Monthly Archives: February 2022

Lost learning – How teachers can identify gaps in learning with Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms can help teachers to identify gaps in learning and keep track of students’ progress on specific topics.  

Over the last few years, many students have inevitably lost hours of learning due to higher absences, adjusting to learning from home and dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.   

On top of this, some individuals have struggled to access learning remotely due to a lack of access to devices or internet connectivity.   

This major disruption has caused a huge problem for schools as teachers battle to clearly identify gaps in individual students’ learning and keep track of progress. 

In Forms, we can quickly create quizzes and surveys to gauge how confident students are feeling about specific topics.  

Forms are a great tool to use when catching up on lost learning because teachers can: 

  • Easily duplicate and reuse forms – which saves teacher time as it removes the need to create new forms for each class and they can be shared within departments or across the entire school. 
  • Quickly create engaging surveys with a range of options and tools.  
  • View data, graphs and charts on individual students or whole classes – so you know exactly who needs more support with a specific topic.  
  • Download raw data in Excel for records and in-depth analysis.  

Here’s how to create a quiz in Microsoft Forms to tackle to problem of lost learning:  



  

Create a quiz in Microsoft Forms. 

  1. Select New quiz to create a new quiz. From here, you can add a title and description.

Create a new quiz in Microsoft Forms

Tip: Create a template quiz that can be reused for all your classes. 

2. Select Add new to add a question. You can pick from either Choice, Text, Rating and Date. Or, alternatively, select the down arrow to bring up advanced question options like Ranking, Likert scale or File upload.  

Add a question to a Microsoft Form

You can be as creative as you like, but to create a form for the purpose of addressing lost learning, we’d recommend using the Choice, Text and Rating questions to effectively gauge students understanding of a topic.  

Add a Choice question to your Microsoft Form.  

Choice questions are versatile and can allow students to communicate their understanding of a topic or be set up as a comprehension task with right/wrong answers.  

  1. Select Add new and then Choice to add either a multiple or single choice question to your quiz.  
  2. From here, you can type out your question and add different options.  
  3. Choose whether it’s multiple or single choice by toggling on/off Multiple answers.
  4. Toggle on/off Required to decide whether students are required to fill out this question or not (we’d recommend selecting required if you want all students to answer a question as they may skip it).
  5. Add a subtitle for extra context by selecting the three dots (…) and then Subtitle. 

Add a choice question to a Microsoft Form

Add a Rating question to your Microsoft Form. 

Rating questions allow students to rate their understanding of a topic.  

  1. Select Add new and then Rating.  
  2. From here, you can type out your question.  
  3. Select how many rating levels you would like from the drop-down menu.  
  4. You can also choose whether to use numbers or stars from the Symbol drop-down menu.  
  5. Toggle on/off Required to decide whether students are required to fill out this question or not (we’d recommend selecting required if you want all students to answer a question as they may skip it). 
  6. Add a subtitle for extra context by selecting the three dots (…) and then Subtitle. 
  7. Add labels to the rating scale (I.e. 1 = Not confident at all and 5 = Completely confident) by selecting the three dots (…) and then Label. 

Add a rating scale to a Microsoft Form

Add a Text question to your Microsoft Form. 

Text questions give students space to write their own answers, instead of relying on pre-written answers.  

  1. Select Add new and then Text. 
  2. From here, you can type out your question. You can also add an image or video to support your question.  
  3. You can choose how much space a student gets to answer the question by toggling on/off Long answer.
  4. Toggle on/off Required to decide whether students are required to fill out this question or not (we’d recommend selecting required if you want all students to answer a question as they may skip it).
  5. Add a subtitle for extra context by selecting the three dots (…) and then Subtitle. 

Add a text question to a quiz

Change the theme of a Microsoft Form. 

To make your quiz look more visually appealing, you can change its theme. 

  1. Select Theme to open up the theme options. 
  2. Choose from a pre-set theme or customise your own theme with a specific colour or image.

Change the theme of a Microsoft Form

Change the settings of a Microsoft Form. 

  1. Select the three dots (…) in the top navigation bar of Microsoft Forms.  
  2. Here you can alter the settings of your quiz, for example, whether you wish to show results automatically, who can fill out the form and options for responses. 

Change the settings of a Microsoft Form

Share a Microsoft Form with your class.  

  1. Select Share in the top navigation bar of Microsoft Forms. 
  2. From here, you can create a link to your form to share your response. 
  3. You can also share the form as a template, which is great if you want to use the quiz across multiple classes or share it with colleagues for reuse.  
  4. Forms can also be collaborated on – you can create a link to your form for colleagues to view and edit.  

How to share your Microsoft Form

Here’s an example of how you can get your class to fill out the quiz: 

Announcing your form on Microsoft Teams

Once students start to fill out the quiz, you can see their answers in the Responses tab on the form.  

Here you can see an overview of everyone’s responses: 

View a summary of form responses 

Or, alternatively, you can click through to each individual student to see their responses and even how long it took them to fill out the quiz.   

Finally, you can export the data to Excel – which is great for combining with school-wide data and creating in-depth reports.  

Microsoft Forms is a brilliant tool for creating quizzes and surveys that can quickly identify gaps in student learning.

If you would like to find out more about how Microsoft 365 and Cloud Box can help your school or trust overcome the challenges of lost learning, book a demo with a member of our team.

Lost Learning – How teachers can reassign missed homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams

Teachers can easily and quickly reassign homework tasks to individual students in Microsoft Teams Assignments when students have missed out on learning.

Over the last few years, many students have inevitably lost hours of learning due to higher absences, adjusting to learning from home and dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.

On top of this, some individuals have struggled to access learning remotely due to a lack of access to devices or internet connectivity.

This major disruption has caused a huge problem for schools as teachers battle to clearly identify gaps in individual students’ learning and keep track of progress.  

The ability to reassign missed assignments can help students catch up on lost learning at their own pace.

Here’s how you can easily reset an assignment or reassign a piece of homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams.




  1. Go to Assignments in Teams to view the assignments you have previously set.
  2. Select Create to open three options: Assignment, Quiz or From existing.   Create an Assignment from existing assignment in Microsoft Teams
  3. Select From existing to use a previous assignment. This brings up a list of all the classes you teach – you can scroll through or use the search bar to find the one you need.
  4. Select the class and hit Next. All the previous assignments from that class will appear. Lost Learning Assignments - Find an assignment to reuse in Microsoft Teams
  5. Select the assignment you wish to reassign and hit Next.

As you can see, everything is already populated for you – the title, instructions, relevant resources, rubric etc. – so there’s no need to waste time re-adding information.

However, if you need to edit or add additional guidance to the task, you can easily do that.

Reassigning an Assignment in Microsoft Teams

To reassign the assignment to an individual student: 

  1. Head to the Assign to section and select where it says All students to bring up a drop-down menu where you can choose Individual Students or Groups of students.Lost Learning in Microsoft Teams 4 - Reassigning assignments to individual students
  2. Select Individual students to bring up a list of all the students in the selected class.
  3. Choose the student(s) that you wish to reassign the assignment to, and then hit Done. 
  4. You may also wish to change a new due date. You can alter this in the Date due section. 

Once you’re happy, tap Assign to assign the task to the selected students – only these students will get a notification about the homework task. 

You can view this in Assignments in Teams and keep an eye on which students have completed and turned in the work.

ATTACHMLost Learning in Microsoft Teams 5 - Viewing re-assigned assignmentsENT DETAILS

Assignments in Microsoft Teams makes it easy for teachers to save time when supporting students with lost learning and missed assignments.

If you would like to find out more about how Microsoft 365 and Cloud Box can help your school or trust overcome the challenges of lost learning, book a demo with a member of our team.

Lost learning – How schools and trusts can encourage students to catch up with SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint can help schools and trusts overcome many of the lost learning challenges they face in 2022.

Over the last few years, many students have inevitably lost hours of learning, due to higher levels of absences, adjusting to learning from home and dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.  

On top of this, some individuals have struggled to access learning remotely due to a lack of access to devices or internet connectivity.  

This major disruption has caused a huge problem for schools as teachers battle to clearly identify gaps in individual students’ learning and keep track of progress.  

Using SharePoint as a central storage hub for all learning resources, schools and trusts make catching up on learning accessible to students anytime and anywhere.  

Students can catch up on missed learning on their own terms and take ownership of the gaps in their knowledge.  

Meanwhile, sharing resources in SharePoint encourages staff to work together to create learning resources and share them across departments, schools and the trusts.

This not only cuts down the number of hours wasted re-creating resources that already exist, but it can also drive up quality as the resources can be reused, recycled and built upon year after year. 

Below are some tips on how to use SharePoint in a way that enables students to catch up easily on lost learning.  



Structure folders around student needs.

It’s essential to keep the student’s point of view in mind when creating and structuring your SharePoint folders.  

Choose clear names for folders and documents and consider numbering them so they appear in a specific order – for example, by term, week or lesson number.  

This makes it so much easier for students to revisit lost learning and reduces the chances of them needing to contact you to find specific documents.  

In the example in our video guide, Joe breaks down learning into terms, weeks and lessons and then numbers worksheets and tasks so that students can access the right files.  

Structure files in SharePoints around students' point of view

Search for keywords.

Encourage students to use the search function in SharePoint.  

The clever tool allows you to search within the selected folder – keywords can be used to search the titles of folders and files and even words within documents.  

This is great when students need to access something quickly or revise a specific topic.  

Tip: Take this one step further and use the Find tool (Ctrl + F) to drill down into documents and search for specific keywords.  

Connect it to Teams with Cloud Box.  

With our Cloud Box solution, you can automatically connect your learning resource folders to the respective Teams channel so students can access everything they need without leaving the Teams app.  

The resources folder can be accessed in the top navigation bar and documents can all be opened up within the Teams app.

Connect SharePoint to Teams

Share resources quickly.  

Resources can also be easily shared outside of SharePoint.  

Simply select the file, document or folder you wish to share and click Share. 

A pop-up appears with multiple sharing options:  

  • You can email a student (or multiple students) the selected file directly so that they can access the folder. 
  • Or you can create a sharing link that can then be copied into a Teams message or email.  

From here, you can also alter the editing permissions to prevent students from editing the resource.

Note: You’ll get a notification as soon as students open your link.  

Share resources in SharePoint

SharePoint makes it easy to share resources with students who may have lost learning, but it also makes it very easy for staff to collaborate and work together on creating documents. If you would like to find out more about how Microsoft 365 and Cloud Box can help your school or trust overcome the challenges of lost learning, book a demo with a member of our team.

 

Lost learning – How schools and trusts can overcome the issue with Microsoft

Lost learning is one of the many challenges schools face in 2022. In this blog, we share our top tips using Cloud Design Box and Microsoft education packages to encourage students to catch up with learning independently.  

Many students have lost learning due to:  

  • Higher levels of absences (of both staff and students).  
  • Adjusting to learning from home.  
  • Dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.  

What’s more, depending on individual circumstances, some children have had to face challenges with internet connectivity, access to devices and the ability to participate in home learning.   

This major disruption has led to lost teaching hours, lost learning hours and lost assessment data. And, because each student has had a unique experience during Covid-19, it’s difficult to quantify and track gaps in learning.   

So how can we address this widespread problem of lost learning? 

We can start by looking at strategies to help teachers identify gaps in learning for specific students. When we combine this with strategies that encourage student independence, students can identify gaps in their own learning and access the tools they need to catch up.   

The approach should focus on saving teacher time, driving up the quality of learning resources, encouraging students to take ownership of their own learning.   

On top of this, the progress should be easy to monitor.   



Tools we can use to address lost learning:

Create accessible, centralised resources in SharePoint. 

Create a centralised, long-term resource bank in SharePoint for teaching resources, policies and other documents that can be reused and repurposed every academic year.   

Not only does this save time each year by not having to replicate or reupload resources, but it also means that everyone has access to everything they need to work – whether that’s a student or staff member. 

Here’s how teachers can use SharePoint to address the problem of lost learning →

How to use SharePoint to encourage students to catch up with lost learning

Create ‘topic notebooks’ and revision guides in OneNote. 

OneNote can be used to create and organise digital learning content for students – that can be shared in a centralised area.  

Teachers can create a mini-website/digital topic notebook for each topic that can then be shared via a link or in Teams. 

One notebook could be used to cover a term’s worth of learning content, that the student can then look back through and revise from. 

How to create topic notebooks in OneNote to help with lost learning →

Create topic notebooks and revision guides in OneNote
 

Reset lost assignments in Teams for individual students or small groups. 

With Teams Assignments, teachers can re-send out assignments to individuals or small groups of students who may not have been able to complete the homework when it was initially set.  

This saves teachers from having to send out a notification to whole classes and allows students who missed out to fill gaps in their learning. 

How teachers can reassign missed homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams →

How teachers can reassign missed homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams
 

Use Forms to identify gaps in learning and track student progress. 

Forms are a great way to pick up on gaps in learning as teachers can create engaging surveys and quizzes on a specific topic for students to complete.   

Data is then collected instantly and can be turned into graphs and charts so any gaps in knowledge can be easily identified and recapped. 

How teachers can identify gaps in learning with Microsoft Forms →

How schools and MATs can use Microsoft Forms to help tackle lost learning

If you would like more information on how these Microsoft tools can work together to help address the issue of lost learning in your school or trust, book a demo with a member of our team.

Bridging the digital divide – how Cloud Design Box is supporting launch of the DEIS Connect Project

Cloud Design Box has been working with St Kevin’s Community College in Dublin to support them in becoming one of the first DEIS (Delivery Equality of Opportunity in Schools) schools in Ireland.  

The DEIS Connect Project aims to bridge the digital divide in schools and provide digital devices for all learners. It was launched by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin on 4 February 2022.  

All 1st and 2nd year students have been given an iPad for use in school and at home, with laptops distributed to all 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th years at the college.  

The DEIS Connect initiative is a clear demonstration of DDLETB’s commitment to delivering a high-quality learning experience for all of our students and school teams,” states  Mr Adrian Flynn, Director of Schools at DDLETB.

We are very proud of St. Kevins CCs achievements in leading the path in embracing the best of what technology-enhanced learning has to offer. We look forward to further developing this initiative throughout the DDLETB DEIS network.”  

Our team have been working with the school and the DDLETB (Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board) to create an online solution for blended and remote learning at St Kevin’s. 

The hybrid approach to learning is one of the first of its kind in the country, allowing students to access learning resources at any time from their devices.  

Equipped with our Cloud Box platform and new skills from staff training sessions we’ve delivered, teachers at St Kevin’s can access everything they need to create and store quality online learning materials, provide feedback to students and track learner progress. 

 An Taoiseach Micheál Martin at St Kevin's Community College

“The Cloud Box platform is a fabulous benefit to our school. It’s a great place for staff to collaborate, and it links directly with our MIS data – which is invaluable to me as the ICT coordinator. Now that we have become a 1:1 school, with all students having access to devices, this software is completely invaluable to us – all the students’ Teams and content libraries created from the very start,” enthuses Mr John O’Callaghan, ICT Coordinator at St Kevin’s.  

“Cloud Design Box has been extremely approachable and easy to work with, from the initial build of the platform and while finetuning the software and going above and beyond to meet our needs.” 

St Kevin’s celebrated the launch of the project on Friday 4 February with a visit from Micheál Martin. 

Watch the launch day video here: 



 

 Mr Tony Barry, Principal of the school said on the launch day: 

“DEIS Connect will expand the capacity and opportunity for all learners to engage in the use of digital technology in both teaching and learning. It is an innovative solution to tackle the digital divide and to benefit learners,” 

“Every student coming to St Kevin’s now and into the future regardless of means will receive a digital device to assist them with learning – to prepare them for further education, college and to ensure they are workforce ready.”

Mr Tony Barry at St Kevins Community College DEIS Connect Project

The whole team at Cloud Design Box is thrilled to be involved in this project, which has provided an entire community with the tools they need to thrive in todays digital environment.  

If you would like to find out more about our Cloud Box platform, book a free demo today.  

 

Cloud Design Box gains Microsoft SDS Professional Partner status

Cloud Design Box has become one of the first companies to achieve the Microsoft School Data Sync Professional Partner Certification – the highest certification for Microsoft SDS. 

Microsoft SDS simplifies class management in Microsoft 365, reading class data from your school, academy or trust’s MIS and creating classes and groups for Microsoft Teams.  

Previously, we have been awarded the SDS Advanced Partner accreditation as part of the Partner Success Series for Microsoft SDS.

The Professional Partner certification is one up from this and the highest award a company can currently achieve for Microsoft SDS.

“The SDS Professional Partner accreditation covered several advanced SDS topics, including troubleshooting SDS syncs and using Microsoft Graph API with SDS,” explains Cloud Design Box’s Support Case Manager and Cybersecurity Officer Steve Hill, who took part in the Professional Partner training.

“It’s important that we continue to improve our skills and keep up to date with the latest SDS changes. That’s why we’re a Microsoft Partner and routinely attend the Partner Success Series quarterly meetings with Microsoft, as well as complete all the relevant training courses that Microsoft Partner University provides.”

SDS Professional Partner Badge

“We’re excited to be one of the first to receive this from Microsoft! The award gives our customers even more confidence in our abilities to install and manage SDS, ensuring their Class Teams are created seamlessly and correctly each academic year,” explains Tony Phillips, Founder of Cloud Design Box.  

“SDS is recommended best practice when creating and maintaining Class Teams. Not only does it speed up and automate a previous time-consuming task that often took IT managers and staff the whole of the summer holidays to achieve, but it also allows you to create a rich data set of year groups, subjects, schools and more to create future reports across your entire organisation that support the leadership team all year round.”  

You can read more about Microsoft SDS in this guide

The Cloud Design Box team is continuously improving their skills and knowledge on Microsoft 365 for Education and Business, enrolling in Microsoft’s training programmes and courses. We’re proud to add this latest accreditation to our growing list of certifications that includes Microsoft in Education Global Training Partner, Microsoft Partner and CPD certification.

Want to find out more about how Cloud Design Box can support you with your rollover to a new academic year with Microsoft School Data Sync? Book a demo with a member of our team. 

In the meantime, check out these guides on SDS: