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Supporting students outside the classroom

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How can Wooclap help you support students outside the classroom?

17.05.2024 • 4 minutes

How can Wooclap help you support students outside the classroom?

Hi! 👋 I’m Jennifer, Wooclap’s new Community Builder. I’ve spent the last two months reaching out to some of our Super Users to better understand how Wooclap brings value to them in their teaching. Most of the educators that I’ve spoken with about Wooclap will say that it helps them to grab their students’ attention, to get feedback in real time, and most of all that Wooclap encourages every single student to participate, rather than the usual extroverts who always raise their hands. 🙋

One thing I never could have imagined, however, is how Wooclap helps support students outside of the classroom, be it virtual or physical. As a former Student Affairs professional, I spent over a decade developing and managing housing programs for international students in Paris. I’ve seen it all: from drunken debauchery leading to a fire just steps from the Champs-Elysées, to tragic student loss due to a sudden fatal bacterial illness, not to mention sexual assault and suicide attempts and everything in between. 

Always on the lookout for different ways to encourage student participation and provide extra support, I’d tried various student engagement apps and messaging methods to check in with them throughout the semester, to varying degrees of success. Digital tools can facilitate communication between educators and students through email, discussion forums, and video conferencing, however their level of efficiency is a topic of much debate. This is why I was so surprised to learn that Wooclap can be a powerful tool in terms of student support.

“Most of the time, the reason they're not successful in the classroom has nothing to do with the [course] content.”

Kristin Sericati

Open question image

Kristin Sericati, a Developmental Reading Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, explained to me that one of the ways Wooclap brings value to her teaching is by allowing her to privately check in with students in a fully online, asynchronous course. “Most of the time, the reason they're not successful in the classroom has nothing to do with the [course] content.” She begins the course with a moderated Open question (for which other students cannot see the results).

Open question type

“What is something that's getting in the way of your learning right now?”

One of her students worked at a convenience store and would complete her coursework during her shift. Sericati says, “if somebody came in you'd see her quickly go up to the counter, but she was really great. She was active.” One week, the student answered the first question with: 

“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to afford diapers.”

Sericati took quick action: “I put in an emergency fund referral for her based on that diaper comment and tried to connect her with some resources to help”. Thanks to Sericati’s quick action, the student was able to complete her coursework for the semester with the additional support. Sericati says, “it is so easy that I think once anybody realizes, once they see it's just sliding these questions into your [presentation]”.

When it comes to student support outside the classroom, Wooclap transcends its role as an engagement tool and emerges as a beacon of connectivity and care. By offering a platform for private check-ins and fostering a culture of open communication, educators like Kristin Sericati leverage Wooclap to uncover students' hidden struggles and provide timely assistance. Through a simple yet powerful question, Sericati intervened to help a struggling young mother facing financial hardships, ensuring she could continue her education with dignity and support. Wooclap's versatility extends far beyond the confines of traditional teaching, serving as a lifeline for students navigating the complexities of life alongside their academic pursuits.

Want to try this out yourself? 

To create a check-in question during your Wooclap event, start with the Open question type. Once you’ve entered the text of your choice for the question prompt, be sure to activate moderation on the question in the menu on the right, which will prevent results from being visible to all participants. Or use the Wooclap template below!

Student Well-Being Check-in

Writer

Jennifer Larsen

Jennifer Larsen

Community Builder @ Wooclap. Connecting Wooclap users internationally to revolutionize education!

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