to determine what tools will most benefit your teaching and how we can help you implement them.