Connecting with students to maximise class participation

As I am teaching 1st year unit of study with a very large number of students, my challenge is that many of my students may not know what to prepare before they come to the workshops or tutorials. First-year students may be unfamiliar with different university’s systems and platforms, and so they may not see relevant announcements to help them prepare for class. With the use of SRES, I can personalise the emails I send to my students, and I send weekly reminders so that students know how to prepare for class’s activities and maximise their participation marks.

Since using personalised emails and weekly reminders, I can see significant improvements in class discussions. This is probably because many students have completed relevant readings or revised the lecture slides prior coming to the workshops/tutorials. Not only does the level of class discussions increases, but there is also an increase in the diversity of participants. Students who speak English as second language are also willing to participate.

The SRES system tells me that 60% of my students read my weekly reminder emails. Knowing that more than half of students in the room already know what’s going on, I feel more confident in running the class. In each weekly email, I have a question at the bottom asking students if they think the email is useful. 100% of people who respond to that question agree that my weekly reminders are indeed useful for them. In class, my students tell me that they really like the weekly reminders I sent, and they think it should be implemented throughout the whole business school or university-wide.

As students constantly ask for more feedback regarding their performance in the class and want more interaction with teaching staff, and as academics are getting busier and busier, I highly recommend SRES to any teacher who does not want to sacrifice the communication with their students due to the heavy workload. SRES can get the job done very easily and quickly, and more importantly, students do appreciate your effort because your communication to them is personalised.

Award-winning approach

2022 Exemplar in Jisc Principles of good assessment and feedback report
 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Learning Analytics exemplar
2020 Reimagine Education ICT Tools for Learning and Teaching Award Gold Winner
2019 Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
2019 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Analytics Technology exemplar
2017 Pearson ACODE Award for Innovation in Technology Enhanced Learning
2016 ASCILITE Innovation Award winner
2015 Reimagine Education ICT Tools Awards (Finalist)
2015 ASCILITE Awards for Excellence in Learning Analytics (Finalist)

Made by teachers, with love
We are teachers. We work on the SRES in our spare time, without any funding, because we believe in enhancing teacher-student relationships by using data in a meaningful and context-sensitive way.