Creating Check-Ins for Students

Check-ins allow educators to quickly and easily ask students about how they are doing right now—focusing on students’ well-being, learning, and social-emotional growth—and then use the information students share to plan school-wide or targeted supports in response, building stronger relationships with students in the process. 

Note: Check-ins focus on the here and now and are intended to complement, rather than replace, comprehensive system-wide surveying of students’ social-emotional skills and competencies, feedback about their learning, and well-being. If you are interested in implementing a broad-based district-wide survey program, we recommend you learn more about Panorama's standard survey tools, which are intended for creating more comprehensive surveys 2-3 times per year.

Check-ins are currently available to select schools and districts who are using Panorama for Social Emotional Learning. If you are interested in learning more about check-ins for your school or district, please reach out to support@panoramaed.com.

Contents

Why Use Check-Ins

Check-ins are a fast and easy tool for understanding how students are doing and how they are experiencing school. Check-ins mainly focus on how students are doing in a specific moment, rather than on their general perceptions over the course of a semester or year of school. Gathering student voice through check-ins is intended to help inform action. It also serves other important purposes, namely building strong relationships with students, showing them you care, and bringing about students’ self-reflection about how they are doing.  

Check-ins can be created and sent to students at specific schools or across the district. In general, a school may be more equipped to act on information about how specific students are doing, while the district may be more equipped to respond to feedback about district-wide practices. If you are interested in sending check-ins to students district-wide, we recommend aligning across your schools to avoid over surveying students or inadvertently asking the same questions repeatedly.

Our Question Sets have been developed with support from our research team and focuses initially on serving the following purposes. We look forward to also supporting custom content in the future. 

To find out…. …. you should use  Who should ask the questions and how often? (Recommendation) What might educators do in response to the data? 
...how students are feeling Well-Being, Supportive Relationships, and Safety questions Teachers, counselors, or school-level administrators

Bi-weekly or less frequently, with a rotating set of questions
Follow up with individual students
...how students perceive their SEL skills & competencies Questions sourced from Panorama’s traditional SEL survey content, including self-reflection questions on topics like Growth Mindset, Self-Management, and more (Coming soon!) School or district administrators

Monthly or less frequently
Create interventions for individuals or groups of students

Change Tier 1 practices or programs
...what feedback students have about the classroom experience   Formative feedback for teachers (Coming soon!)
Teachers 

Can be asked daily; we recommend rotating questions to avoid survey fatigue
Adjust teaching practice

Potentially follow up with individual students
...what feedback students have about the school experience Formative feedback for School Leaders (Coming soon!) School administrators or district administrators

Can be asked weekly; we recommend rotating questions to avoid survey fatigue
Institute or improve Tier 1 programs
Potentially follow up with individual students

What to Consider Before Creating a Check-In

Panorama understands that each district, and each school within each district, is unique. Check-ins are intended to be flexible, depending on the needs of different schools and districts. Before you set up your first check-in, we recommend you consider the following questions and begin to document your specific needs so that you can ensure the check-in you create will be supportive of your goals. 

  • What are you hoping to learn from students? Knowing ahead of time what you want to learn will help you determine which questions you’ll ask on a repeated basis, meaning you will be able to move forward with a consistent set of questions. Consider making a loose, school-wide plan to guide your set-up, although you can always adjust as you go along.
  • How often will you plan to send check-ins? We recommend a bi-weekly check-in schedule, although shorter check-ins (one or two questions) could be asked more regularly. It is important to avoid over-surveying students in a way that leads to low response rates or unreliable responses, but you will want to make sure that the data is up-to-date enough for educators to be able to use it to inform their students supports.
  • How will you coordinate the responsibility of sending check-ins within your school? We recommend that you align within your school on which educators are sending check-ins to students, and on what cadence, so that there is no confusion and students aren’t inadvertently asked the same questions more than necessary. Assigning a point-person to create the check-in and distribute the link to students will prevent the need for excess communication internally. 
  • How will you distribute check-ins to engage as many students as possible? When you create a check-in, you’ll receive a generic link to send to students, and when they click the link, they will be asked to enter their ID to access the check-in. That means you have a lot of options for how you distribute check-ins: you could email the check-in to all students or add it as an assignment to your LMS. Or, if you’re doing synchronous learning during school, you could share the link in the chat box and have students respond at that time. Carefully consider the best mode for your school, as it is important to stick with one method as much as possible, providing stability and predictability for students. 

Here are a few resources to support you in preparing for check-ins:

  • If it is your first time using check-ins, you can use this email template to share information with your schools leaders or others who will be leading the process.
  • You can make a copy of this document and use it to communicate and coordinate the check-ins process across your school and district.

How to Create and Launch a Check-in

Follow the steps below to create a check-in.

  1. First, navigate to Student Success from either the Students Icon or the Student Success Icon in the main menu. From here, you can navigate to your Check-Ins Overview page.
  2. On the Check-ins Overview page, you can create a new check-in or view existing check-ins. You’ll see any check-ins that you have created, as well as any check-ins created by your colleagues that are available for students you support. To create a new check-in, click the Create check-in button at the top of the page.
    1. Add a descriptive name for your check-in. Ideally, this name should help yourself and others identify when the check-in is being sent, and which students it is meant for. 
    2. Next, select which questions you want to ask your students. We have created some recommended check-ins to get you started. You can add, remove, or rearrange questions from one of Panorama’s pre-built Question Sets, or build your own from the library of questions in the All Questions tab. When you’ve chosen all of the questions you want to ask, you can click “Save and continue” to review before launching, or “Save for later” to save your progress and return to it at another time.
    3. As your check-in is being created, you can review its details and contents. Your check-in will automatically be created for all of the students you have access to in your school or district, but you can limit the audience by sending the check-in link to only the students you want to hear from.
  3. Once you confirm that the check-in will meet your needs, you can click Launch to make it available for students. Once a check-in is launched you won’t be able to edit the content or delete it. After you launch your check-in, you will be given a single URL to share with your students. You can send this link in a variety of ways: send through email, post it on a slide deck, or chat it out to your students. They will access the check-in by entering their student ID. Learn more about student survey-taking here.

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