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Teacher Best Practices: Using NMSI Student Supports throughout the School Year

Students at NMSI schools credit our Online Student Supports and Study Sessions as a valuable resource for preparing for their Advanced Placement® exams. Both the live sessions with AP coaches and our asynchronous study offerings are designed to build confidence by supplying tips, tricks and test-taking strategies.  

So, what are some best practices to introduce students to these resources during the year?  

For AP English and Composition teacher Lauren Kaszonyi, it’s best at the beginning of the school year.  Image of Lauren Kaszonyi and family posing in front of trees. Image provided by Lauren Kaszonyi.

Kaszonyi is a 14-year veteran of Thomas Jefferson High School, just 12 miles outside of Pittsburgh in the West Jefferson Hills School District. The campus is currently in its second year of the College Readiness Program

“So, I did registration with NMSI in the fall and my strategy was to do it as a large group while modeling it on a projector, to walk them through the steps of getting registered, logging into Blackboard, how to place a course in your cart and hitting that register button,” says Kaszonyi.  

She took 10-15 minutes out of her instructional time to make sure all the students could access their Blackboard account. “To me, that was time well spent, because we were able to circumvent any issues that students may have had by sending emails and follow up with kids who didn't have accounts. Whereas other instructors have asked students to do this on their own as a homework assignment and the opt-in hasn’t been as successful.” 

Just before Winter Break, Kaszonyi brought her students back into Blackboard for a deeper look at the available study topics. “I asked them to log in and click on the titles of the modules to preview the lessons. Afterwards, I asked to fill out a Google form I made and tell me which units they thought would be most beneficial to them at first glance. My purpose in doing this was to let them know what’s available. I wanted them to explore the topics on their own, considering their own strengths and weaknesses and how they would personally use the supports.” 

The results from the students’ feedback helped Kaszonyi weave the study resources into her class instruction. “During a recent lesson, I highly suggested that they look at specific unit on breaking down AP multiple choice because they had a graded AP multiple choice test later that week. So, I saw it as an opportunity to make a deeper engagement in the work through that module.” 

Curious how NMSI’s Online Student Support and Study Sessions can affect your students? Click here to learn more about the College Readiness Program.