Using Your LMS to Help with Student-Led Conferences

The typical parent-teacher conference involves a parent setting an appointment and visiting the teacher alone. Students aren’t usually involved. But keeping students on the outside doesn’t give parents the opportunity to see their children interact with their teachers. Switching to a student-led conference can provide students more of an opportunity to take charge of various challenges on their paths to success.

What if you allowed students to actively participate in parent-teach conferences? With the help of your learning management system (LMS), what might seem to be a far-fetched idea is actually a real possibility.

Step 1: Prepare
Students likely won’t be used to the idea of a student-led conference, so you will want to take steps to prepare them for the experience. Create a student preparation sheet that helps students gather the work they want to share with their parents. In addition to compiling a few of their best pieces, they should also make notes of what they do well and where they think they should improve. Use your LMS to house the preparation sheet template for easy access and assign it to each student.

Step 2: Collaborate
Once the students complete their preparation sheets, take a few minutes to meet with them and review their sheets. The review will get everyone on the same page so you are a united front when you meet with their respective parents. Walk through each section of the preparation sheet and compare notes. Help the students get comfortable with sharing details about their work.

Step 3: Reflect
Since student-led conferences are still a fairly new concept, it’s a good idea to review areas that went well and areas that maybe didn’t go so well. Use student blogs to give students an opportunity to share their thoughts on the experience of leading the conferences with their parents. As you read through the students’ blogs, take note of any highlights that show the positives of the student-led conferences and identify any challenges to make adjustments the next time.

Student-led conferences give students an opportunity to put themselves in front of their education. Having them lead these conferences with their parents will help foster stronger relationships between the parent, student and the teacher, which can only have positive benefits on each student’s education.

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