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Critical analysis of a planned teaching activity: Google Drive Workshop


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For my LTHE course, details at

For my LTHE course, details at

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  • Insert a screenshot from video
  • - I found this tricky but realized it was because of a theoretical tension. How would Kolb’s language shape how I express my learning outcomes vs Bloom?
    Lots of material online about writing student learning outcomes, but the language partly depends on your curriculum ideology and theoretical frameworks that inspire your teaching approach
    Sometimes, not just internal but what we want students to externalize
    eg. collaboration is big – means different things to different people – depends on what theory you use to understand it. Can it be assessed? Within an experiential / personal relevance paradigm it most often isn’t
  • - Collaborations that happened not exactly deep learning, they’re testing out a new tool.
    - Better comments and questions emerged towards the end of this activity but we had to move on to replying and then chat.
  • What do Kolb vs Bloom imagine learning to be? One is learning by doing, experience focus and the other is more content focus. Different stances towards epistemology & ontology (knowledge & how it is that we come to know)
    Reflecting critically is bounded by the theoretical tools that we use


  • Desire to step away from demonstration & encourage applying  experiential
    Tension that popped up for me
    Comes back to learning outcomes/objectives – there is a tension between what I want to achieve and what the class wants to achieve eg. they really liked it when I showed ‘cool’ add-ons like automated bibliography whereas I thought they would be more excited about the doing, not just watching
    It’s a balancing act
    Tension between what I want to achieve and they want to achieve eg. balance what you want to do with what a class is asking for and needs and sometimes they don’t know what it is they need yet, often this emerges during a workshop (eg. Letter Feed Messenger to put edits and chat in context)
  • Blooms doesn’t help me understand the relational, helps with the content stuff but not the way I work with students (patience, initial unfamiliarity)
    Knowledge function vs relational function
    Focus on knowledge not knower  goes back to course discussion where both the epistemological & ontological are important
    Word ‘evaluation’  does it trap me into thinking it’s a Blooms evaluation issue but might not be?
    Kind of learning not achieved by Bloom (content)  learning how to use Google docs in a meaningful way (not just as a hardrive for backing up as Pieter notes in class)
  • Apply Blooms’ taxonomy, show examples from video
  • Go back to learning outcomes – how could I get them to do more experiencing?
    Workshop kept going back to me explaining i.e. lecturer mode whereas I wanted to be in facilitator mode
    Separate demo slam session with hands-on application? In this workshop, these modes were integrated. What does the diversity add?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Critical analysis of a planned teaching activity: Google Drive workshop Dr Nicola Pallitt, Lecturer Centre for Innovation in Teaching & Learning University of Cape Town
    • 2. • 1 hour workshop attended by 4 LTHE students & 1 peer-observer Teaching context
    • 3. • Email sent to participants beforehand • BYOD • Download Google Chrome • Read 1-pager ’15 Reasons Why Google Docs Rocks’ • Email gmail address to facilitator before the workshop • Workshop brief (what to expect) & details (4-5pm Tuesday 29 April 2014 in PD Hahn 7.63) • Facilitator and participants worked on a doc in a shared folder • Workshop activities outlined in the doc Workshop organisation
    • 4. Workshop in brief: I will give a short explanation of cloud storage and then introduce you to Google Docs by scaffolding how you can use it in various ways. I will be using the LTHE course as a basis, as it is a learning community we are currently part of and I will apply the activities we will be doing using Google Docs in the workshop to this. (extract from email to LTHE Google Drive workshop participants) intended learning outcomes involved experiential learning activities
    • 5. • Student learning outcomes (workshop participant focus, the ends): • By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to use various features within Google Documents to collaborate with colleagues/students. • Students will develop an awareness of the affordances of online collaboration. • What ‘students’ will do (the means): • Collaborate with classmates on a shared Google Document by testing out various features (comment, chat, add-ons) • Workshop aims (facilitator focus – what I want to achieve): • Offer a hands-on introduction to using Google Documents as a collaborative tool. • Discuss strategies and guidelines for using Google Drive with colleagues and students. • Scaffold use in a meaningful context to allow participants to see relevance and uses for their own contexts Planned learning outcomes
    • 6. • Experiential/personal relevance paradigm (Toohey, 1999), experiential learning (Kolb, 1984), Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) • Inspired by flipped classroom Theoretical framework
    • 7. • Highly effective  • Partly due to smaller number of participants • Participants and facilitator were familiar with one another prior to workshop (LTHE course) • Peer-observer and participants all had positive feedback Reflection on effectiveness of workshop
    • 8. Some challenges = moving between demonstration and hands-on application & collaboration, responding to questions, improvising
    • 9. Highlights from peer-observer: Your explanations are very clear and SIMPLE (I personally find technology to be quite complicated, but you made me think and feel otherwise). UNDERSTANDING You lecture at a good pace, with step-by-step instructions to the activities. UNDERSTANDING You are very patient, and offer each student an opportunity to ask questions. UNDERSTANDING The activity was an en excellent way of getting students to practice their understanding of what was learnt. APPLYING The activity related to something (LTHE) that was relevant to everyone. REMEMBERING Something I liked was that you asked each student about their own experience, and offered recommendations as to what has worked best in your experience. ANALYSING It was really nice to see students engaging and applying what they have learnt- immediately. APPLYING / CREATING The evaluation at the end did not take much time and you were able to get an instant response. EVALUATING
    • 10. • Workshop evaluation forms completed by participants indicate alignment with learning outcomes • Participants were also shown how the Google form was created, published and how to access respondents’ data • One participant emailed a few days later saying that she was able to create an evaluation using a Google form for her own teaching activity within minutes and was very pleased
    • 11. • ‘when there are moments of silence during the lecture, to maybe talk through what it is you are doing’ (peer- observer feedback) • F2F silence, not = absence of communication – facilitation via online document • Classmates also students – ‘real’ students/ lecturers may have been more critical? • Some activities will need to be redesigned for a diverse group who are not familiar with one another (i.e. texts participants engage with and collaborate around) • Max. 10 participants can collaborate in a Google Doc – larger workshops will require 2 docs = challenge for facilitator using experiential approach Suggestions for improvement / things to consider for next time
    • 12. Thank you 