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Culminating Season During Remote Learning: How Students and Staff Coped

by Hamnah Kashif & Heebah Kashif

From the devastating Australia fires to a deadly pandemic, the past year has certainly presented a variety of challenges. With the ongoing pandemic, many of our regular activities and events have drastically changed. One such change for students includes the formatting of final course assessments. On March 12, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that publicly funded schools across the province will be closed for two weeks. Well, now look where we are…. A few weeks ago, Bishop Reding students completed their culminating task online. With exams being cancelled and students forced to adapt to the new remote learning format, how did students and staff manage to complete their tasks and cope during this overwhelming season? What are some ways they prepared? Well, we conducted a survey consisting of 4 questions with over 60 students from Bishop Reding and here are the results.

Question #1 “Do you think you were given enough time to complete your culminating task?”

Question #2 “Do you think your teachers prepared you well for your Culminating task?”

Question #3 Do you think culminating in an online format is easier or more difficult to complete?

Out of 62 students - 56.5% yes 42.5 % No

Do you ever feel like your study habits just aren't cutting it? Are you looking to improve your performance on larger assignments and tasks? Well, Bishop Reding students explained that they prepared for their final tasks by asking questions, organizing and allocating their time to certain concepts they needed to study, using planners, made sure they had no distractions and simply managed their time effectively to study. Here are a few responses from students.

Hafsa Rana (Grade 10 ) shares her tips for productivity: “I made to-do lists and I also set alarms of one hour so I could focus then take a five min break.”

Alishba Asif (Grade 10 ) shared: “I tried to prioritize my time and study for the culminating that I have first and also complete my homework at the same time. I also tried not to procrastinate with my homework so I have more time to study for my culminating.”

Sana Shazad (Grade 10) said she “asked questions to teachers through email, did house chores and made sure she had no distractions. She also asked friends for help on topics and organized and planned her time.

Nada Elhossiny (Grade 12) shared: “Generally, we were told our culminating dates at least 2 weeks in advance, make sure you start preparing as soon as you find out! Ask your teachers what they think an effective way to study would be. For example, if you know your English culminating is an essay, make sure you make thesis statements and think of possible arguments beforehand. Also, make sure you take some time to organize your notes and know where everything is so you don’t waste time while writing your culminating.

Manage your time by reviewing your entire culminating task before starting and allocating an appropriate time to each section. This ensures you finish your entire culminating and do not waste too much time on one section.”

Marfy Abousifein (grade 12) shared her tips, “communicate with teachers regarding expectations, use planner, follow teacher instructions and guidance, don’t study last minute”. She also suggests that you make sure you alter your study methods based on the nature of the task, ask for help when needed, make a schedule and organize notes. She also explains that she made notes for memory-based courses and practice questions for critical thinking and practice-based courses.

Paige Hogan (Grade 12) stated: “So far my culminatings this year have all been writing-based, something I wasn't really able to study for. What I did to make sure I was successful was preparing ideas the night before and then putting all distractions away during the 3 hour culminating block.”

In the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis, the school year has been challenging for our staff and students. During the previous culminating season, students at Bishop Reding found overall that they were given enough time to complete their culminating task, their teachers did not prepare them well for their final tasks and lastly, about half of the students believed that the culminating task was more difficult.

Students and staff coped in many different ways by planning ahead to reduce stress, being productive when studying and completing their tasks. We hope our educators at Bishop Reding can take away something from our collected data and the student advice will be helpful in coping during the next culminating season.

In the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis, the school year has been challenging for our staff and students.”

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