How to put more heart in HAERT modules

January 21, 2021 — by Ethan Lin
haert

The standard HAERT dashboard for students completing modules.

Every Wednesday, students crawl out of bed to make the mandatory 9 a.m. advisory period. Many click their way through the assigned HAERT Module for the day. The articles and videos about mental health flash before their eyes, barely read as the students try to finish as quickly as possible.

Although the HAERT program provides useful information to help students learn how to cope with stress and other mental health issues, students do not digest the information and instead view the assigned modules as yet more schoolwork. 

HAERT modules are ineffective in helping students actively deal with stress due to the nature of the program. With a similar display screen to Canvas, HAERT Modules adds more stress to students; they seem like just another assignment to complete.

Despite the benefits that would come with internalizing the information from HAERT, many students feel that the time they would spend actively reading the information in the modules could be better spent doing other work. 

With the website constantly lagging due to traffic from students logging on at the same time, even more time is spent completing these modules. For this reason, some students choose to not do the modules at all — a decision that does not have any consequences. 

To help students’ well-being during remote learning, the administration should adopt a different approach by inviting the teachers who host advisory to play a more active role in teaching students about mental health.

Before each advisory, teachers would receive a video regarding a mental health issue that they would then play for students during the advisory period. To engage students, they could host brief discussions with students about the video, going off of certain discussion topics that they choose.

This way, students not only have to pay attention to the video the teachers are sharing, but they can show teachers that they have understood the information shown.

Although the current advisory curriculum provides useful information about mental health and other key issues, it fails to actively engage students. This is not to say that the HAERT modules are unhelpful for all students, but having more interactive formats would be more effective. 

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Print: 441 words

Every Wednesday, students crawl out of bed to make the mandatory 9 a.m. advisory period. Many click their way through the assigned HAERT Module for the day, and the articles and videos about mental health flash before their eyes, barely read as the students try to finish as quickly as possible.

Although the HAERT program provides useful information to help students learn how to cope with stress and other mental health issues, students do not digest the information and instead view the assigned modules as yet more schoolwork. 

HAERT modules are ineffective in helping students actively deal with stress due to the nature of the program. With a similar display screen to Canvas, HAERT Modules add more stress to students; they seem like just another assignment to complete on a day dedicated to asynchronous work.

Despite the benefits that would come with internalizing the information from HAERT, many students feel that the time they would spend actively reading the information in the modules could be better spent doing other work. 

With the website constantly lagging due to traffic from students logging on at the same time, even more time is spent completing these modules, and students become even more frustrated with them in the process. For this reason, some students choose to not do the modules at all — a decision that does not have any consequences besides looking clueless on an exit ticket. 

To help students’ well-being during remote learning, the administration should adopt a different approach by inviting the teachers who host advisory to play a more active role in teaching students about mental health.

Before each advisory, teachers would receive a video regarding a mental health issue that they would then play for students during the advisory period. These videos could even be based off the HAERT modules themselves, so the district would not have to find a new curriculum altogether. To engage students, they could host brief discussions with students about the video, going off of certain discussion topics that they choose.

This way, students not only have to pay attention to the video the teachers are sharing, but they can show teachers that they have understood the information shown. This interactive environment ingrains the skills the modules talk about much more deeply in the students’ minds, and they actually receive the mental and emotional benefits the administrators want them to receive. 

Although the current advisory curriculum provides useful information about mental health and other key issues, it fails to actively engage students. This is not to say that the HAERT modules are unhelpful for all students, but having more interactive formats would be more effective.