If your student is struggling to keep up with their performance in class, an intervention, such as private tutoring should be done. However, this would only be possible if your student is willing to participate in this academic activity that will help improve their work and actually learn all the lessons in their subjects. Consent is your number one priority if you propose to the student to participate in learning activities outside the school hours. In order to assure that your student is willing and is informed about this intervention, a contract should be created that shows that the student knows what the learning activity is all about and is willing to participate in it. Unlike other contracts, this type doesn’t have to be legally binding in front of the court, but it can be useful to present this to the student’s parents, or principal, or the guidance counselor to let them be aware of what the student is participating in. This article will help you on how to create a student learning contract.
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What is a Student Learning Contract?
A learning contract for students is a voluntary, student-completed document that outlines actions the learner promises to take in a course to achieve academic success. This contract is signed by the student, the instructor, and (optionally) the parent. Benefits of all such contracts, however, are that they provide academic structure and support, motivate struggling learners by having them pledge publicly to engage in specific, positive study and learning behaviors, and serve as a vehicle to bring teachers and students to an agreement on what course goals are important and how to achieve them
Details to Include in a Student Learning Contract
1. Statement of Purpose
The contract opens with a statement presenting a rationale for why the contract is being implemented. A sample statement might be: “I am taking part in this learning contract because I want to improve my grades and pass this course.”
2. Student Actions
The contract lists any actions that the student is pledging to complete to ensure success in the course. Suitable targets for learning contract items might include attendance, class participation, completion of classwork or homework, seeking of instructor help, etc.
3. Teacher Actions
The learning contract can be strengthened by adding a section detailing those actions that the instructor agrees to undertake to support the student. For example, the contract might state that the instructor will respond within 24 hours to course questions emailed by the student or will check weekly and alert the student to any missing course work. Listing teacher responsibilities on the contract emphasizes that success in the course is a shared endeavor and can prod the student to take advantage of instructor supports that might otherwise be overlooked.
Both student and teacher sign the learning contract. If the parent is participating in the development of the contract, he or she also signs the contract. Because this document is a kind of promissory contract the student signature, in particular, indicates a voluntary acceptance of the learning contract and a public pledge to follow through on its terms.
What is the purpose of a learning contract?
Learning contracts help prompt the students to reflect on what they’ve learned, how they learned their lesson, and how they established clear goals and create timelines to work on their projects.
What is the importance of engaging students in learning?
Some research had shown that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus and motivates them to practice their critical thinking skills.
What are the characteristics that promote student learning?
Here are some examples that promote student learning:
- Involve students in activities, encounters, situations, ideas that will challenge them
- Create a supportive environment where students are comfortable to learn at their own pace
- Encourage the active learning of the real world
- Involve other significant people in the learning process
- Promote self-reflection
Once you’re done drafting the contract, review it for any grammatical or spelling mistakes, the language and the tone you used, and the conciseness of all the content. Revise it if needed. Encourage the student to discuss it first with you before you reach a mutual agreement with the contents before you both sign it. To help you get started making the contract, download our free sample templates above to use as your guide!
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