Onboarding: Strategy 2

Continuing our series with the 10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning

2. Assess Needs and Interests

With a new group of students, there are several assessments that can provide a teacher with baseline information:

-Knowledge and Skills Pre-Tests
  • -Personal Learning Survey
  • -Icebreakers and Inclusion Activities
-Goals Setting and Personal Reflection - KWL

One of the first things teachers often do when launching a new class are icebreakers and inclusion activities. These might include asking students to think/pair/share how they spent their summer, respond to a prompt, create a slide that represents five things about them, or doing a quick introductory video.

An onboarding unit can include these “get to know you” activities for students to begin to create an inclusive learning environment. One way to find out more about your students is to use a personal learning or interest survey. Create the survey in Google or Excel Forms and include questions about likes, dislikes, favorite book or movie, how you like to learn, what you do in your spare time, and what you did over your summer vacation.  Another option is to ask students to introduce themselves in the discussion board or a Flipgrid, then reply to 2-3 of their peers. To make sure you get to the information you need, provide guidelines about what should be included.

An onboarding unit can also help establish baselines in your classroom by pre-assessing basic skills. An onboarding unit can also include a skills pre-assessment to determine where students are at in their learning journey. Pre-assessments might be for basic technology, math, writing, or reading skills to name just a few – or even based on their exit tests from the previous grade.

  1. Think about the way you assess the needs of your students. What can you add to an onboarding experience for your students that would assess skills and interests, or set learning goals? If you are taking notes, jot down some ideas before moving on to the next part of our 10 strategy journey.  

Next, let's talk about Strategy 3 - Be Inclusive



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