5. There were opportunities for useful interaction and engagement with other students in the subject​

This ESS question highlights the importance of Interaction within the overall DIAgram.

The inclusion of 'interaction and engagement with other students' is entirely new language, suggesting a shift in focus towards peer-to-peer interaction and belonging.

The qualitative descriptors of Great Teaching that align with this question are listed below, as well as some tactics to improve each.

  • Considered

    Planned interaction includes modes and tools for engaging learning activities.

    Tactics to consider:

    • Reviewing potential platforms when designing interactive sessions.
    • Incorporating a range of interactive modes across the subject (e.g. asynchronous and synchronous, small and large group, etc.).
    • Seeking immediate feedback from students about the usefulness of specific activities.
  • Coherent

    Planned interactions are meaningful, and are aligned to subject activities and learning outcomes.

    Tactics to consider:

    • Signposting interactive activities in relation to associated assessment tasks.
    • Incorporating feedback into interactive sessions, including building student literacy of terms and values.
    • Designing interactions that expand on specific elements of the subject content or skills.
  • Caring

    Interactions foster a culture of care and inclusion in the subject community, contributing to a sense of belonging.

    Tactics to consider:

    • Modelling inclusive and supportive language across students, tutors and guests
    • Reflecting on patterns of engagement across the cohort and adjusting teaching methods and activity design to diversify participation.
    • Providing channels for students to anonymously raise concerns about language or actions experienced in a subject.
  • Flexible

    Interactive opportunities accommodate individual learning needs, and support student agency.

    Tactics to consider:

    • Designing alternative ways for students to contribute.
    • Ensuring equitable access and quality of opportunities (i.e. no student is restricted to the role of spectator).
    • Providing opportunities for students to lead or develop some aspects of learning activities so that it builds their understanding of content.

If you have other tactics relevant for this ESS question, please contact BEL+T to share them!