Emerging Discoveries through Virtual Learning

Emerging Discoveries through Virtual Learning

Emerging Discoveries through Virtual Learning

By: Steve Ventura

Even with its complications, virtual learning has revealed some interesting truths, especially in these last few weeks. Here are five emerging discoveries I’ve seen, and frankly, that we hope continue to be seen in education.


Feedback Replaces Traditional Grading Practices

Grading is one of the most emotional topics in all of education, as it seems nearly impossible to create the perfect grading scale. But grades have taken a back seat in the last few months which provide additional opportunities for students to receive feedback that is accurate, fair, and timely.


Mechanical Grading Practices have Vanished 

Virtual learning has teachers depending less on mechanical grading practices, like averaging, using the 100-point scale, and assigning “zeroes,” all of which are proven to be harmful to student achievement. By removing these barriers, the focus has shifted from grades to the actual learning.


The Equity Divide with Homework Becomes More Visible

Homework has always been an equity issue, but virtual learning has exposed this even more, as teachers are discovering the meaning of “essential workers." Not everything is equal when schools ask students to complete work at home, and this is more visible than ever to school leaders and teachers.


Teacher Clarity has Become a Focus

Learning intentions and success criteria must be clearly articulated, shared with students, and referred to often in order to promote the advantages of teacher clarity. From a distance, teachers have focused on providing clarity for learning to support families and students.


Teachers are Being Viewed as Heroes

Parents and families have a newfound appreciation for teachers. As families have had to provide the adult supervision required for learning, especially for younger students and those with special needs, they are understanding the impact teachers have on their children’s lives.


While we continue to hope for in-person school to return this fall and for students and teachers to reunite, let’s hope that some of these “old habits” of traditional school can be replaced with the practices that work best when it comes to student outcomes.