Monitoring student wellbeing in lockdown and beyond

Article by Dr Joe Thurbon
Educator Impact / 16 April 2020

Alliance partner, Educator Impact, is making available its new wellbeing platform, EI Pulse, to all Alliance members at no cost for the remainder of 2020. EI Pulse helps schools monitor their students’ wellbeing in real-time. Unlike traditional annual wellbeing surveys, it provides a weekly check-in with your students and it is the only solution that enables at-risk students to ask for help if they need it. During this most unpredictable time, this is an invaluable resource that helps schools adapt to emerging wellbeing trends and inform plans for 2020 and beyond.

The challenge of managing wellbeing while remote

Coming into 2020, mental wellbeing issues among students and staff were already known as some of the fastest-growing challenges in education. The impact of the COVID-19 health crisis has and will exacerbate the challenge. Schools have been extraordinarily successful in adapting to remote learning very rapidly. However, monitoring of student and staff wellbeing is being carried out on a best efforts basis, but with little or no systematic support. For example, under the Be You framework, teachers are charged with the responsibility of “noticing” emerging issues, but existing support provides little or no support for this, especially in a remote learning environment. The transition to remote learning is not only disruptive, but represents a paradigm shift that requires rapid action.

The solution

 “Having students use Pulse regularly each week has given us a real-time insight into a student’s wellbeing, both as a moment in time and a longer-term pattern, that allows a more agile response to student needs. This has been especially useful to us as a College during COVID -19 as students are working from home.” — Brendon Guest, Head of Senior School at St Philip’s Christian College, Cessnock

Educator Impact’s Pulse platform allows for the frequent collection and real-time monitoring of comprehensive wellbeing data of students. It takes students around 60 seconds to check in and, crucially, it provides a facility for at-risk individuals to reach out for help at any time. Teachers, school leaders and departments can use the data to understand the wellbeing of the people in their institution and track the impacts of external factors and responses to them. Educator Impact is releasing a version for Staff Wellbeing in Term 3, 2020. One of the real strengths of Pulse is the ease of use and the quick check-in functionality. This means that students are happier to engage on a more consistent basis, meaning better data.

Key Benefits
Supports individual students: Pulse allows at-risk students to ask for help at any time, and for responses to be actioned. Individual student data is presented to their front-line carers, allowing them to understand and respond to individual students’ wellbeing.

Usefulness of data: Wellbeing data is collected against best-practice wellbeing frameworks. It is delivered in real-time and is useful for both point-in-time and time-based trend analysis. Data is available from day one – to front line teachers, school leadership and departments. Students check in each week, giving teachers, schools and Departments comprehensive insight about the wellbeing of individual students, and statistically significant cohort-level insight across all aspects of wellbeing. Wellbeing is measured against the ARACY Common ApproachTM framework.

Speed to implement: Pulse is currently available and could be implemented in Term 2. From the first week, it provides actionable data, and the data is always kept up to date. It takes students one minute a week to check in which means engagement is high and the check-in can become a part of the culture.

Access the free EI Pulse 2020 offer for your school