This article is part of a series in which teachers experienced in using ASSISTments are asked about tips for new users and how their classrooms changed.
Brian: How did things change when you incorporated ASSISTments into the classroom?
Ivory: For me, the amount of time saved by using the platform has been a big change. We only have 45-minute periods so our classes are pretty short. Figuring out how to effectively and efficiently use in-class homework review time has always been a struggle. The students and I had a general understanding that homework had value, but I couldn’t take 20 minutes out of class to go over entire homework assignments. We just didn’t have time for it. I would spot check student work, a very time-consuming process in and of itself, and would be left with only a surface-level, anecdotal understanding of student progress. With ASSISTments, in the morning before class started, I could look at the item report for the last homework assignment and quickly determine which students needed help and which questions needed classwide review.
Brian: Now that you have used ASSISTments for a year, what advice would you give to new users?
Ivory: Even though I advise new teachers to start with ASSISTments using one specific component they like, students should have a chance to experience the platform consistently from the very beginning of the school year. Don’t wait until a month after school has started, when homework practices and routines are already set, to introduce it. In the meantime, play around with the platform in order to figure out how it best fits within your classroom practice and how you want to use the student data it generates. But, in order for students to buy into ASSISTments and accept it as a permanent and consistent routine in class, they need to start using it from day one. In other words: keep it simple, start early, and be consistent.