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Inside the classroom, student-to-student academic discussion and collaboration is quickly becoming a necessity. Research shows that student-to-student interaction is highly effective at pushing mastery of content and reducing learning gaps among students. SharePoint gives you the educator. The ability to quickly set up student collaboration websites and release responsibility for information gathering back to the students. This can also be used as a performance based assessment of student learning. Here in my SharePoint main page, I'm going to go ahead and take a look at a student project website I've started setting up. This website has taken about 3 minutes to set up at this point.
The only think I've done to this website so far, is to switch out the SharePoint logo with our school's logo. And I've also changed the style of this website. This website is currently using the character style, which is one of the standard themes inside of SharePoint. The last two changes that I've done to make this website ready for student collaboration, is I've added a task list titled Due Dates, and I've also added a student Email box. To add things such as tasks, there's two ways to do it. From the Get started menu, I can either choose to quickly add a task. And here I can either add a task with a timeline, which I've already done, or I can add a calendar.
Or I can go to the Lists, Libraries, and other apps. And here's a variety of things I can add to the student website, including custom lists, our tasks which I currently have set up as due dates. I can have a document library if I need to share information with the students. I can add a picture library if that's appropriate. I can set up calendars to keep students on task. I can give them resources through links. I can also post announcements to their website. As the administrator of a SharePoint website, you have complete control over what happens on the site. You can even restrict to your students what access they have.
When I decide to add students to the website, which you can do by clicking on Share Your Site, I will put in the student email addresses, but then I'm going to come down to Show Options. I'm going to make them members that only can edit. I'm not going to give the students full control. Furthermore, if you have parent email lists, you can send the website to parents as a read only access, so the parents can keep up to date on what students are doing for their group project. Utilizing our Due Dates task list that I put together, this is the only section that's going to take a lot of teacher time. I'm going to go in and I'm going to create new task deadlines to keep students on task.
For example I could have Team Name Submitted By, and I could add a start and end date. I'm going to go ahead and choose to have a due date that would be next Friday, the 2nd. When it comes to assigning this, I can send it to the entire class or specific students. If it's a task that's fairly detailed, I can go in and change the percent complete to it. I can give a description to this task. I can indicate whether or not other tasks were required to be finished before doing this task. I can change its priority from high, low and normal. And I can even change it's status to in progress, completed, deferred, or waiting on someone else.
I'm going to go on and say that our students are in the progress of selecting their team name. And I'll go and click Save. Now, every single time a student accesses the website, they can quickly come over to the Due Dates, and they can see what's due and when. A few important things to note as you're helping students set up their website. Whenever a page is added, that page is going to display under the recent column in the left-hand tab. The reason that page shows up here is so that you can move it out of the recent column into whatever navigation you'd like, or choose not to have it appear in navigation. For example, from our home page, I'm going to go ahead and add Lists, Libraries and other applications.
And I'm going to choose to add a calendar that our students can type into as they edit their site. I'm going to call this calendar Presentation Dates, so that students can choose when they present their project. I'll click Create, and now under the Recent column, my calendar presentation dates shows up. So if I choose to edit links either in the top category or the bottom category, all I have to do now is grab that link, drag it to where I'd like it in my navigation, release it and click Save. So now I have presentation dates directly below due dates and available to my students.
As you take the time to move throughout a SharePoint site and figure out how best you can utilize this in your classroom. I recommend you make notes of how to perform the most basic tasks so you can also teach your students to do the same thing.
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