ICYMI Tech Tuesday – Flipped Learning 419- Small-Group Differentiated Instruction in Edmodo

Ready to steer small groups of students toward mastery? In this session, we will explore how to use Edmodo to assign different videos to small groups at different skill sets. Imagine teaching three lessons at the same time, all without extra staff in the room! It’s not mini-me, it’s Edmodo-me times three!


In the same week that I had prepared a “First Look” event for our two new learning management system (LMS) candidates, I had already scheduled this short session on using Edmodo to differentiate lessons.  So, while we are entertaining a step away from Edmodo, I was still training on it.  Why?  Well, the appeal of any LMS is personalization… and most other LMSes have a way to do small group instruction as well.

Yesterday, I painted a picture of a classroom that had just finished a formative assessment or benchmark.  You have students who aced all components, another group who missed a lot of vocabulary and a third group who scored poorly on a skill or concept.  How do you respond?  Are doing whole-group test corrections providing what students need?  Is that efficient?  Are students re-learning or just reviewing what they missed?

Well, thanks to small group features like the one in Edmodo, you can personalize student learning to their needs.  By using small groups, you can create an enrichment activity (maybe students watch a video biography about a famous contributor to your content-area) who did very well on your assessment; you assign a vocabulary review game and a make-up quiz to students who underperformed there; and finally you record a short instructional video on the concept that the third group of students misunderstood.  By creating Red, Green or Blue small groups in Edmodo, you can then have students each working on their enrichment or remediation activity while the teacher moves around the room, checking for understanding of students individual needs.  [Click on the images below to see an example write-up of individualize assignments for each group I imagined.]

In short, there are six quick steps to this process:

  1. Anticipate the categories of your benchmark or formative assessment and format your test to allow you to identify student needs by types of questions or indicators of a standard
  2. Assess student learning in a format that will give you quick turn-around in grading.  (Online assessment platforms like Socrative or Edmodo quizzes are great for this.)
  3. Create small groups in Edmodo for your enrichment group and however many categories you want to remediate/re-teach.  Use these instructions from Edmodo as a guide.
  4. Based on student data, assign students to the groups and upload the assignments, quizzes or resources that will fill students’ knowledge gaps or give them more practice with a concept.
  5. To do this right, you’ll need a positive, growth-minded culture.  On the day selected for intervention, emphasize the importance of everyone getting what they need and that this is about growing together, not leaving people behind or labeling them as failures, etc.  You can choose to let students sit with each other in their color groups if you’d like to conference with them.  You can also move around the room without students re-arranging… that’s up to you.
  6. Enjoy the moment when you realize you multiplied your presence thanks to technology!
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