It’s that time of the year. Teachers have finished writing reports and are catching up on all the other teacher related tasks that have been neglected for the past 5 weeks (as well as reclaiming their weekends!). I calculated that I have written nearly 20,000 words in report comments. Do parents read those comments and understand how well I know their child and the growth in their learning throughout the year? Or, do they just look at the grades with no perspective of what their child did to demonstrate mastery of that concept? Of course, portfolios help here but do parents really know how to cross-check between the portfolio and the report? I wonder if the time that teachers spend writing reports is in equal balance with the time that parents spend reading the reports?
Report writing time is a lovely time to reflect on the growth of students throughout the year as well as identify gaps that need to be addressed in whole class and individual learning. But, is there a better way?
Many schools have ventured down the continuous, online reporting path. Some are further along than others and some are just beginning to dip their toes into this new world, one in which teachers and parents develop even closer partnerships in the quest to further student learning.
There are are so many benefits of continuous online reporting:
- Parents receive information about their child’s learning in (almost) real time.
- It encourages more regular dialogue between parents, teachers and students.
- Report data is more readily available to be used by teachers to inform the next steps of student learning.
- Students can act on the feedback from summative assessment and use it to inform future learning.
- The report and its process is more meaningful when compared to end of semester reporting because of the ongoing nature.
- Although it consists of the same amount of work for teachers (perhaps more at the beginning), the workload is spread out across the year.
As with any new system, particularly one involving technology, there are many aspects to consider but there certainly seems to be a plethora of ready-made options out there. Which begs the question, why aren’t more schools diving into the deep end with continuous online reporting?
What does reporting look like in your school?