What can you do to monitor & measure mental wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing can be defined as feeling good, feeling that life is interesting and worth living, and being able to get on with daily life. Not all young people feel this way, and that can affect their health, behaviour, and academic performance.
Why should schools strive to measure students’ mental wellbeing?
Schools and school staff should measure the mental wellbeing of their student population for 3 main reasons:
- To get a clear picture of mental wellbeing among the school population.
- To identify students who might profit from the support of specialists.
- To evaluate the impact of your school’s action plan to support mental wellbeing, and find out what needs to be changed and/or improved.
How can you measure your students’ mental wellbeing?
1. It is very important for you and your school to choose the right measure. Measures are targeted tools, such as questionnaires, that can be used to gather information about wellbeing. Choosing the right measure to collect this information will help you meet all your objectives.
2. Think about where and how the measure will take place. Make sure that your students feel comfortable, safe, and have some privacy.
3. Have a plan in place for recording, assessing and using the data.
How can LessonUp help you in measuring and monitoring wellbeing?
1. Ask your students to fill in a targeted questionnaire in the safety of a digital environment.
LessonUp’s interactive possibilities could really support you in stimulating your students by posing these non-so-fun questions in an engaging way.
- An open-ended question is probably one of the best ways to stimulate your students to write the most lengthy and insightful answers. Students type more text with a keyboard than they do by putting pen to paper. As a teacher, you don’t need to like this fact, but it is handy to be aware of it.
If you make 2 versions of a questionnaire, an analog and a digital one with approximately 15 questions, you will notice that the digital version is completed sooner. It takes your students 10 minutes less to complete it.
- To create a visual connection with your students and stimulate self-reflection, you could implement a poll with happy to sad emojis. Your students can use a happy to sad visual to give a snapshot of their mental state. By using very specific statements in your polls, you help them explore how they feel, without asking them to write down how they feel.
- Digital quiz questions are perfect for yes/no or true/false answers
Most students enjoy quizzes because they are immediate ways to express their knowledge. At the beginning of the questionnaire you could ask them to define difficult concepts like “mental wellbeing”, “feeling low”, “feeling happy”, or “feeling like I can cope at school” with a quiz question. Basically, you make sure right at the beginning of the questionnaire that they are aware of these concepts, and can try to relate them to their own feelings.
- A digital mind map to assess their prior knowledge
Write “mental wellbeing” or “feeling low” at the centre of a digital mind map and see what each student already knows about it. It is an interesting way of mapping information and assessing how much your students are aware of these concepts and feelings. From there, you could proceed with your questionnaire, alternating quiz questions, open-ended questions, or photo questions. Variation is positive: it often stimulates and boosts engagement.
2. With LessonUp your students work in a safe digital environment. They could potentially fill in the questionnaire from home, but you might prefer them to be at school, under your supervision, to ensure they answer it in person and alone. Don’t pose time limits, and check that students cannot see each other’s answers. That’s very important for their privacy.
3. LessonUp records all students’ answers automatically. They are safe, and always available in the student reports. You can monitor and measure this precious data, and use it to promote the wellbeing of each student. Your school can then come up with a new action plan, or improve existing measures in order to match your students’ specific needs.
A great thing about LessonUp, is that you can provide your students with real-time feedback to their answers. So if one of their answers is vague, or unclear, you could point them in the right direction by posting a comment. Or if you notice that they haven’t understood your question, you could insert an extra explanation, or clarify what you mean digitally or in person.
Check out our tips to support the mental wellbeing of your students