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student engagement | students’ homework

American School of Doha

Meet Steven LoBianco , an experienced Economics teacher at the American School of Doha in Qatar. Previously accustomed to using printed textbooks with his International Baccalaureate (IB) students, he made the switch to Kognity’s all-in-one teaching and learning platform in 2017, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Challenge: Paper textbooks quickly became outdated

One of the things that Steven values the most about Kognity is how it enables him to access up-to-date, relevant examples and case studies. That’s something his previous printed textbooks simply didn’t allow.

Other main challenges that Steven wanted to improve:

  • Paper textbooks quickly became outdated, and repurchasing copies was time-consuming and expensive
  • Creating exam style questions to prep students for exams took too much time
  • Difficult to keep track of students’ homework
  • Spending hours grading students work
  • Pressure to deliver up to date and exciting content to students
  • Lack of time for higher level discussions
  • Some Economics textbooks can be overwhelming for his students.

“I like the fact that Kognity keeps getting updated with newer information. The news articles, videos, examples and case studies are all recent. With the printed textbook, it was just whatever was available on the date it was printed. Having a source that is constantly updating along with the recency of the examples is great.”

Keeping track of students’ progress

Not only does Kognity allow Steven to stay on top of his teaching with great case studies and examples, the auto-correcting feature allows him to seamlessly differentiate his teaching with the click of a button as well as track each student’s progress.

“Kognity has been a good replacement and definitely an improvement over using a traditional textbook.”

“Kognity has been a good replacement and definitely an improvement over using a traditional textbook. Having a series of practice IB-style questions that I don’t then have to come up with or tell them to find online from past papers saves me a lot of time.

Previously, I had students who barely did their homework, and when they did, they would turn in papers that I would spend all night grading, which I obviously don’t have time to do! I want the kids to have freedom, but I also want to keep tabs on what they’re doing. I have appreciated having the auto-correcting questions built in. It just sends me a report on results, so I can do a quick check-up.”

Easy administration

For Steven, having less day-to-day administrative work has taken some of the stress out of teaching and put the fun back into it his job. Kognity ensures the course content is covered and makes way for higher-level class activities.

“Kognity has taken some of the stress out of teaching.”

“Kognity allows me to spend my planning time searching for more activity-based or discussion-based activities. I don’t have to worry about delivering content or grading homework. It allows me the flexibility to do the things that are honestly more fun to do as a teacher.”

Accessibility for all

Students at American School of Doha are already noticing the benefits of having a more manageable and accessible economics textbook. Unlike many textbooks, the content on Kognity is not “overwhelming,” but just right for his students. Kognity’s interactive model puts student engagement at the forefront with both teachers and students at the wheel.

“The students find it’s clearly laid out. It’s long enough but not overwhelming.”

“The students find it’s clearly laid out. It’s long enough but not overwhelming. Some textbooks in their other classes can sometimes go into detail that is way beyond what is on the syllabus. Kognity doesn’t miss any content that the kids need to know, but it tries to get it done in a reasonable amount of time, so the kids feel able to complete the reading assignments without being bogged down.”