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6 Factors That Affect Student Achievement

When it comes to academic success, there are a lot of factors at play. A good teacher or a motivated student is only a small portion of what ultimately contributes to a student’s success.

Elements like the lesson delivery, class size, parental involvement, and social dynamics in a school all work together to contribute (or detract) from student achievement.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a number of factors that affect student achievement to help you understand why they are significant. We’ll also offer simple suggestions as to how you can leverage these factors to foster students academic success and improved student performance.

1. Instruction quality and delivery style

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the quality of instruction in the classroom is an important factor in student achievement. Studies have shown that most students do best when teachers foster a dynamic classroom experience in which they share the objectives and guidelines of the lesson with the students but let students lead the conversation.

A conversational instruction style helps students use their creativity to apply the information being taught in a variety of contexts, thus reinforcing the lesson.

Additionally, the opportunity to participate in the lesson is much more engaging for students than sitting through a one-sided lecture. Since students each have different learning styles, incorporating a variety of different lesson delivery styles gives each student the opportunity to engage with the material in different ways.

As a result, rather than feeling alienated or distracted during class time, student engagement allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the course material.

2. Class size

There is resounding evidence proving that students thrive in small classes. Small classes enable teachers to spend more time with each individual student so nobody slips through the cracks. Students have more opportunities to ask questions and receive direct feedback on their schoolwork which helps them engage more with their coursework overall improving academic achievement.

Additionally, teachers have an easier time managing smaller classes. As such, smaller classes facilitate learning environments with fewer disruptions, leaving more time for in-depth discussion and immersive learning.

While small classes may not always be an option, creating an intimate learning and school environment, such as a study group, could be a powerful alternative.

Working in a small group encourages participation and creates more opportunities for each student to share their ideas and perspectives, leading to a deeper understanding of the lessons.

3. Parent involvement

A supportive and involved family is one of the most important factors that affects student achievement and academic performance. Research has shown that students with involved parents achieve higher grades, have better attendance, and have bigger long-term aspirations.

With this in mind, creating opportunities and resources to help parents become more involved in their child’s school experience is an essential step in fostering student success.

There are all kinds of beneficial ways for parents to become involved and yield parental influence. They might ask questions about what their child learned in school that day, offer assistance with completing homework assignments, or help out with extracurricular activities. Every little bit counts.

4. Relationships with peers

Social relationships play a large role in academic success. Students who have friends at school often look forward to attending classes and are more prone to engage with the curriculum. Having friends is good for self esteem and gives students the confidence to participate in class discussions and share their unique perspectives.

On the other hand, when students struggle to form friendships, experience bullying, or feel like they don’t fit in with their peers, problems can arise. The stress and anxiety that comes with social strain can distract from school work, leading to lower grades, reduced student engagement and less involvement in class time.

There are many ways that educators can work to promote relationship building while at school influence student academic performance. On a schoolwide level, extra-curricular activities create the opportunity for students to form bonds with their peers, and develop closer relationships with their teachers.

At a classroom level, group activities, class discussions, and interactive lessons encourage students to get to know one another while learning.

5. Assessment

Students and educators both have goals relating to education, and through assessment they can evaluate whether they are on track to meet those goals.

Assessment can be used to develop or adjust rubrics, which in turn help establish a baseline for evaluating student coursework. Students often find assessment motivational, as it helps them see how they are doing and make adjustments as they learn.

Educators should be consistently assessing students and using the data collected to make improvements to the educational curriculum and to adjust educational standards. Assessment should also be used to evaluate how teachers are performing and determine areas where they can improve.

Assessment helps educators, students, and parents understand how well a student is retaining course material. Assessment exposes weak areas in a curriculum and helps educators determine whether the lessons they are teaching are successfully communicating the points they are trying to make.

Ultimately, an assessment protocol helps educators better meet the needs of their students, and helps students see where they stand in terms of their learning goals.

6. School facilities

Unsurprisingly, schools that are well equipped with tools, resources, and facilities for learning tend to see higher levels of student academic achievement. This is due to a number of factors, including the fact that they are more likely to attract highly qualified teachers.

Plus, teachers with an abundance of resources at their disposal are better equipped to cater to a variety of learning styles and levels, therefore offering better support to their students.

Students with access to laboratory equipment, computers, well-stocked libraries, and sports equipment are more highly engaged and tend to perform better.

Beyond learning materials, the infrastructure of the school is an important factor to consider as well. Schools with buildings that have good ventilation, heating, lighting, and noise control tend to see higher student achievement than those that do not have a good infrastructure.

Moving forward

There are many more factors that affect student achievement, and each of them does so in nuanced ways. If increasing student success is a goal your school is working towards, Student Turnaround can help.

Student Turnaround’s ST6 methodology was created to help empower educators and students to help them reach their goals.

Schedule a call to learn how School Turnaround can help foster student success within your school.


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