CambriLearn has just launched its new online monitoring platform – the Student Tracker. Demand for this product from parents, guardians and tutor centres alike has been high and now it has finally arrived, it means that a student’s progress can be closely monitored. Just imagine, you will be able to keep tabs on all the subjects your child or your learners are subscribed to. You will know exactly how they are doing and how much of the course they have completed. Our records show that students who have an involved parent over the course of their homeschooling years, tend to perform better in terms of workload management and marks achieved. This is because the parent is helping to monitor and motivate their child. The Student Tracker will now better help you to help them!
A traditional-type school is very structured – daily, weekly and term timetables are all planned out for the student. There is not much choice but for the student to follow this structure. Moreover, the physical presence of a teacher in a classroom setting ensures the student adheres to this structure. As an online teacher, I am always aware of the struggles students have with distance learning. They have to organise their own timetables, keep to their daily workload, and get to grips with technology they may not be familiar with. They also need to track which assignments they have done and submitted for particular subjects, and which they have received back with marks and comments. And this is why students who have an involved parent tend to perform better. This does not mean that the parent has to take on the role of a teacher; it simply means taking an interest in how their child is progressing and making sure they are sticking to a set timetable. This may be difficult for working parents to implement but one way of getting around this is to subscribe to CambriLearn’s new Student Tracker feature.
Welcome to the Student Tracker
The Student Tracker gives parents, guardians and tutor centres an ongoing insight into a student’s progress on CambriLearn (Important to note: This feature is only available on courses with a Premium Subscription). Parental involvement is a vital element in the success of homeschooling and parents will now be able to monitor, evaluate and facilitate a student’s progress. Parents, guardians and tutor centres will be able to create a unique account linked to a relevant student(s).
This account will give them an overview of:
- Course averages – based on marked assignments
- Course progress – shows how far the student has progressed through the learning material
- Assignment progress – shows the number of assignments completed to date
- Subscription duration – shows how far the student is through the 12-month subscription
- Teacher information for each subject
- Number of days active per month
- Number of lessons completed per month
- Number of Q & A group sessions attended per month
- Number of live chats with teachers per month
For a comprehensive explanation of all the features on the Student Tracker, please watch the following video:
What parent involvement in homeschooling should look like
According to education experts, Fenton & McFarland, “parent involvement in children’s home learning can be fostered in a variety of ways, including:
- asking questions about what children are learning, encouraging and supporting children to complete homework;
- helping to teach organisational and self-study skills, such as keeping notebooks organised, and creating time and space for learning activities;
- showing an interest in children’s learning, listening to them talk about their day;
- engaging with the information distributed by schools (via Facebook, email, website, etc); and
- providing access to learning resources, such as trips to the library, access to internet, and materials to complete homework.
Most importantly, these strategies create a range of ways that connect the home and primary school environments. By being engaged and interested in their children’s activities outside the school, parents can be powerful supporters of their children’s learning.”
It really is not necessary for parents to have previous teaching experience in order to help their child progress in their homeschooling. What they need to do is to act in a supervisory role, showing an interest and providing moral support on an ongoing basis. According to Shirley Erwee, a homeschool curriculum author, consultant and activist, “parents are the experts on their own children and they have their children’s long term best interests at heart. This is why all research has shown that home-educated learners generally outperform their school-going peers, regardless of their parent’s income levels or education.” With the Student Tracker you can now monitor exactly where your child is performing well and where they need improvement. You can then shift some focus onto the areas that require this improvement, adapting their study timetable around this if necessary.
The Student Tracker can show Q & A group sessions and online chat participation
CambriLearn holds weekly Q & A group sessions – question and answer sessions in which students get to pose questions to a particular subject teacher, based on work they have been doing that week. This is a great opportunity to have some face-to-face ‘teaching’ time. A trend I have noticed is that students who regularly come to weekly Q & A sessions tend to perform better than those who do not. This may be because it acts as a reminder that the student is part of a ‘school’, that there are specialists to support them, and that there are others also slogging through the course. The Student Tracker will be able to inform you of your child’s attendance and whether or not they have been corresponding with their teachers via the online chat option. Sometimes children are reluctant to discuss their progress with parents or to admit that they have not been attending Q & A sessions. With the Student Tracker, you should get a better idea of what your child is up to and just how active they are on the site.
Perhaps of even more significance is the fact that parents, guardians or tutor centres can also download a learner’s marked assignments from the Student Tracker. Comments on marked work provides vital feedback to students on exactly where they are going wrong. This is where more precise information can be gleaned on what weaknesses a student needs to address.
A final word on how Student Tracker can revolutionise parental involvement
CambriLearn Principal, Cecilia von Molendorff (who also teaches Economics, Business and Accounting), feels that parental involvement can even determine whether or not a child fails or passes a course. She believes in the old adage that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Cecilia points out that the CambriLearn system provides students with live sessions, access to course material and to full-time subject-specialist teachers who provide detailed marking of assignments: “We provide it all for the students. But you can’t take the students and force them to interact with a perfect system. They’ve got to go through it with someone and that is where a parent is important. Students who can manage on their own are few and far between. The typical student needs a parent to help them manage their time and to monitor their progress. This can also be where tutor centres come in because they can provide this kind of monitoring. Full value for money in homeschooling comes from a parent, au pair or tutor acting as facilitator.”
Cecilia further points out that “The Student Tracker now enables parents, guardians and tutor centres to become active facilitators in their child’s homeschooling. The potential is there to make a significant difference to a student’s overall performance.”
Parents need to make some effort to contribute towards their children’s education, and homeschooling more than allows for this. It is an opportunity to show that you care about your child’s daily activities and long-term goals, that you want to be involved, and that you are willing to provide them with the moral support they need. The Student Tracker makes this goal much more attainable and will give you the knowledge you need to steer your child in the right direction.
To find out more, book a free consultation at www.cambrilearn.com
Fenton, Angela & McFarland, Laura. 2017. Why it matters to transform parent involvement from early childhood to primary school. The Conversation.
Luke, Alfred. 2017. Why SA Parents are Turning to Home Schooling. BusinessLive.Co.Za.