NRI Facilitator Guide
NRI Facilitator Guide
Tools: Canva, Google Slides
Time: 2 Days
Client: Darien Public Schools
Collaborators: Erin McCarthy, English Teacher
This facilitator guide, along with the Slidedeck, was produced as part of professional development for the Middle and High School English Departments. The district had purchased premium access to the website NoRedInk to help aid instruction during the pandemic, but teachers were unfamiliar with the platform and, therefore, hesitant to use it. The other trainer giving the instruction was less familiar with the platform and therefore benefitted from the guide.
The district thought that this platform would be useful to teachers in both making up for lost time and engaging students whether they were in person or learning from home, but less than five teachers out of the 45 had signed up for an account. A needs analysis revealed that most teachers knew next to nothing about the website's capabilities and were uninspired to investigate on their own. Several also indicated that they were tech 'illiterate' and struggled to see how new software could be naturally incorporated into their curriculum.
Working with an SME helped identify some key methods of appealing to the learners. First and foremost, the learners needed dedicated time to work with and explore the software with help immediately nearby if needed. This prevented learners from becoming discouraged. Additionally, while direct instruction was given to get learners set up with an account and an initial diagnostic, lots of time was spent in small groups or working individually. This allowed learners to become comfortable with the functionality and see firsthand how the software could be used in the classroom.
During the session, virtually all groups brainstormed authentic ways to utilize the software. Since the training, the percent of teachers using the software jumped from 11% to 100%. Additionally, 100% of teachers assigned the initial diagnostic to at least one class, with 90% reporting that they used the data from the diagnostic for planning purposes. In the end, 85% reported that they planned to continue using the software.