Increase in planner usage evidence “itslearning” supports teaching processes
An increasing number of teachers are turning to the itslearning (Bergen, Norway) platform when planning for their courses, 2012 company figures show.
An uptick in the use of the itslearning lesson planner this year compared to last year shows that itslearning users are using the platform to support teaching processes, says Bart van Kimmenade, product manager for pedagogy and personal learning at itslearning. “Our customers are more interested in the planner than they were before. The increase in usage suggests that users are happy with the things we have done with the planner,” Bart says.
49% increase in use
Usage peaked in September 2012 when users made 223,002 edits to the planner, representing a 49% increase in use over September 2011, when approximately 150,000 edits were made. Tracking usage of different itslearning features, a process where users and schools remain anonymous, provides us with information about where to focus improvement efforts, among other things.
The increase is partly due to the fact that more teachers use itslearning this year than last. But more significant contributing factors are improvements made to the planner and efforts to promote it in schools. Van Kimmenade says the improvements, which are partly based on customer feedback, made the planner more user-friendly and inviting for first-time users.
Improvements account for increase
Improvements to the planner this year include the ability to restore deleted data, clear instructions about where to enter text into the planner and the ability to plan ahead without making lessons visible to students. “These usability elements were introduced in the last releases, and they account for much of the increase in usage. We made a lot of good improvements, making it easier to use the planner,” Bart says.
The planner, which provides an overview of different topics to be covered in the school year for teachers, students and parents, was not the only tool to experience an increase in use. Other itslearning tools such as the assignment tool and test tool also saw slight increases in use. “Increasingly, we are seeing specific teaching tools being used in itslearning. More and more teachers are seeing the value of these great pedagogical tools. These are real teacher tools, and this demonstrates that teachers realize that itslearning supports teaching processes,” Bart says.
More than a file repository or a bulletin board
Lars-Jacob Hove, head of product management at itslearning, says he expects usage of the planner to rise further as even more teachers discover how it supports good pedagogical processes.
“The planner is a great tool, and it is available in itslearning for all teachers. It supports their core processes, makes it clear for the students/learners what they should know and when,” Lars-Jacob says.
“It is great that our users let us know they appreciate what we do both through feedback and increased use. More importantly, however, this increased use also means that teachers are increasing their use of the teaching specific tools we offer in itslearning, and not just using it as a file repository or an advanced bulletin board.
“While resource and information sharing are important functions, supporting good pedagogical processes is what itslearning is about, and I’m very happy that more of our teachers are now getting the benefit of these tools.”