"We will be the best and most forward-thinking high school in Norway" – this is the ambitious vision Akademiet Bergen has set for itself. Modern teaching methods are part of the project, and according to Managing Director Terje Risa, itslearning is the "pedagogical glue" that contributes to keeping teaching at Akademiet at a high level.
Terje describes itslearning as the school's "business system" – which says something about the place the platform has in everyday life at Akademiet Bergen. All teachers have to be capable users of itslearning. "As for all business systems it is paramount that everyone in the organisation uses it," Terje explains.
Leading by example
The MD himself leads by example and is an expert itslearning user. The management also has clear demands as to how the teachers should use the platform:
- All teachers must use itslearning in all subjects.
- All lessons must be planned in itslearning at least three days in advance. The plans could include the topic, links, exercises etc.
- All lessons must be registered in the calendar with links to resources.
- All lessons, exercises and resources must be linked to the curriculum.
- After each lesson, notes from the electronic whiteboards must be saved in the course and linked from the calendar.
The benefits of this systematic use are obvious: "itslearning makes planning, assessment, reporting and documenting much easier and contributes highly to fulfilling demands for documentation imposed on schools by law", Terje says.
Impressed foreign guests
A group of Dutch school managers visiting Akademiet Bergen earlier this autumn were highly impressed by the school's systematic use of itslearning. After speaking to the school management, teachers and students, the guests concluded that itslearning seemed as natural here as water coming out of the tap!
One example: digital maths tests
As an example of how itslearning is used to improve the students' understanding of a subject, Terje mentions the use of randomised maths tests. "These are optional tests offered to the students," he explains. The students can take the tests several times and they get different exercises each time. This also makes it impossible for them to copy from each other.
"For the students, the main benefit of these tests is the immediate response they get because we use automatic correction," Terje says. "The teachers, on the other hand, save time because the test can be used an unlimited number of times."