This school year, if you’re an executive, teacher, or counselor, this has probably been among your thoughts more than ever. It’s always been vital to check in with pupils. It’s even more important to keep a frequent check on how pupils are doing when patterns are disturbed, and we may not be in the same geographical place as them. Student “check-ins” every two weeks or once a month are a terrific method to get immediate feedback and identify pupils who need extra attention right now—academically, socially, and psychologically. They can also be a useful tool for forming relationships with pupils, especially in a virtual setting.
In the classroom, check-in has a dual purpose and usually takes place in the first 25 to 35 minutes of class. For starters, it allows students to share their fieldwork experiences with one another, notably the frequent ups and downs that come with forming groups in the field. Participation in check-in activities (listening and speaking) provides kids with peer validation. They quickly find that their challenges on the field and in the classroom are not unique. Check-in is facilitated by a teacher (in this example, the author), who also acts as the students’ field advisor.
Check-in is designed to assist students in developing group-work skills and knowledge. Second, students can gain the perspective of being participants of a classroom group as students rather than clients by engaging in check-in. The concurrent approach is stressed during check-in, with emphasis on responsibilities that form in the classroom and how these roles might be transferred to practice situations. The way in which a procedure on one level (such as supervisor-worker) resembles a method on another level (such as worker-client)” is defined as “the way in which a method on one level (such as supervisor-worker) parallels a procedure on another level (such as worker-client).
1. The Relevance of Check-in Questions
Many students mentioned feeling depressed and alone when they transitioned to online surroundings during the outbreak. Face-to-face interactions are a big part of the classroom environment. Students, on the other hand, often felt disconnected without the in-person engagement. Pupils began to drop out in some circumstances. This isn’t unexpected. Researchers Anderson and Garrison established over 20 years ago that performance in an online course was dependent on the student’s connection with the subject, the student’s relationship with the professor, and the student’s relationship with their peers. Students become disengaged when they are unable to connect with their instructor or classmates. As a consequence of this disengagement, students have poorer punctuality, task completion, and achievement. In other words, when pupils don’t interact with others, they learn less and score worse on every parameter imaginable. On a more personal level, children must form bonds with their friends and teachers. Certain individuals who would do well, in reality, struggle to organize their time and get started on their studies when schools switch to remote online classes. They become sidetracked and fail to establish long-term work patterns that will contribute to victory. Students may even fail to attend virtual class meetings or react to emails under this situation. They submit work far later and of lesser quality than they would if they were in a traditional classroom. These kids become disengaged when the teacher is not present, and there is no reminder of accountability. In other words, they are unable to form meaningful connections with the topic, their classmates, and the teacher. However, e-learning does not imply that we must be socially or relationally detached. Teachers might use short check-ins to intentionally create a sense of presence with their students.
These check-ins could be centered on socio-emotional factors like wellbeing, emotional health, and social integration. “How are you doing right now?” or “How are you doing with distant learning?” are examples of this form of check-in. It could also start with a brief exchange about a student’s life, such as “How is a dance going for you?” or “What video games do you enjoy?” These simple inquiries might convey to your pupils that you worry about them and want to know how they are doing. A more in-depth check-in with a student, a carer, and the school counselor or psychologist may be required at other times. In other instances, the check-in may be more scholarly in nature. You might want to ask the students about their blended learning experiences, such as how they are managing their classes, organizing their time, and dealing with the burden. This is frequently when late work or a lack of involvement is addressed. It’s critical to listen first and then assist children in developing a plan of conduct in these situations. In other circumstances, you may want to inquire about social aspects of school, such as how well they get along well with their classmates or how attached they feel to the teaching environment. These intellectual check-ins may be more directly related to class assignments and projects in some situations. You might be able to provide some specific assistance to pupils who are having difficulties. You may need to clarify misunderstandings and give additional materials or scaffolds for students. You could also assist kids in setting and tracking specific academic objectives.
2. Types of Virtual Check INS
You can undertake a social-emotional pulse test as a warm-up activity during your conference call or class meeting. Begin by asking an open-ended question, such as, “How do you handle hybrid learning?” Students may gather in small groups or in the chat room to discuss their responses. Other times, a more organized pulse check can be something like, “Tell me two wins and one letdown for the week.” It can also be innovative, such as having pupils come up with a superhero or band name. Emoji check-ins have been used by some instructors, in which pupils exchange an emoji to signify how they are performing. Others have made an emotions chart that incorporates pop culture references. Others have had kids draw inside of a mind shape or a heart shape to express what’s on their minds or in their hearts. This is highly dependent on the age of the students, the culture of the class, and the subject you are teaching.
Updates on the video: This begins with a video prepared by the teacher. You can do an introductory video of the program and describe how it will operate in the first week. After that, you can make a weekly short movie that shows a sneak peek at what pupils will be doing. These short, unplanned videos, despite being prepared, provide you as a teacher with a sensation of participation. You can then ask students to write an email or complete a survey in response to a specific check-in question.
Video check-ins: While creating videos for students is beneficial; we may also inspire students to make their own video observations and publish them to Flipgrid or email them immediately to the teacher. You might give kids a single prompt or give them a choice of numerous prompts and urge them to choose their own. Students can use video check-ins to show how they’re doing by using mannerisms and voice. The ability to re-record a video, on the other hand, gives them a sense of control over the procedure.
Check-ins with small groups: You can plan small group meetings here and use teleconferencing to meet with groups and assess their progress. You may have students participate in a brainstorming group to discuss their academic goals or project progress. You might also form small groups that serve as a peer advisory/check-in system.
Email check-ins: You can send an email to the entire class with expectations, deadlines, and other information. You may also write each pupil a short email inquiring how they’re doing. If you have 180 pupils in a class, divide them into 18 groups each day and send each student an email every other week. While this may seem daunting, you may make a template and customize it.
Short text check-ins: You can instruct students to use the chat function to send queries or comments while they work on various assignments with this option. Some classes may even use a messaging app like Slack or Voxer to keep check-ins mostly asynchronous.
Surveys: Each week, ask students to complete a course survey in which they can offer their thoughts on their experiences in remote learning or hybrid course. These surveys usually focus on the student’s course experience, but you can include a few questions about social-emotional learning as well. It’s vital to avoid survey fatigue; therefore, keep the questionnaires to a maximum of 3-5 questions.
3. Here are Some of the Check-in Questions that You Can Use
- How are you feeling today?
- What emotion are you feeling the most today?
- What was the best part of the past week for you?
- What was the hardest part of the past week for you?
- What can teachers or other adults at school do to better help you?
- During the past week, how often did you feel [Excited? Happy? Loved? Safe? Hopeful? Angry? Lonely? Sad? Worried? Frustrated?]
- How clearly did I teach things in class today?
- If your friend missed class today and asked you to explain the lesson, what would you tell them?
- What was confusing for you today?
- How much did students in class help each other learn today?
- How included did you feel in class today?
- What was your favorite part of class today?
- What got in the way of your learning today?
- What’s the biggest thing I/you could do better tomorrow to help you learn?
- Do you feel bullied by other students?
- How have you been sleeping recently?
- If we had free breakfast at school, how much would that help you?
- If you could do laundry at school, how much would that help you?
- If you could get free clothes (like jackets and shoes) at school, how much would that help you?