In today's increasingly complex world, it is more important than ever to equip students with the...
How QUEST Helps Extended Learning Programs Achieve an 80% Daily Average Attendance
Chronic absenteeism poses a daunting challenge for schools across the nation, but the key to combating this issue lies in the provision of exceptional summer and extended learning programs. With an alarming estimate of 8 million students in the United States affected by chronic absenteeism—equating to roughly 15% of the student population—the urgency to address this concern becomes apparent.
Disproportionately impacting low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness, chronic absenteeism acts as a catalyst for academic struggles, dropout rates, and unfavorable future outcomes, such as unemployment and involvement in the criminal justice system.
However, recent research has shed light on a promising solution: schools that prioritize strategies to increase attendance and employ effective strategies can profoundly influence student achievement and success. In fact, California's Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) discovered a strong correlation between enhanced attendance and improved test scores, particularly in math. Similarly, the Texas Education Agency conducted a study revealing that schools with high attendance rates excelled on state assessments compared to their counterparts with low attendance rates.
Read on to learn about how QUEST can boost attendance rates and ensure learners’ academic success.
QUEST Provides Unique Learning Opportunities
Unique learning opportunities can play an important role in increasing retention and boosting attendance by increasing student engagement, motivation, and interest in attending school. When students are presented with exciting and meaningful learning experiences, they are more likely to be actively involved in their education and less inclined to miss school.
Students are given a unique and engaging opportunity with QUEST because students are immersed into a world where all the adults have disappeared. Learners form teams, make critical decisions about how they will survive, and collaborate to unlock the mysteries of Sarabella Falls.
Driven by Student Choice
Students rarely have the opportunity to make ALL decisions without an adult guiding them. In the world of QUEST, learners are empowered with decision-making opportunities at every phase of gameplay making it the perfect opportunity to build future-ready skills in a safe environment.
Highly Engaging Through Purposeful Play
All learners deserve access to high quality educational opportunities that provide fun, engagement, and rigor. When students have the opportunity to pursue subjects or activities they are genuinely enthusiastic about, they are more likely to attend school to participate. QUEST brings the fun! It meets students where they are combining the physical elements of board games, digital interface of video games, and strategy of escape rooms. The result is powerful and purposeful play.
QUEST Prioritizes Fun & Engagement
Incorporating fun and engagement are great ways to increase attendance and boost retention. This can be done by incorporating games, challenges, hands-on and active learning, and age-appropriate activities.
Games and Challenges
Games and challenges can be effective in increasing attendance and boosting retention by creating a sense of excitement, competition, and motivation for students to attend school regularly.
QUEST has built in games, immersive storylines, and challenges for students to play which pushes their critical thinking and collaboration skills. Learners will be tasked to solve intriguing challenges like Restoring Power to their town.
Hands-On Learning Experiences
Offering hands-on and creative learning experiences, like QUEST and Creators, can make learning more engaging and meaningful.
Within QUEST, teams work to solve challenges. For example, with the Restoring Power Challenge, learners will use a physical board reflecting an electrical grid and different colored tokens. Each student on the team has their own colored token and must work collaboratively to place the tokens in the appropriate location to restore power.
Create is where learners transform from players to creators. It is an opportunity for students to become the architects of their own learning experience. Through the creation of original characters, artwork, and storytelling, students develop their very own episode of QUEST and present it at a Showcase event for friends, teachers, peers, and family members.
Age-appropriate activities can contribute to reducing absenteeism by creating a learning environment that is engaging, relevant, and meaningful for students at different stages of development. When activities are tailored to students' age and interests, they are more likely to feel motivated, connected, and excited about attending school.
QUEST provides developmentally appropriate activities for students to engage in. QUEST provides different skill levels tied to grade level bands. There is specialized content and activities at the primary, intermediate, and secondary level.
QUEST Incentivizes Learners
Incentives can help increase attendance and boost retention by providing tangible rewards or recognition to students for attending school regularly.
To incentivize students, QUEST provides a Swag Pack for each student that includes:
- Team sweatband
- Drawstring bag
- Water bottle
- Collectible cards
Gamified experiences can effectively increase attendance and boost retention by incorporating game elements and principles into the educational environment, making learning more engaging, enjoyable, and motivating for students.
QUEST gamifies the learner experience by incorporating survival points that students earn to win and reputation tokens that incentivize in-game behavior, ethics, and choices.
QUEST Reinforces Workforce Readiness
(21st Century Skills/ 4 Cs)
Incorporating 21st Century Skills/ 4 Cs in teaching sparks active student engagement. By collaborating, communicating, thinking critically, and unleashing their creativity together, students become more invested in their learning, reducing boredom and absenteeism.
Opportunities to engage learners in the 4 Cs make learning relevant and meaningful. When students understand the practical applications of education, they are motivated to attend classes regularly, forging stronger connections with peers and cultivating a sense of belonging in the classroom community.
By embracing the 4 Cs, teachers create an environment that supports personalized learning experiences. Encouraging critical and creative thinking empowers students to explore their interests and take ownership of their learning, leading to increased attendance and active participation in class.
Developing critical thinking skills contributes to workforce readiness by preparing students to analyze complex problems, make informed decisions, and think creatively. By actively engaging in critical thinking activities, students deepen their understanding, take ownership of their learning, and increase their motivation to attend school.
In QUEST, students sharpen their critical thinking skills as they navigate a world without adults, tackling challenges that require effective decision-making, problem-solving, and goal-setting. QUEST’s immersive gameplay includes challenging puzzles where learners fully utilize their critical thinking skills.
Nurturing creativity in education enhances workforce readiness by fostering innovation, adaptability, and out-of-the-box thinking. When students have opportunities to express their imagination, curiosity, and self-expression, they develop a sense of joy, ownership, and personal connection to their learning, motivating them to attend school consistently.
In QUEST, students unleash their creativity by solving unique problems in a fictitious world. From exploring the map, to experiencing an unexpected encounter in the game, and creating their very own QUEST episode, there are endless opportunities for learners to practice creativity.
Promoting collaboration in education cultivates essential teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills necessary for workforce readiness. When students engage in collaborative learning experiences, they develop strong peer relationships, teamwork abilities, and a sense of belonging, which increases their motivation to attend school consistently.
In QUEST, students hone their collaboration skills by working together to solve problems and make decisions. Students grow their teamwork, growth mindset, and perseverance skills through various games and challenges. These challenges are intentionally designed to foster collaboration in order to be successfully completed.
Fostering effective communication skills in education is vital for workforce readiness, as it enables students to express ideas, collaborate efficiently, and build strong professional relationships. When students have meaningful opportunities to communicate with their peers, teachers, and the broader school community, they develop the interpersonal skills necessary for success in the workforce.
In QUEST, students build upon their communication skills by engaging in teamwork, collaborating with the team, making group decisions, and participating in activities that require negotiation and consensus building.
Life Readiness (SEL) with QUEST
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs and initiatives can contribute to increasing retention and boosting attendance by addressing the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.
SEL focuses on developing skills such as:
When students have strong SEL skills, they are better equipped to navigate challenges, build positive relationships, and engage in a healthy school environment.
QUEST Connect is a gamified approach to social-emotional learning (SEL) built around the CASEL Framework. It is designed to give students additional instruction and practice in the skills they develop and apply while playing QUEST.
QUEST Connect can be used as extension activities, supplemental content, or as moments for reflection and application of learning during QUEST gameplay.
QUEST Exemplifies Personalized Learning
Through a strategic combination of tailored learning experiences and empowering student agency, QUEST establishes an educational environment that actively promotes student engagement and encourages regular attendance.
One crucial aspect of personalized learning is providing learning opportunities that are relevant to students' interests, backgrounds, and aspirations. When students can see the connection between what they are learning and their own lives, they become more motivated to attend school regularly.
QUEST acknowledges this by designing learning experiences that engage student interest and allow them to make choices that are important to them. By tapping into their passions and curiosities, QUEST creates a learning environment that students find meaningful and engaging.
Student Voice & Agency
Moreover, offering students a voice in their learning is essential for fostering a sense of autonomy and ownership. When students have the opportunity to select projects, set goals, or choose learning pathways, they feel empowered and valued as active participants in their education. This sense of agency motivates them to attend school and actively participate in unique learning experiences.
In the context of QUEST, student voice and choice are integral components. Students are encouraged to express their opinions, listen respectfully to others' perspectives, and collaborate to make collective group decisions. Through various activities and games, students learn to communicate effectively, consider different viewpoints, and develop critical thinking skills.
QUEST Incorporates Culturally Relevant and Responsive Activities
Culturally relevant and responsive activities can contribute to increasing retention and boosting attendance by creating an educational environment that values and respects the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of students.
When students see themselves reflected in the curriculum, feel a sense of belonging, and find relevance in their learning, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated to attend school regularly.
QUEST naturally incorporates students’ backgrounds, experiences, cultural assets, and strengths. Students leverage their cultural capital in all activities and leverage their expertise to fully engage in all activities and games.
QUEST Promotes Equity and Access
Equity and access play a crucial role in increasing attendance and boosting retention by ensuring that all students have equal opportunities to engage in their education. When educational systems prioritize equity and provide equitable access to resources, support, and opportunities, it creates a more inclusive and supportive environment that encourages regular attendance.
QUEST creates an inclusive and supportive educational environment where all students have an equal opportunity to succeed.
How QUEST promotes equity and access:
- Ensures that all students' identities, cultures, and backgrounds are represented and valued
- Incorporates culturally responsive teaching
- Allows for differentiated and personalized instruction
- Provides multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement to support diverse learners
- Fosters collaborative learning
- Includes accessible learning materials
- Includes professional development
- Engages families and communities
QUEST Creates a Safe and Supportive Learning Environment
Safe and supportive learning environments play a crucial role in increasing retention and boosting attendance by creating a positive, nurturing, and inclusive atmosphere that promotes student well-being, engagement, and motivation. When students feel safe, supported, and connected to their educational environment, they are more likely to attend school regularly.
QUEST provides a safe and nurturing learning environment for students to foster and grow their skills. Facilitator materials and developmentally appropriate games ensure that students are provided a safe and supportive learning environment.
QUEST allows educators and students to create a positive classroom culture where respect, empathy, and inclusivity are valued and encouraged, build positive relationships, promote social-emotional wellbeing, encourages collaboration and cooperation, allows for opportunities for providing supportive feedback, and creates a safe and positive learning environment.
QUEST Celebrates Learners Through Community Showcases
Incorporating community showcases can be an effective strategy to increase attendance and boost retention by fostering a sense of belonging and engagement among students. Community showcases increase motivation, provide a sense of belonging, enhance engagement, provide opportunities for positive peer influence, and pull stakeholders into student learning.
QUEST provides opportunities for students to showcase their work to the community through sharing with peers, family, and community members. These showcases:
- Highlight student achievements
- Celebrate student work
- Showcase student skill
- Create memorable events that honors student and staff work
- Increase student achievement
QUEST Makes Program Promotion Easy
Boosting attendance is one thing, but how can you increase enrollment in your program? Proper promotion of your programs benefits! QUEST offers numerous options to support extended learning programs including templated assets, promotional videos, and posters for on-site.
Plug and Play Promotional Asset
Templated assets include flyers where you can simply update basic information like your district logo, program name, and program dates. This is the easiest way to promote QUEST in your program while still being able to personalize where needed.
Create Customized Promotional Assets
Want materials to be more custom? We provide a folder of assets so that you are empowered to create your own flyer if you’d like. The folder includes backgrounds, images, logos, and more!
Videos, Posters, and Social Media
Videos are a great way to build interest and showcase the benefits of your program. Trailer videos are included for students and a 2-min explainer video to help with facilitator recruitment.
Want to build excitement on-site? Put up one of the QUEST movie posters to get students and family members excited about the program or share a version of it digitally on social media!
QUEST is Your All-Inclusive Solution
QUEST is your all-access pass to Experiential Learning that challenges students with an unforgettable gamified, problem-solving experience.
QUEST is fast-paced, it merges physical and digital game components with social-emotional learning. The result is a strong academic outcome mixed with an enriching experience.
Ready to get your learners excited about your Extended Learning/ OST Program? Explore our solutions to increase student engagement, boost attendance, and improve student achievement!