School closure and InThinking

Responding to Covid-19 school closures

With the spread of the Covid-19 virus, several schools have already closed or are thinking about how to continue distant learning.  This page gives you some tips on how the Inthinking psychology site could be used to help your students through a school closure. 

Direct access to InThinking pages for students

Student access gives students direct access to the Inthinking site, as part of a teacher subscription. It enables teachers to set assignments, using learning activities from selected pages of the site. Teachers can easily create groups of students, set work for all students in the group, and monitor the activity of students in each group.

Schools that have been forced to close temporarily due to the new coronavirus, Covid-19 are making extensive use of ‘Student Access’. These schools need to engage their students in distance learning and the Inthinking website is proving to be a very useful tool for this.

There has never been a better time to discover what Student access has to offer.

Getting started

The easiest way to get started is to click on the new button on the homepage called Distance learning in difficult times.

This link will take you a guide to setting up and using the student access tools. You may also want to check out the following pages:

Student access: Creating groups 

Student access: setting assignments 

Student access: graded assignments 

Features of student access

There are four types of student tasks that you can track and give feedback on by using the student access feature.

Reading assignments: If you want to ask your students to read a page of the Inthinking website, then creating a reading assignment is the solution.  Your teacher's subscription will automatically record when each student has done this reading assignment and how long they spent on the page.

Writing assignments: Perhaps you want students to write a comment after studying a page of resources.  By setting a writing assignment, the student's work is recorded in your "markbook" where you give feedback. Great also for practice SAQs.

Discussion assignments: Use a discussion assignment rather than a writing assignment if collaboration is required. You can create a discussion where students respond to an article, debrief a movie clip or discuss approaches to an IB question.  You could post three studies and ask them which one they think has the best evidence for a psychological question - or which has the best methodology.

Multiple choice quizzes: Although IB does not assess psychology by multiple-choice questions, these are a great way to get students to think deeply about terminology and revise both research and theories.  The students' marks are automatically recorded in your mark book.  First, you go to the bank of questions (qBank) to create a quiz. Select a topic or a sub-topic and you are presented with a list of questions. Re-order the questions if you wish, then give a name to your quiz.  Once created you can use the quiz in an assignment with any of your groups.

Helping students to be self-directed learners

There are several features of the site that can be used with students to help them continue to master the content and skill of the course while they are home away from school.  These include:

  • The online textbook  There are several "ATL" boxes throughout the textbook which you could assign as "writing assignments" for your students.  This is a better way to assess understanding than simply noting whether they have done the reading.
  • Several of the teaching ideas can be shared with students, giving them a task that they can submit to you for assessment.
  • Under "revision" in each unit, students have presentations that outline keep content for each learning objective.
  • Key studies can be used as the basis for SAQ assessments.
  • Writing samples are available for students.  Have them do some of the "SAQ marking" or "ERQ marking" exercises and then have them rewrite parts of a weaker essay or SAQ to improve the overall quality.
  • Share videos with students from the lesson plans by creating a discussion for them to respond to a question.
  • Have students develop personalized study guides

Putting it all together

Chris Wright has an excellent blog on his IB School Leadership site: Covid-19: What happens when school is closed?  I highly recommend the posting as it has a lot of good information for schools to think about.  For me, the most important part of the posting is the following graphic from Jennifer Chang Watall. This graphic suggests what a week of distance learning might look like.

As always, there may be ideas that you have to enrich the site and make it more useful for this rather odd time in our schools.  Please feel free to send me any suggestions you have - and I hope that we can make this as supportive a system as possible for our students. 

May you and your students remain safe and healthy


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