2020 has been a challenging year. Almost overnight, Australian schools were told to shut their doors and begin teaching their students remotely. We saw teachers across the country rise to the occasion, taking it all in their stride and despite the difficulties, continue to deliver amazing lessons for their students. At Jacaranda, we are so proud to have played our part in helping Australia schools overcome the hurdles of remote learning and we are here for what’s next.
During the shutdown, our team paid close attention to how teachers and students were using Jacaranda digital resources. We are very excited to share that over this period usage of our digital resources went up four-fold when compared to the previous year.
If you and your students were part of this amazing feat, we hope you have been enjoying using learnON. Recent feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. Many told us how much Jacaranda resources have helped them continue to deliver lessons and assign work, keep track of student progress and maintain stability. More so, teachers are now more ready than ever to continue their digital learning journey and utilise the new skills they learned while teaching online.
It’s clear the Jacaranda learnON platform has helped progress digital learning in Australia, but what’s next?
In the 2019 school year, Jacaranda launched a series of updates to improve the learnON platform and better serve those who use our resources to teach and learn every day. These improvements stemmed from countless school visits around the day-to-day challenges teachers and students face and what they need from an online learning platform. We would like to thank everyone who gave us their truly invaluable insights.
But the conversation didn’t end there. We kept seeking feedback and thinking of new ways to make learnON an even more powerful learning tool for Australian classrooms. With that said, we are thrilled to announce the newest learnON improvements that are now live and what’s coming for 2021. These 2020-2021 updates are designed to empower teachers and captivate learners with new and improved digital functionalities.
Here are the exciting new learnON updates coming soon for the 2021 school year:
- View content and questions in one screen with a double page-spread
- Override students marks for auto-marked questions
- Teachers can mark students student-selected questions
From the 2020 school year and beyond, you can now:
- Connect to students and manage classes more easily
- View important class details at a glance
- Customise your course to suit your schools’ unique needs
- Create subgroups for easy differentiation
- Allow students to self-mark during independent study
- Allow students to check their teacher-assigned work before submitting
And expect a much smoother assignment creation and management experience, with the ability to:
- Re-assign previous assignments and make new assignments ahead of time
- Auto-assign assignments to new students entering your class
- Assign work to multiple classes at once
- Remove or add students to active assignments
Now, let’s unpack these new features coming in 2021:
1. View content and questions in one screen with a double page-spread
Teachers and students told us they wanted to be able to view content and questions all on the one screen. In response, we will be launching the brand-new learnON Lesson View!
This double-page spread transforms every topic into a ready-made lesson, with content and interactive tools on one side and questions on the other. It mimics how you view a traditional printed textbook, with the added bonus of additional interactives, videos and questions with immediate feedback all at the point of learning.
2. Override students marks for auto-marked questions
Teachers want greater flexibility and control over their student’s marks in learnON, so we are excited to give you the ability to override marks for questions that are automatically marked.
3. Teachers can mark student-selected questions
We know that sometimes teachers prefer to verbally assign work in learnON, rather than setting up a test and assigning it. Also, some students like to complete extra independent study but still want feedback from their teacher.
To support these teachers and students, we have added a new feature that allows teachers to give feedback for questions that were not assigned within learnON or completed as self-study by students.
And here are the recent updates already live in learnON for 2020:
4. Easily connect to students and manage classes
In learnON, teachers have always been able to connect to their students and manage classes – but in this update we’ve made it a much more seamless user experience.
Now, you can create new classes, connect to students and manage classes all in the one screen in the updated Class Manager section.
5. View important class details at a glance
The dashboard is the first screen you see when you open your learnON title, so we wanted to ensure it includes a range of important class details and handy shortcuts.
The enhanced dashboard is now the perfect jumping-off point for accessing recently viewed content, along with viewing the who and how many students, teachers and groups are within your selected groups.
You can also use the shortcuts to manage your classes and connect to your students with the unique class code displayed on the dashboard.
6. Customise your course to suit your schools’ unique needs
Many teachers told us they wanted to be able to customise the course content to meet the unique needs of their school and students. Now, you can hide (and un-hide) topics or subtopics – in one click.
This means, your students will only see the content that they need to learn right now – helping to pave a clear and concise path through the course.
7. Create subgroups for easy differentiation
We understand there is a huge range of abilities in every classroom – and that this means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to learning.
To support you to differentiate learning for students or student groups, you can now easily create, change and manage subgroups within your classes. When you set up groups, you can create and assign tailored assignments to suit the learning needs of those students.
8. Allow students to self-mark during independent study
Students now have the choice to self-mark manually marked questions during their independent study, which were previously left unmarked. This feature is great for those highly motivated students who strive to achieve the perfect score.
9. Allow students to check their teacher-assigned work before submitting
Students also told us they wanted to be able to double-check, and change, their answers before submitting their teacher-assigned questions.
Now, if students navigate away from a question, their work will be saved rather than automatically submitted to their teacher. When they are ready to submit, students simply select ‘Submit’ at the question level, or ‘Finish and submit’ at the assignment level.
Plus, we have made updates to the assignment section:
10. Reuse past assignments and prepare new assignments ahead of time
A huge amount of time and energy goes into preparing classwork, tests and assignments.
In the new and improved assignment section, you can re-assign your past assignments saving you plenty of time and energy when preparing for a new school year.
You can also prepare assignments ahead of time and assign them to classes in advance, even if students have not yet joined. This means you can have a whole term (or even year!) worth of assignments ready to go before it even begins!
11. Auto-assign assignments to new students entering your class
Teachers told us their classes can sometimes change throughout the year – and it can be difficult get new students caught up on their classwork and assignments.
To ensure these students are effortlessly integrated into the class, you now have the option to auto-assign assignments – and as long as the due date hasn’t passed – it will automatically be sent to any new student who joins that class in learnON.
12. Assign work to multiple classes at once
Previously in learnON, teachers could only assign to the class they were currently working in. Teachers told us they wanted the flexibility to assign to multiple classes at once.
That’s why we have streamlined the assigning process, so you can now assign to more than one class or subgroups at a time – saving you plenty of time from going back and forth between classes.
13. Remove or add students to active assignments
Things change, and sometimes you need the ability to go back into active assignments and add or remove students – so, we’ve gone ahead and added that functionality into learnON! You can even remove an entire class if necessary.
So far, feedback on the new and improved learnON has been very positive, but you know what they say, there is always room for improvement – right? Well we agree, so the upgrades don’t stop here! We plan to launch more updates throughout 2021 and will continue to seek feedback to make the platform even better.
We hope you’re as excited for these updates as we are to share them with you! If you are interested in hearing more details, booking a demonstration or would like to provide feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Jacaranda Education Consultant.