Solving the Workload Problem in Education

One of the biggest problems facing today’s teachers is their workload.

A 2016 poll by the Australian Education Union in which 9,000 teachers and school staff were surveyed, showed the huge administrative burden on educators. On the surface, this means teachers have less to spend on actually teaching and supporting students.  However, the damage doesn’t stop there. 73% of teachers say their workload is having a huge impact on their health, both physically and mentally. In comparison, only 12% of teachers say they believe they have a healthy work-life balance.

There’s an even bigger problem attached to this: as the amount of paperwork for teachers increases, it is becoming harder for teachers to fill vacancies. A recent survey conducted by The Guardian even found that nearly half of teachers across the country are planning to leave the profession if the situation stays the same. And with more than 75% working between 49 and 65 hours a week, who can blame them?

As one teacher told The Guardian: “I just want to do what I love without all the red tape and stress.”

The Pressures of Grading

John Roberts, Chief Executive of Edapt, authored an interesting report on the role of technology in reducing workload, and found that the main contributors to an unnecessarily high workload are “recording, inputting and monitoring data,” “excessive marking” and “lesson planning”

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Source: “Can technology genuinely reduce teacher workload?” by: John Roberts

Both monitoring student data and grading and checking homework or assignments are very important work. However, the current ways in which we do these are inefficient and dated.

As we wrote in our blog on Design Thinking, the best way to find solutions to problems, is to work together with your end-user. Realizing this, John Roberts included teachers suggestions into his report as well.

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Source: “Can technology genuinely reduce teacher workload?” by: John Roberts
SOWISO Solutions

These problems are very real, and the solutions brought forward by these teachers make a lot of sense. Luckily, most of these issues are worked on actively by a large number of global education technology companies.

Let’s look at what SOWISO is doing to address the top three of pain points provided by teachers.

  1. Recording, Inputting and Monitoring Data
    Identifying and analyzing your students weaknesses is one of the most important teachings skills. Today, data analytics are used to give an in-depth overview of your classroom and individual students, sorting fact from fiction. Tech can therefore be used to further improve on this essential aspect of education. 




    With SOWISO, teachers don’t have to input or analyze student data anymore, as our service tracks not just the answers your students give to problems, but also the steps they take to get there. Easy to understand reports give breakdowns student progress, skill or activity, which can be used to improve learning experiences. We’re even working on a smart solution that helps you identify student behavior to identify problems before it’s too late!
  2. Excessive Marking
    A lot of the extra work that accompanies the teaching profession comes from late-night homework checking. Luckily, our solution allows teachers to sit back after work hours and enjoy some well-deserved time off (or time to plan the next lesson)! We have developed a smart algorithm that gives students endless randomized exercises, providing them with personalized hints and feedback as they go. It identifies mistakes, and is able to offer the right advice to improve subject understanding. This means that not only will our software check homework for you, it also gives feedback that helps them along, saving them time in the process as well!

    But what about tests, you might ask? We’ve got you covered here, too! Teachers using SOWISO can have our software check and grade tests, meaning they only have to double-check to see if everything worked out fine. Check our previous blog on digital assessment for some tips.
  3. Lesson Planning
    Developing lessons is hard work, but we also realize a good curriculum is something to be proud of. That’s why we give teachers the option to either upload their own courses to our platform, or to use our pre-made courses on (pre-)calculus, linear algebra and more!

In Conclusion

Technology has the power to change not just the experiences of students, but teachers as well. Here at SOWISO, we’ll continue to work hard on improving both.

Let’s talk again soon,

Jeroen

 

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