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How often should schools check in

How often should schools check in

In short, we like three times a term. The start, middle and end of term. This is a light touch, high impact approach that works well for schools. To be clear, this does not mean other approaches can’t also work, but we are confident that this approach will work well for you. Here’s why we believe in it.

It’s great for engagement

This applies for both teachers and students. By spacing it out, students and staff treat each check-in as an opportunity. Students are motivated to engage with the check-in by sharing what’s on their mind, while teachers are motivated to view the check-in responses to see how their students are travelling since the last check-in occurred.

Case study: One school using Skodel runs check-ins three times a term and asks a different open ended question each time. By varying up the open ended question, students share different aspects of their lives e.g. Are you working on any goals outside of class? What’s the best advice you’ve received? What’s one thing you are proud of this term?. Each question presents an opportunity to get to know a different side of the student and students appreciate the interesting set of questions.

It’s simple to manage and produces a rich body of data

If each check-in takes a few minutes to complete then that is less than 10 minutes spent checking in each term. Despite the short amount of time spent, schools can build up an insightful bank of longitudinal data. Let’s say you have 400 students and a 50% completion rate for check-ins, that’s 2,400 pieces of student feedback relating to their wellbeing each year. This can inform schools of how students are feeling throughout different times of the year and under different contexts, what the main drivers of those feelings are, where resources are needed and see which programs are resonating well with students.

Case study: Schools using Skodel have named check-ins by theme and date e.g. Goals Start of Term 1 2021. They have then run a comparative analysis of the same check-in theme at different time periods. For example, Goals Start of Term 1 2020 vs Goals Start of Term 1 2021 to gather qualitative and quantitative data on how student wellbeing and engagement has changed over time under different circumstances.

It’s light touch, high impact

While check-ins give students an outlet to quickly and safely flag issues such as bullying, they’re also a moment for self discovery. Everyone can benefit from this. With three check-ins a term, students are encouraged to invest more time into this with each check-in. Rarely do we give much thought to our feelings, why they are there, what to do with them and what steps we can take to plan our way towards better wellbeing. A check-in, if taken seriously, is a moment to do this. Below is how Skodel does this with each check-in.

Each check-in finishes with a complete check-in screen that reflects student feelings (e.g. worry) and experiences (exam stress) back to them. This screen then encourages students to learn more about these feelings and experiences, and how each of these feelings can be used as a force for good through personalised coaching. It is based on Andrew Fuller’s book, ‘The A to Z of feelings - Making your emotions work for you, not against you!’. The aim is to help each individual identify a tiny change they can make in their life to lead a more rewarding and fulfilling life. Each check-in becomes an opportunity to discover more about who they are and how they can plan their way towards better wellbeing.

A voice that is heard.

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