3 Strategies to Help Mitigate Learning Loss

3 mn read

Educators have been battling with “learning loss” even before the pandemic, constantly finding new ways to update their teaching methods. Although, this concept has taken a new context with the impact of the ongoing health crisis. Different ways of learning have been employed by schools such as hybrid remote-in-person learning and virtual classrooms in an attempt to adapt to the so-called new normal. Nonetheless, the glaring impact of these new systems on the students’ knowledge retention is concerning especially when not everyone has equal access to technology and are not necessarily at home with the largely digital setup.

 

It’s certainly taking time to gauge the full extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on students which is why educators are challenged to act fast, creating new strategies with the workable data that they have. They are also exploring effective ways to mitigate any further loss in their respective organizations such as promoting STEM education which requires practical learning arrangements. Apart from dealing with the aforementioned technical aspects of teaching and learning, both teachers and students are also facing their share of anxiety with the new class routines as well as all the uncertainties there are in a post-pandemic era. We have therefore come up with the following strategies to help mitigate learning loss that you could apply moving forward.


 

Determine and Bridge Learning Gaps. Before coming up with an action plan, it’s sound to know the root cause of the problem. Educators must have enough information on their students’ academic progress which could be achieved by establishing coordination with their guardians and utilizing educational technology. Aside from the student’s progress, their proficiency and mastery of the subject must also be assessed to see what gaps need to be filled which can be done through tailored content upon consideration of the resources available. 

 

The challenge to work on adaptive solutions has never been more intense which is why educators must really have a reliable way to consistently assess their student’s knowledge gaps. Only then they will be able to know how to bridge them. Some solutions include spiraling which is a teaching method zeroing in on regular reviews of particular topics. This is basically the total opposite of cramming which is definitely a better way to improve long-term memory. There are other things that can be employed depending on the student’s needs but what’s more important is being able to identify first all prerequisite content to further learning. Thus, start with drafting a plan and even the necessary surveys, research, and implement the identified learning route which would work best for the student.

 

Prioritize personalization. It has long been recognized that standardized lessons are not always the best way for students to learn. With the different educational setups today, educators should be more flexible to accommodate the different developmental needs of their students by personalizing their teaching methods and curriculum.

 

Upon determining the learning gaps which require collaboration with the students themselves as well, educators should take the initiative to create a profile that outlines their strengths, weaknesses, and the learning styles that would work for them. You can start customizing these profiles after. Keep your eyes on the prize when you get overwhelmed while going through them one by one because this could actually help mitigate learning loss in the long run. Don’t forget to assess the new teaching methods you’ve come up with from time to time and adjust them accordingly. You can also use planners that are specifically designed for a certain curriculum to help struggling students manage their load. This can help them master the key concepts they are not good at with resources that are tailored to their needs. 

 

Employ project-based learning. It’s clear that the one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work in today’s setting and thus educators must engage them through real-life problems where students can put much thought into. By making them work on a project that could last either for a week or even the whole semester, students will remain interested which improves knowledge retention. The project should be well thought out, incorporating different aspects such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication among others. Moreover, this could help students appreciate the value of the subject since this is highly experiential with the merging of real-life situations and academic concepts. This is simply an approach for learning by doing while encouraging students to also foster a sense of community through collaborative work.

 

Educators should have a tracking system ready that can be also used by students to keep them motivated in pursuing the next steps necessary to progress. Though, there is a possibility that project-based learning could get draining and dragging for the students. Coming up with catch-up lessons every now and then would help. They will be able to review the concepts they might have forgotten and focus on a specific material even for a short period of time. More than anything, this will serve as a breather for both students and the educator themselves.

 

No organization or educator has been prepared for the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Continuous learning and assessment are needed to improve the educational system. In these trying times, what would be most important is to communicate with the students and work together on what could be done to learn altogether.

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