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Four ways to improve your students itslearning experience

Horten videregående skole (Further Education College) is a leading light in Norway’s push to increase the use of IT in schools. In 2009, the College conducted a survey of all students and teachers to find out how it can get the best out of itslearning…here’s what they found out.

About Horten Further Education College
A Norwegian national demonstration school in the use of IT in education, Horten Further Education College has around 220 teachers and more than 1200 students. It has two teaching sites in close proximity and students can follow a wide range of subjects, from biology to hairdressing.
Maths teacher Kjetil Idås is responsible for ensuring that Horten Further Education College in Norway makes the most of its IT resources – and he was the person behind the itslearning survey in 2009. Following the survey, the College has changed how it uses the program, and today every teacher in the College uses itslearning to communicate and share resources with students. So, how did the College manage to get adoption rates up to 100%?

1. Make sure every teacher uses at least the basic itslearning functions

Not every teacher is computer savvy – and most schools find that some teachers just don’t adapt to a new learning platform. The College’s answer was to set up a simple set of ‘basic user requirements’ that every teacher must comply with:

2. Give all teachers the same simple structure

Most students study with a number of teachers, and it can get confusing if teachers organise information in itslearning differently. So, the College has created a simple structure for files, news and calendar events that every teacher can – and must – follow. Some teachers may choose to add more files, links and information, but they should still stick to the basic format.

3. Don’t publish too much

One of the biggest complaints that students had was that many teachers published too much information on their course Bulletin Board. As a result, students often missed the important news. The same applied to links and extra content. Some teachers were posting four or five extra articles, links or videos for extra reading after each class – and the students just couldn’t keep up. So, teachers are encouraged to only publish the most important information and extra resources.

4. Students need (20 minutes) training

While most new students are more computer literate than the average teacher, they still need a basic introduction to the itslearning system to ensure everyone knows what it is and why they should use it. Today, every new student at the College attends an IT Orientation class at the start of the year, including a 20-minute introduction to itslearning.

Kjetil believes this introduction is essential for the success of the system. “There’s no point in a teacher putting information on itslearning if the students aren’t using the system. The orientation class is a way to get students actively using it’s learning right from the start of their time here.”

Read more user stories

How do others benefit from using itslearning? Read more user stories to find out.

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