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The joy of Sets! Alternative assessments – using groups

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The joy of Sets! Alternative assessments – using groups

  1. 1. ‘The Joy of Sets’ Alternative assessments – using Groups Belinda Green @bjgreen25 The University of Northampton Presentation at Blackboard Users Conference, Durham 6th January, 2017
  2. 2. @bjgreen25#DURBBU Oh No! Marking group work is not fair as some don’t contribute. Problem with meeting up to work as a group Difficulty getting people to work to deadlines – impacts us all I don’t like to work with others Oh Yes! Great alternative to Essays Nice to be able to choose our own group to work with We chose our own topic, which was relevant to our work Good to share the workload, and learn from others’ perspectives Group Work - Perceptions
  3. 3. @bjgreen25#DURBBU Online Debates using Blackboard Groups, (email, file share) Discussion boards, Kaltura (video guidance) Group assignment, Evaluation reports, Grade Centre Group Presentations using Blackboard Groups, (email, blog) PowerPoint, Group assignment, Rubric, Grade Centre Kaltura (recordings) The story of….
  4. 4. Online Debates Online Debate ‘Current Issues in Learning & Teaching’ During Y1 and Y2 of the Foundation Degree in Learning and Teaching and the final year BA Learning and Teaching, students take part in a series of FOUR online NILE discussion boards over 6 months, as part of their learning and assessment. also: ‘Online Forum’ Early Years Specialism (H&SC, Education) ONE online NILE discussion board #DURBBU Jean Edwards, Senior Lecturer, Education
  5. 5. Online Debate @bjgreen25#DURBBU Girls should be taught separately to boys (Whole school) (practice debate) Summer born children should have the opportunity to start a year later (Inclusion/diversity) Children are never too young to learn about human rights (Issues with an international perspective) School teachers should be able to boycott difficult people (Whole school) Learning a language in school is not a necessity – English is the global language (Curriculum) An effective teacher includes digital technology in all lessons (Curriculum) Children with special educational needs need special schools (SEND and Inclusion) Forest schools are elitist, not inclusive (Inclusion)
  6. 6. Online Debate @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  7. 7. Concluding posts @bjgreen25#DURBBU Sophie “I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in this debate regarding the debate title ‘Class sizes in England should be halved’ and I would like to first congratulate Georgia and Hawa in how well they lead our first official debate.” Georgia “Thank you all for your participation over the course of the debate. You have been fantastic group members and it was thanks to all of us that this was such a successful debate.” Tracy “In conclusion I am conflicted with positives and negatives from both arguments. In an ideal world maybe all teachers would like less pupils, creating less work but would we then be depriving our pupils of the opportunity to develop into the well- rounded citizens of the future? For me the debate goes on.”
  8. 8. Student Feedback @bjgreen25#DURBBU https://padlet.com/ BJGreen/ StudentFeedback
  9. 9. Online Debate @bjgreen25#DURBBU What we liked:  Blackboard groups  Making tools, such as eMail, available to the group securely  Import/export group membership  Using Evaluation – dashboard to monitor, see how many posts, who hasn’t posted  ‘Click and collect’ posts  Grading through Grade Centre/Turnitin What ticked us off: • AAARGH!!! Access Denied. Can no longer edit discussion without making it Available • Blackboard discussion board is CLUNKY and out-dated • When ‘Collecting’ posts into a pdf, italics are lost on references
  10. 10. Group Presentation - 1 EYS1110 Professional and Academic Development a) Group Presentation on ‘Study Skills’ from a Professional Development perspective (1,000 word equiv. per student) b) 1,000 word reflective essay on your own learning about working in a team, and how you can bring this to your professional role c) 1,000 word equivalent piece of evidence to support your research and group working #DURBBU Jeanne Barczewska, Senior Lecturer, Early Years
  11. 11. Group Presentation - 2 EYS2115 Children and Society (SEN and Inclusion) Group Presentation on ‘Inclusive practice’ - an argument or issue relating to inclusive education or practice. This can have a particular approach or intervention, or specific disorder as its focus. • Each person required to participate in the design and group presentation of the seminar • Presentations will be peer reviewed and students need to be prepared to field questions from their colleagues on their chosen subject. @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  12. 12. Group Presentation Support…. PAD sessions on Team working Visit to All Party Parliamentary Group 1001 Days to watch Presentations by Dr Eunice Lumsden
  13. 13. Group Presentation (1) Create BB Groups! @bjgreen25#DURBBU Should have used Group Sets!
  14. 14. Group Presentation (2) Submission Guidance @bjgreen25#DURBBU Should have added a video guide!
  15. 15. Group Presentation (3) Rubric @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  16. 16. Group Presentation (4) Equipment @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  17. 17. Group Presentation (4) Tutor feedback @bjgreen25#DURBBU “The whole online process has been BRILLIANT!” • time efficient - cuts down admin on setting up groups • improves marking time considerably! write-up 15 minutes (not too much narrative): overview, key points, 3 areas to improve • marking is focussed, and consistent • confidence, as we have video to support as well for internal and external moderation • promotes communication and group working skills • just as rigorous as other assessments For students • more streamlined, online work space provided • any member of the group can submit • feedback and grade within 2 weeks, not 4 Peter Goy, Senior Lecturer, Early Years
  18. 18. Group Presentation @bjgreen25#DURBBU What we liked:  blackboard groups!  random enrol  group assignment  group submission  group feedback Next year, we are going to: • use Group sets • add Smart views to grade centre • enable Collaborate Ultra for drop-ins • use a Blog for Q&A’s • Give video guidance on submitting What ticked us off: • Group wiki cannot be used concurrently
  19. 19. Six Top Tips for Group Assessments 1. Be creative with assessments –how could they benefit students 2. Make group work intrinsic and positive – even fun! 3. Be clear on the rationale and the benefits 4. Follow my links to ‘Good guidance on Group Work’ 5. Set up Blackboard GROUPS & tools, for collaborative working 6. Give clear, consistent guidance on group work, and submission @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  20. 20. Guidance • Northampton ILT Assessment and Feedback portal – includes Setting and assessing group work • JISC - Transforming assessment and feedback with technology – includes Assessing group work • Phil Race - The Lecturer’s Toolkit: A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching. 4th edition. Routledge – includes Practical Pointers for group work • Oxford Brookes University – includes Getting the most from Groupwork assessment @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  21. 21. Background • Northampton Integrated Learning Environment (NILE) • Assessment & feedback policy: all non-exam submissions, grading and feedback via NILE • Module and assessment redesign for Blended Learning & constructive alignment (Biggs 2003) • ILT - Outside the Box: Assessment and Feedback Practices @bjgreen25#DURBBU
  22. 22. Questions? Please contact me: Belinda Green Learning Technologist University of Northampton @bjgreen25 Belinda.Green@northampton.ac.uk @bjgreen25#DURBBU ‘The Joy of Sets’ Alternative assessments – using Groups

Editor's Notes

  • Hello. ….. I have discovered ‘The Joy of Sets’ – and I want to share it with you.
    My focus here is on two alternative forms of assessments that I hope you might consider yourself – both involving ‘sets’ (or Groups) of students
  • Question – as a student, what does Group assessment mean to you? …….

    So why even consider assessments involving groups? Well, what I was surprised about was what the students told us at the end of these particular assessments, which was …….


  • Radically different mode of assessment – but every bit as rigorous
  • NILE is….
  • So we created GROUPS – originally random enrolment, this year as chosen by the students.


    Creating Groups
    You can create groups one at a time or in sets. You can manually select group members or allow students to self-enrol. You can add a group description and select a set of default group tools. On the action bar, click Create and make a selection from the following options:
    Group Set: Generate several groups at one time.
    Random Enrol: Populate groups automatically - you simply choose the number of groups or members per group.
    Self-Enrol: Allow students to add themselves to one of the groups in the set using a sign-up sheet.
    Manual Enrol: Select the students you want in each group in the group.
    After you create groups, you can make tools available or unavailable on the groups listing page. Click the check mark in a tool's column to make it unavailable - an X appears.
    -OR-
    Access a group's contextual menu to edit the group's name, description, availability, tools, and membership. You also have options to delete the group and create a Smart View. A Smart View is a focused look at the Grade Centre.

    Other Functions
    From the action bar, you can perform the following:
    Import: Import a CSV (comma-separated value) file that contains a list of users that also identifies their group memberships.
    Export: Export a CSV (comma-separated value) file containing groups and users to your computer.
    Group Settings: Allow students to create their own self-enrolment groups from the groups listing page and make some edits.
    Bulk Actions: Select group check boxes for deletion or create Smart Views in the Grade Centre for each group.


  • PRACTICE SESSIONS!
  • In the final assignment in PDT3003 students’ reflect upon the impact of their experiences. These reflective accounts reveal that being challenged to find, evaluate and use a range of literature to argue for and against supports their finding and use of reading in other course modules. They often identify that constructing arguments and supporting these in a debate has an overall impact on their critical thinking. Some students also note that they now have more confidence in their work situation when called upon to express their views and take part in discussion. Perhaps most significantly, students report that when asked to discuss current issues in education during interviews for postgraduate teacher training courses they are able to draw upon their debating experience. Reference: Lim, S.C.R., Cheung, W.S. and Hew, K.F. (2011). Critical thinking in asynchronous online discussion: an investigation of student facilitation techniques. New Horizons in Education 59 (1):52-65.
  • 1st year module, WBL, P/T, mature
    Students met each other at a taster Day, and so formed themselves into groups at the 1st session a week later for an Icebreaker – which was a Group activity helped the groups to gel. Introduced themselves and chose a Study Skill as a topic. Having the same group helped them toward Assessment, which was 4 weeks later.
  • (EYS2115: Second Year, 20 credit module, BA Early Years, 50% assessment – the other being a 2,500 word Critical Review.)

    Originally it took at least a whole day for the Presentations; then Day 2 to type up the notes, and post feedback to each individual student; then Day 3 for the 2nd marker/ internal moderator to play back the videos and give their moderation notes
  • They had a PAD session on working in a group, inc. a post-session task on identifying their Belbin roles.
    AND – went to the Parliament (14/17) where Eunice was presenting.
    ALSO – WhatsAPP, GoogleDocs – found BB collaboration tools too clunky, not mobile friendly enough.
    Supported each other – CONFIDENCE
    CONSTRUCTIVIST Learning

  • So What we did: we created BB GROUPS – originally random enrolment, this year as chosen by the students.
  • In session, showed students how to access their groups – and the collaborative tools available to them

    Originally each student had to submit a copy of the Presentation via Turnitin, so that the Tutor could give them feedback & grade.
    So in the session we also showed them how to submit the Group’s work
  • Qualitative rubric – allowed focussed assessment and feedback.
    Rubrics to set out more clearly the marking criterion guidance.
  • Laptop connected to NILE, iPad on stand, iRig mic to capture the audio more clearly
  • Use Blackboard HELP:
    Be encouraging
  • Practicalities – see Blackboard Help
  • BB is our core technology for T&L, and together with Turnitin, Kaltura, and WordPress, email and student records it gives us – the Northampton Integrated Learning Environment.
    Our policy since 2012 is that for non-exam assessments, all submissions, grading and feedback is done online via NILE, unless an exemption is granted. Total number of submissions for last year was around 150,000, including 92,084 via Turnitin.
    Currently redesigning all modules and assessments for Blended Learning.
    Share examples of good practice via a bi-annual publication ‘Outside the Box’
  • I have found that group assessments can indeed be very positive, for both Student and Tutor.
    So as you can see, I have indeed discovered the Joy of Sets – and I hope you will too.

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