Red Group Toolbox


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Red Group Toolbox

  1. 1. Welcome to the Red Group Toolbox We're sharing the insight we've gained as a group into different methods of assessment. We are also sharing several Web 2.0 tools in which these can be used, and examples and resources in which to find more information. Please enjoy the walk through our toolbox and feel free to offer your own comments. Summary Web 2.0 tools are valuable assets to the instructor who is looking for ways to create a community of motivated learners who are immersed in their own learning. However, instructors must take care in selecting and using only the tools that support their learning outcomes. Selecting a Web 2.0 tool to use in a course is almost like selecting the perfect outfit to wear for a job interview. The frilly red and white polka dot dress may look fabulous (and you may be remembered for wearing it), but does it help you accomplish the goal of landing the job?
  2. 2. Wiki (Brenda Pirnstill) Introduction A wiki is a very versatile and engaging tool that lends itself well to a variety of methods of assessment. Wikis are good, easy to use tools for group projects, collaborative writing, and collaborative problem solving such as a case study. A wiki is a software program that allows more than one user to create and/or edit web pages using any web browser. It allows participants to create, coordinate and organize information/content easily. Anyone with permission to use the wiki can contribute, make changes and corrections. Any digital file (text, image, sound or video) can be uploaded to a wiki page. Software is embedded into Blackboard allowing instructors free and easy access; however, there are thousands of programs, both free and for sale, which can be used for creating and storing wikis.
  3. 3. WIKI Benefits The wiki encourages collaboration and social learning and is appealing to a variety of learning styles and special educational needs; thus increasing the engagement of all students. The shy or silent student has an equal opportunity to contribute, as well as the “expert.” One benefit, but also a challenge, is that students may not have developed the skills needed for collaboration. Using a wiki offers an opportunity to build teamwork skills. Other benefits include: Promoting flexibility as students learn to accept the ideas of others Supporting development of writing skills as students learn to write for an audience, participate in editing, experience the benefits of revision, and gain pride in seeing themselves as authors Increasing interpersonal and communication skills as the student’s focus becomes the product providing opportunities for students to practice higher level thinking skills such as evaluating and synthesizing while working on a wiki All contributions and changes are tracked, so it is easy to see who has participated, making students accountable. The tracking also makes it possible to view all previous versions making it impossible for anyone to delete the entire wiki.
  4. 4. WIKI Challenges As mentioned above, some students may not be accustomed to collaborative work. They may also be reluctant to revise or change someone else’s work, and there may be some frustration with what might be considered “tricky” formatting. A benefit, but also a challenge is that a wiki needs to have a clear purpose or contribute to a goal. This requires careful planning for the structure of the wiki. Creating a meaningful and useful wiki will require time and effort on the part of the instructor, but then the benefit is that students will control the process and the outcome. Another challenge for the instructor is monitoring the wiki. Since anyone can add, edit, or delete, the instructor will want to take the time to monitor the wiki for correct and appropriate content.
  5. 5. WIKI Application The wiki has limitless possibilities for teaching and learning. Wikis can be used for a variety of purposes from very simple to very complex: signing up for a chat time, selecting a topic for a paper, or compiling information that could be used to develop a glossary or other shared resources, a case study, create an article or presentation. Some colleges are experimenting with using wikis as e-portfolios. Learning outcome example In an introductory early childhood education class, learners are expected to integrate strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives. By using typical situations in an early childhood classrooms, students will link the behavior of children, parents and teachers to their cultural orientation/pattern. The constructive alignment statement could be as follows: Given a typical situation in an early childhood classroom, the learner will link the behavior of children, parents and teachers to a cultural orientation/pattern by contributing to a wiki according to assignment specifications.
  6. 6. WIKI Summary A wiki is one of the easiest and most efficient collaboration tools and has been described as a composition system, a discussion medium, a repository, and mail system. (Educause, 2005) It is versatile, interactive, and invites participation at a variety of levels. It can be used in creating learning activities and to support many assessment techniques.
  7. 7. Flash Cards (Anna Perkins) Introduction Flash Card Machine is one of many web applications that enables users to create interactive web-based study flash cards and share them with others. There are other websites that will also do the same thing. The idea is for students or teachers to create flash cards which are then used for the purpose of studying a specific subject matter. Flashcards remain one of the best tools for memorizing information. The most common way to create flashcards is to use index cards. Students can simply write the question on one side and the answer on the opposite side and test themselves repeatedly. However, there are several ways to modify this process to enhance the learning experience. Flash cards can make learning fun by seeming more like a game than a learning assignment.
  8. 8. FLASHCARDS Benefits One of the benefits of using flash cards on the internet is that it allows not only the student to access the flash cards whenever they would like to use for studying but the instructor can save them on-line and have the student(s) access them at their convenience. You can either create completely new flash cards any time you like. No more printing out on paper, laminating them, filing, etc. There are actually four good reasons for using flashcards: 1) Using flashcards allows the student to learn in “small chunks” of relevant information at a time. When you are first learning a new subject sometimes it is overwhelming if you look at the overall big picture. By taking your subject matter and allowing the learner to learn little bits at a time it allows the learner to go over relevant information one at a time. 2) You can review the same information over and over again using flashcards and then later use them to review learned material. As we’ve learned previously, all students do not learn in the same way (Right brain vs. Left brain)…. So for some students this may be the way that they best learn – by repetition. Also, by using smaller chunks and adding to them you are not overwhelming the students with lots of information all at once. This is the same information just taught by repetition which stastically a highly effective way of communicating new information.
  9. 9. FLASHCARDS 3) Flashcards “actively” involve you in the process of learning. As a student if you don’t participate, you are more than likely to find the learning process dull and that you aren’t getting anything out of it. Many of my students dislike my Powerpoint presentations and prefer the hands-on learning much better. Also, if the student isn’t actively engaged they have a tendency to let their minds wander or worse yet, start e-mailing all their friends, sending text messages, etc. while you are trying to teach. Flashcards are known to be an excellent tool to encourage highly “active” learning. They encourage a student to see the information, use it hands on straight away and then recall the information later. They are also self checking so that it gives your students the confidence they need when learning information. Best of all students find that they’re FUN! 4) Flashcards provide you with Immediate Feedback on results. Flashcards enable the instructor to know immediately what information the student knows or doesn’t know plus it’s a lot like a pre-exam. As an instructor it can help in instructing you what the student(s) know and what they need more help on.
  10. 10. FLASHCARDS Other benefits Allows students to “study” as often as they like Gives the instructor some insight as to what area may need more instruction on Can be thought of more of a game than a tedious learning activity Challenges Students must access the website, the flash cards and take the time to work with the flash cards I’m not sure how you could verify that your students actually went on-line and used these websites, however, you could create your own and use them on your blackboard website. Many of the teaching aid websites I looked at had flashcards already made up, it’s just a matter of incorporating them into the blackboard shell
  11. 11. FLASHCARDS Application The flash cards can be grouped however the instructor wishes. You can organize them into specific units, topics, assignments, upcoming tests, etc. You can save them for reuse over and over again. Learning Objectives Example Students learn by repetition but this can be tedious and boring. However, in using a method such as flash cards, a known useful teaching aid, this method can make learning fun and something that the students may actually enjoy doing. Summary Flash cards and other similar websites, are useful tools for instructors to use when a student needs to memorize facts. There are other ways of learning as described below: Chunking: Break content into smaller "chunks" Repetition: Repeat the practice steps Mnemonic: Incorporate memory aids such as “Flash Cards” Prompting: Prompt learner to respond
  12. 12. Presentations (Kate Jerome) The presentation, when used as an assessment tool, is a method in which the student must gather material, analyze it and then present it to the other students in the class. This lends itself well to individual presentations or group presentations, face-to-face classes or on-line classes. The presentation can take many forms, from Power Point to podcast to simple lecture. A web 2.0 tool that is particularly useful to pull group presentations together in a coherent format is SlideShare. Students make their own slides or documents for their part of the presentation, and then combine their efforts by sharing their work in a Slideshare presentation.
  13. 13. PRESENTATIONS Benefits Students benefit by learning to pull together the material they are presenting, putting it into accessible form for themselves and the other students, and then practicing getting the material across in presentation form. The web 2.0 tool also allows practice at collaboration. Also, once the presentation is loaded into Slideshare, it is available to anyone in the class, department or future classes. Slideshare also has a side benefit of being used as a social and professional networking site. Challenges The biggest challenge of this method of assessment is the student who is insecure in his or her ability to do a presentation. Also, students who tend to lag behind other students in completing work can bring the entire group presentation to a halt. If a student is doing the presentation on his or her own, the challenge is somewhat reduced. Also, students can use other peoples’ slides which can present a plagiarism issue, depending on the content. In most cases, though, content requirements would be specific enough to avoid this issue.
  14. 14. PRESENTATIONS Application This method of assessment works extremely well in the courses in which a student can teach a hands-on skill. It is possible to sync slides with audio to create webinars and slidecasts. Learning Objectives Example Learning outcome: Demonstrate oral, written, and non-verbal communication skills in an organized and coherent manner “Learner will be responsible for a presentation to the class, will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of their topic, will use various professional presentation methods, and will be able to give valid answers to fellow students’ questions.”
  15. 15. PRESENTATIONS Summary The presentation method of assessment is not a panacea, but in many cases, it gives students the chance to show what they can do. By demonstrating skills learned, a student can reflect on whether they actually have the skill or need to do more work to attain success with the skill. Also, in most professional situations in our industry, there will be opportunity and need for professional presentations. This activity not only assesses the skill being presented or the mastery of the subject matter, but also the ability to make a professional presentation. Resources On the Cutting Edge, Carlton College Enhancing Assessment in the Biological Sciences, Australian Learning and Teaching Council. SlideShare website
  16. 16. Threaded Discussion and Bb Discussion Boards (Mike Costello) Introduction Using the Blackboard (Bb) Discussion boards, students learn by understanding and application, able to make reaction comments about lesson material, share information with class, teach one another by assessing other learners’ examples, and clarify their own material without being in a face-to-face environment. Students can actively engage in discussions and conversations about the material. Development takes place within the Bb classroom that is set up by the instructor. Discussion topics can be stored in a template and copied over to the class that you are teaching. This is accessed with secured login. The Bb site can be accessed only by students and instructor who are enrolled in that section of the class. This is a tool that is already incorporated into the online class.
  17. 17. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD Benefits The Discussion tool (Bb) allows you to create structured, asynchronous dialogues with the members of your site. The tool works similarly to message boards from other web sites, (OWL-Space Guide). Bb Discussion boards are an easy to use tool that the instructor have the ability to choose among a variety of colors, text styles, and can prepare the heading topics ahead of time. This allows the students know where to post their online discussion assignment. The topics can be placed under the correct unit/module and allow student access at time of availability.
  18. 18. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD Other benefits of a threaded discussion: Student-centered; all students MUST participate (you may not get in a face- to-face classroom) More of a democratic exchange; no dominant personalities to rule the discussion like a face-to-face classroom Promotes professional communication and hear form a different perspective Ability to take “attendance”; know who is participating Less intimidating for students; if embarrassed to “talk” in face-to-face class Allows students to compose thoughts before reflecting on material before posting Asynchronous; students do not have to be online at the same time to participate which allows more convenience to the student Opportunity to impact student learning; assessment, redirection, reassurance Community sharing of other resources that the student finds
  19. 19. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD Challenges An online threaded discussion does have its challenges that affect the learning of the student. Learning to post your messages in the proper place Communication is only via writing; there is a lot of tone that can be interpreted wrong by others Students need to understand “Netiquette” for responding to other students Creating “due” dates for posting original content and dates to reply to other posters Only completing the required number of responses; there is more to learn in a discussion than a one time, post-response. Discussions usually are not just one exchange from each participant. No one may respond to a person’s original posting
  20. 20. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD Application The Bb Discussion tool can be “organized into Categories, Topics, and Replies. Categories are broad containers, consisting only of a title, and holding zero or more topics. Topics are placed within a Category. Topics consist of a title and some text content. They are the seeds of your discussion. Replies hang off of a topic. They are responses to the topic idea. You can also reply to a reply…” (OWL-Space Guide). The instructor may have them reflect on a topic and post their opinions/reactions to the material and then comment on 2-3 other students’ material.
  21. 21. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD Learning Objectives Example As in the case of an Introductory Psychology class, one of the topics is the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the part of our body that controls both our voluntary and involuntary body movements The polygraph test measures some of the involuntary movements. Students would review the literature and videos of the parts of the PNS and then follow up with research on the polygraph test and how it is used to measure the parts of the autonomic system. This gives a real world example of how it may be important to the student in a real-world example and not just, “it controls our breathing.” Students can then post on the discussion board their thoughts (based on facts in the readings) if they believe polygraph results should or should not be admissible in courts.
  22. 22. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD Summary There is lots of research available that show benefits of student interaction (threaded discussion) and using deep, effortful processing for learning material. A discussion board provides the opportunity for a safe environment (if ground rules are in place) for students to share their knowledge and comment on other peoples’ assessments. Website/Resources Cavanaugh, Drs., (2006). Benefits of a Discussion Forum. Retrieved 07/22/09, from DrsCavanaugh Educational Technology, Website: rum.htm Discussion Tool. (2006). The OWL-Space Guide. Retrieved 07/22/09, from Website: Williams, Jeremy B., (2004). The Asynchronous Discussion Board As An Assessment Tool: A Critical Appraisal. Retrieved 07/22/09, from Website:
  23. 23. NOTEMESH (Ellen Burton) Introduction NoteMesh is a tool for note taking and working with your classmates to develop comprehensive notes for your class. Users can post their own lecture notes or contribute to existing lecture notes. Registered users can only access/create course notes for their school, not other schools. It is a Wiki-style application that is free, but only available in the United States. Benefits Easily Web accessible Easy to set up and learn how to use Pleasant, modern Web prescence Free Facilitates groupwork
  24. 24. NOTEMESH Challenges To register, users must have an email address that ends in ".edu". Can only work with notes/classmates from their school Available only in the United States Users may have difficulty with group dynamics May raise concerns about managing e-safety and copyright May have a problem with class matching Application Basically, NoteMesh is a customized Wiki for educational use. The "starter" page revolves around a class, it is not a "generic" page. Users can invite other users to input and view class notes and merge their knowledge into a base for that class. Users need to be very careful in getting a class match otherwise they won't be able to find each other's notes for that class.
  25. 25. NOTEMESH Learning Outcome Example In an internship experience, students are faced with real, on-the-job situations in which learners are required to demonstrate professional behaviors in the workplace. By using NoteMesh, students will be given a case study to read and respond to using scoring guide criteria. The learning outcome would be: Learners demonstrate professional behaviors in the workplace by given a case study, they read and appropriately problem solve the case using the scoring guide criteria.
  26. 26. NOTEMESH Summary Using NoteMesh students are able to view and collaborate with each other their solutions to each case study. It also enables the instructor to give feedback as to the correct response for each case. Website