Established in 1991, Emirates International School Jumeirah provides an international education to students aged 3 – 19. In 1992, EIS-Jumeirah became the first school in Dubai to offer the IB Diploma Programme, and it has since been authorised for the full IB Continuum. The school first began using ManageBac in 2009.
ManageBac: “The backbone of the IB Programme”
ManageBac was first implemented to support EIS-Jumeirah’s CAS programme in 2009, before being adopted as a learning management system across the school. “I honestly feel that ManageBac is the backbone of the IB Programme,” says Nausheen, “because it is such a good Learning Management System and it is so completely tailored to the IB.”
Key to this is ManageBac’s role as a central hub, keeping everything in one place. For teachers, this means that all their unit plans are stored together, and they get the functionality of multiple programmes in one thanks to ManageBac’s integration with other tools, such as Dropbox, Turnitin and IBIS. “Our teachers love it,” says Nausheen. “They’ve got so used to it, I don’t think anybody can survive without it anywhere in our school now.” And for the wider school community, ManageBac acts as a key repository of information, where parents and students can go to access all the information they need – whether to read messages, check grades, find CAS opportunities or learn more about TOK.
Crucially, ManageBac is used throughout school to support the full IB Continuum – building familiarity over the years. “The interface, right from PYP to the DP, is the same,” explains Nausheen, “so if a parent has multiple children in the school or if their child has moved across from PYP to MYP to DP, they are used to seeing the same interface, they know where to go.”
Support for Students
With student wellbeing and workload in mind, EIS-Jumeirah has found that several ManageBac features can help to ensure that students are not overloaded. The Year Group Calendar, for example, provides a snapshot of all the activities scheduled for a particular cohort – allowing teachers to check that students are not overwhelmed by multiple deadlines or exams in a short space of time. “The calendar feature is like our lifeline, because it tells us what’s happening next,” says Nausheen. This is the case for students too, who use ManageBac to record and manage their homework tasks, instead of the handwritten diaries the school used previously.
EIS-Jumeirah also uses AssessPrep to run mock exams, which helps students to feel prepared. “I think AssessPrep is a great piece of software that emulates the eAssessments completely,” says Nausheen. “It’s great practice for the children for the actual IB eAssessment, and it’s great that students have access to that kind of software and experience, because then it makes them more confident in an actual examination”.
AssessPrep has been particularly useful for MYP Mathematics, as it allows students to practise producing graphs in the style that they will encounter in the eAssessment. “It’s easy to draw a graph on a paper, but to actually do it on your laptop in an exam condition is not so easy,” explains Nausheen. With students already feeling the pressure to absorb content, AssessPrep can help to familiarise them with the medium of the exam – reducing any stress associated with summative assessments.
EIS-Jumeirah finds ManageBac’s various reporting features invaluable, from the reflections that students produce on their own learning, to the ability to pull progress reports, analytics and school records at the touch of a button – “it’s absolutely magical, I love the turnaround time” says Nausheen. The school implemented the ManageBac Report Cards module in 2013, allowing them to go paperless and to create detailed yet “neat” reports, covering everything from the students’ attendance to attitudes.
ManageBac’s reporting capabilities also enable EIS-Jumeirah to see the bigger picture. “At our school what we do is we export our ManageBac reports into another virtual system where we analyse our data,” explains Nausheen. “We then link it with other data in order to analyze trends in progress and to determine how well our students are progressing”. The platform’s reporting tool also supports compliant data management, allowing the school to stay on the right side of government regulation that dictates how many years they need to hold school records and reports.
“It’s made our lives easy, and I know that if there is a problem, I can always reach out to ManageBac for support,” concludes Nausheen.