If this is your first year using Membean or if you are looking to hone your use of the program, you are probably wondering what the Membean team suggests for best practices. This article will guide you through some things to think about while you are constructing your Membean routines and grading policy.
Require Short, Spaced Sessions Throughout the Week
Our Adaptive Reinforcement Engine is most effective when students employ regular, short sessions that are spaced throughout the week. The ideal training schedule is three 15-minute sessions per week or a similar schedule. Click here to read about our science-backed training recommendations.
Wait to Issue an Assessment
It takes a few weeks of diligent learning for a student to be quiz-ready. We recommend that you start with 15 questions and gradually build up. Give a larger quiz, 50-75 questions, once per quarter. You can also include SATA (select-all-that-apply) questions to increase difficulty. Click here to learn more about assessments.
Train During Class and Train With Your Students
Show your students that Membean matters to you by devoting class time to it. Even though time can be tight, aim to complete at least one session per week in class. This makes you available to answer questions and monitor training behavior. We also encourage you to train with your students to model effective training (and improve your own vocabulary!). Training alongside your students shows you are invested in the program and allows you to experience how words are introduced and how learning is reinforced.
Clearly Communicate Your Expectations
Set clear training and grading expectations for your students. Consider how you plan on holding students accountable for their Membean use and make sure you customize your grading report to reflect your training cycle and grading guidelines. The student dashboard makes it easy for students to track if they are meeting your expectations. Explain the Honor Code and that Membean notifies teachers of cheating.
You should also let your students know they will sometimes get questions wrong and that doing so is an important part of learning. Each time they answer a question incorrectly, they should focus on reviewing a different part of the word page. Explain that this repetition is beneficial -- a few extra seconds spent answering a question now will save many minutes later if the word needs to be relearned.
Monitor Progress Weekly
It's important to check goal compliance every week, especially for the first month. Your reports and session details show behaviors that should be immediately corrected, like dubious minutes. You can also share your reports and activity logs with your students via anonymous mode. When students know how in-depth Membean is from the teacher’s side, it cuts down on them trying to game the system.
Make it a point to train regularly. If you have a busy week, remember that some training is better than no training at all. You want to avoid students training intermittently because it slows down their progress since they'll need more reinforcement upon their return. The engine determines what words students need to see and when they need to see them. If students haven’t seen anything in awhile, they will need a lot of review before the engine decides they're ready to start learning new words.