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They say it takes a village to raise a child. If that’s true, then it definitely takes a lot of village people to educate a child. While it’s well known how important the teacher is, others also play a role in student success, including classmates, principals and especially parents.

We know students are more likely to succeed when families are involved and research proves it. But parent involvement is difficult for schools to elicit. So we wondered, what if we could move the needle, even a little bit, by making it easier for parents to get involved?

Last fall, our Canvas research nerds looked at the data after the rollout of the Canvas Parent App. We compared marks for students linked to a Parent App user to students who were not. Our sample was 1,000 students; 500 in each group. Marks were measured in two ways: (1) the weighted final marks for the course, and (2) the average raw assignment score.

We found the Parent App students had higher overall course marks. In fact, their weighted final course marks were almost a whole letter grade higher (7% to be exact,) and their average assignment raw score was 2.3% higher. We know Canvas didn’t do that; involved parents made the difference.

There is no denying that parents are the secret sauce in their child’s education, so it’s important that we provide tools in Canvas to help parents stay involved. The Canvas Parent App shows real-time data and information about student performance and participation. Parents can view assignments, marks, announcements, set reminders for certain activities, and get it all delivered as mobile push notifications (which, let’s face it, is where we all are anyway). Canvas Parent App is free and available for both iOS and Android.

By reducing the barrier to entry for parents to be more involved in their child’s education, we’re helping facilitate positive change for students.

Keep Learning,

Hilary Scharton
VP of K-12 Product Strategy, Instructure