3 Tools and Interventions for Easy Visible Learning

1. Software for RtI: Consider one of Hattie’s top performers, Response to Intervention. RtI once required binders full of intervention plans and folders full of tracking graphs to manage. Now we have software to make content searchable and shareable, not to mention data tracking tools that graph progress over time (with slope) for us. What once took teams of educators, reams of paper and hours of time can be done with the click of a trackpad.

2. Personalized Learning Programs: Another impactful intervention is acceleration. It’s a given that our classrooms are not homogenous. Each student progresses through curriculum differently and we know the ideal would be to individualize time, place, path or pace for each student. In the past, we’ve been hampered by our ability to manage 30 different students’ learning pathways. Many of us would provide depth or breadth material for students to consume in isolation. Today, software scaffolds our teachers’ professional insights by allowing students to move through pre-planned, rich, engaging and rigorous curriculum when the individual student is ready without requiring the teacher to pause the whole class.

3. Online Learning: Finally, consider classroom discussion. Hattie’s research made clear that peer discussions are one of the most impactful activities that can happen in a classroom, but the management overhead for teachers can still be daunting. How do we ensure everyone participates, is engaged, stays on task, doesn’t become a behavior problem and feels safe expressing their views? A typical class period might only allow enough time for a handful of students to speak out loud. Online forums, however, enable the kind of back-channel chat where everyone can have a voice. We can even extend the discussion outside regular class hours and beyond the walls of the school.

Our teachers and students do so many amazing things in our classrooms every day. We also do a lot of things just because we’ve always done them that way.

Our challenge today is to take what Hattie has shown us works best and examine our practices in the light of what’s newly possible. Small shifts day-to-day could lead to dramatically enhanced achievement for students and better work-life balance for teachers.

Not a bad deal, when you think about it.

About the Author:

Hilary Scharton is VP of K–12 at Instructure.