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Intentional Touchpoints

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Intentional Touchpoints–so named by Fisher, Frey, and Hattie in The Distance Learning Playbook (2020)–is an umbrella term for those strategies or activities that demonstrate deliberate opportunities for teachers to connect with students both academically and personally.


To effectively implement Intentional Touchpoints, the teacher determines within any given activity or task students might complete the manner by which the teacher will interact with the students. Examples of common intentional touchpoints include:

  • Interest Surveys: the teacher asks students to share, digitally or otherwise, personal interests that are then recorded for later reference in conversation.
  • Active participation in discussion boards: when using digital discussion boards, the teacher deliberately participates by responding directly to individual students.
  • Tracking student participation: such as in the Moments of Genuine Connection strategy, the teacher tracks interactions with students and/or student participation in order to identify and draw out participation where it may be lacking.
  • Recording responses to and feedback on student work: by using tools for things like Audio and Video Feedback, the teacher includes direct individual feedback on student work.
  • Ask students to contribute topics or questions: whether in a targeted individual approach or as a classroom norm, the teacher invites students to contribute questions, ideas, or topics for class discussion.

Whatever the specific strategy or activity, the goal for any Intentional Touchpoint is the clear and direct interaction with every student, both to grow the relationship with students and to develop student voice and agency in the classroom.


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