In the business world, work that does not need to be done in-house is often outsourced to save time and energy within the organization. Generally, out-sourcing benefits business in this manner. In schools however, there is an additional reason to look outside the school fence; providing a stronger voice for the learner.
Reporting through Student Led Conferences can be a good opportunity to outsource. It’s a powerful reporting tool, which is often based on a portfolio of student work prepared during the year and presented to parents as evidence of their learning in a conference setting at school. This whole process is often completed at school and supervised by teachers.
This year, my middle school asked students to hold an initial planning meeting at home with their families to outline the type of learning artifacts to be collected. They also detailed the online tools that they would use to collect, organize and present there work. The Student Led Conference was held at home and in a reversal of roles, parents reported on the outcome to the teachers using an online survey. One of the logistical questions can be seen above. Other questions involved the degree of preparation and other comments on the quality of the conference.
Looking back, this saved us time and energy at school and in a business sense, this would have been a win. However, students planned more carefully, and the families had greater voice in the process, and for a school community this is a win.