As countries around the world recover from the impact of COVID-19, at Schoolbox, we’ve been reflecting on our learnings during this unprecedented time.
For the last few years, we’ve been deepening the capabilities of our learning management system (LMS) to better track and measure student progression over the course of the year. This work culminated in the delivery of our new continuous grades card at the beginning of 2020.
As we refocus our development on the things that make the most difference to our schools, we wanted to share with you our roadmap for the second half of 2020.
Capturing learning moments
One size just doesn’t fit all. This is especially true in the case of our primary school students. Recognising that formal assessment with rubrics doesn’t always fit the primary school model, we have also decided to focus our time this year on making Schoolbox work for your younger learners.
To enhance the abilities of Schoolbox to track students’ progress in the primary school context, we will be developing another new feature to capture student learning. Understanding that a student’s progression is best captured with evidence, we wanted to simplify Schoolbox content sharing capabilities. So, later this year, we will deliver a new evidence capture feature that will allow students and teachers to quickly attach mixed modal examples of students’ learning to their profile page.
Empowering all learners
Our strong belief is that students should be empowered to achieve their own goals. These goals can often go well beyond the classroom, into 21st century skills, cross disciplinary competencies and behaviours. To enable this, the second half of the year will be dedicated to a number of enhancements.
We will be working to implement a micro-credentialing system that will allow schools to create and award student achievements. These can be used to better understand the whole student, and additionally can be mapped to curriculum standards.
Once achievements are developed, the teacher or student will be able to assign these as goals and have them awarded as the student demonstrates the capability. This will then open a whole new way to track student progression and competencies, beyond the traditional assessment. These goals will have the added benefit of students being able to self-assess and take ownership of their learning.
Part of empowering students is to take learning outside the classroom and accordingly, these features will also be developed to showcase achievements beyond the classroom context, enabling true multidisciplinary use cases and concepts to be captured. Teachers will have the ability to manage and maintain student achievements simply and effectively.
Grades card: visibility on a per year level basis
While the continuous grades card has been a great success, it hasn’t always reflected the multiple ways that schools assess across differing year levels. So, in the next few months, we will be focussing on the ability to configure the grades card on a per year level basis. With this enhancement, you will be able to create different visualisations, overall calculations and layouts for different stages within your school.
Enhancements to the Calendar
A big focus for us this year has been developing students to become independent learners and allowing them more freedom to express themselves. Beyond the ability to set their own goals, we are now looking to enhance the calendar system to enable students to proactively schedule time with teachers, other students or book themselves into tutorials or study sessions.
The enhancements to the calendar will also enable a range of new workflows related to attendance of events like parent teacher conferences, music lessons, school events and extra-curricular activities.
During school closure, we were confronted with crucial technical learnings and one that came to the forefront was that the future for many schools is a cloud based solution. So, from a technical perspective, behind the scenes, we will continue to work on making the transition to cloud based Schoolbox as smooth as possible. In particular, we will focus on the strategies below in the coming months.
- Implement API based SIS connectors as a priority, to enable cloud based connectivity to SIS data.
- Optimise our content delivery to utilise highly scalable and localised CDNs.
- Enable hybrid cloud solutions and build migration tools to ease the transition to cloud based storage.
- Improve the scalability of our cloud based environment.
As always, our roadmap is shaped by your feedback and support. We thank all of you for participating in this partnership and look forward to the road ahead.
We hope to continue to deliver value in the areas you need most in what remains of 2020. If you would like to speak with a Schoolbox expert, get in touch today!