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Teaching hacks


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Teaching hacks

  1. 1. <ul><li>Matt Clare </li></ul><ul><li>Brock University, Niagara Region, Canada </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul> or
  2. 2. About Matt <ul><li>From Brock University, Niagara Region of Canada - Work in Centre for Teaching & Learning </li></ul><ul><li>- Teach intro courses in Interactive Arts & Sciences </li></ul>
  3. 3. Teaching Hacks are NOT
  4. 4. Hacks: <ul><li>tricks involving technology that likely aren’t using technology as it was intended. </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching hacks add pedagogy to technology to cleverly improve teaching. </li></ul>The balance between pedagogy and technology varies
  5. 5. A growing collection of hacks in no particular order. <ul><li>Please share your “hacks” too. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Hacks <ul><li>Clandestine Attendance Tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Course Outline Quiz </li></ul><ul><li>Learning About Your Students </li></ul><ul><li>Forums/Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Get a fake student account </li></ul><ul><li>Embedding Content </li></ul><ul><li>Simple Student Showcases and Spaces fro Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright/Public Release </li></ul><ul><li>Track Usage </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how your course site works </li></ul><ul><li>RSS/News Tool </li></ul><ul><li>Grades and Spreadsheets </li></ul>
  7. 7. Call for hacks <ul><li>Please share your “hacks” too. </li></ul><ul><li>Love to build a dialogue, if not a community, around this idea. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Clandestine Attendance Tracking
  9. 9. Start of Class Quizzes <ul><li>Simple, &quot;open computer&quot;, quiz on the previous class' content has a number of benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>It encourages students to pay attention in class, knowing that there is a quiz next class </li></ul><ul><li>Forces students to reflect and apply learning from previous class within a few days of learning it, helping knowledge make it into student's long-term memory </li></ul><ul><li>The results of the quiz give students a gauge of how a student is doing in the class and identifies areas in which the student needs to study more </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages students to attend class, as quizzes are given a small weighting in the final mark </li></ul>
  10. 10. What to cover today <ul><li>A one question quiz asking what to cover today -- if not topic then order. </li></ul><ul><li>This will give a less-than-perfect record of who was present. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Check-in / Check-Out <ul><li>Ask one or two questions about how students learning is going. </li></ul><ul><li>At the start of class ask questions to reflect on what they've learned so far: hi-lights, insights, outstanding questions or similar questions at the end. </li></ul><ul><li>These test results or assignment submissions not only let the instructor know who is in the room but they also let the instructor know where to focus their teaching. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Course Outline Quiz
  13. 13. Quiz + Selective Release <ul><li>Configure the course Resources to contain only the course outline and a quiz on the course outline when student first access the site. </li></ul><ul><li>The rest of the course Resources will only be revealed once the student has taken the quiz. </li></ul><ul><li>If the quiz on the course outline is sent to the Gradebook then all of the Resources can have a conditional release based on the course outline quiz's results for each student. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Learning About Your Students
  15. 15. Entrance Quiz on &quot;How I Learn Best&quot; <ul><li>Profile your learners about how they learn, what their preferences are, what helps them best understand complex topics and what their experience with learning [online] might be. </li></ul><ul><li>You could ask specific questions or quickly get students to select from a quick multiple choice question about classic learning styles from KOLB or VAK or to identify with a set of fictional learner profiles. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Learning Student's Names & Introductions: Roster <ul><li>Tools like the Roster tool can help. The Pictures view can be particularly useful if your institution populates rosters with pictures or has students actively using the profile tool. </li></ul><ul><li>One can always offer to friend-back anyone who friends the instructor with their picture added - and perhaps add a funny joke or fact in your own profile notes. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Learning Student's Names & Introductions: Assess <ul><li>Ask students to submit a quiz or Assignment about themselves, potentially with a picture attached. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Learning Student's Names & Introductions: Introductions in Blog or Forums <ul><li>Ask students to introduce themselves in the blog or forums tools. Instructors should provide either a model posting or some suggestions for what is relevant and/or acceptable. </li></ul><ul><li>In some cases, a URL might be all that is needed? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Forums/Discussions
  20. 20. Student Questions Forum <ul><li>Why answer the same question over and over again? </li></ul><ul><li>An instructor can create a forum topic named &quot;course questions&quot; that students can use to both post their question and scan for responses from the instructor, TAs or other students. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions with answers in the course outline can be answered ASAP by anyone, deeper questions can be answered by the instructors once and for all. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Discussion Boards/Forums as File Revision Tracking <ul><li>Forums can be used as a file versioning and storage system. This will allow students to access their files and share others' through a central location and maintain a conical file. </li></ul><ul><li>The Wiki tool can be used as a revision control system, however only for simple text, and the interface is not very intuitive. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Embedding Content Content
  23. 23. Google Docs: Presentations <ul><li>One of the most faithful ways to transfer a PowerPoint presentation to the web is through Google Docs or other sites that allow you to embed actual slides with with animations, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Services include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Google Docs: Forms <ul><ul><li>Small forms can be embed in may places inside your course to seek student feedback. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Audio (and some linked video) <ul><li>Yahoo's Media player can be added wherever the <script> tag is allowed. Once the script is added any links to an MP3 file, etc are playable on the web page. </li></ul><ul><li><script type=&quot;text/javascript&quot; src=&quot; &quot;></script> </li></ul>
  26. 26. Embed YouTube video
  27. 27. Simple Student Showcases and Spaces for Collaboration
  28. 28. General Student Folder <ul><li>Instructors can create a folder for students to upload items to the Resources tool. This can be a useful way for students to share their work with others in the site. </li></ul><ul><li>Any regular folder in the Resources tool can be modified to allow students to add items to it by editing the folder permissions. Folders can also be limited to only allow access to individuals in specific groups set-up through Manage Groups . </li></ul>
  29. 29. Student Showcase Folder <ul><li>Instructors can create a folder with student presentations or other files. Once the instructor has proper permissions, the instructor can all students to edit the folder (potentially their own files, but practically all) as well as vary which files are public and which can only be accessed by the class. </li></ul><ul><li>This approach creates a showcase of student work that students can update or remove AND respects students willingness to share with just their peers or the whole internet. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Copyright/Public Release
  31. 31. Copyright/Public Release <ul><li>Add a question or item to assignment or tests and quizzes that asks for permission for content to be shared with the rest of the class, institution or the rest of the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Works with FIPPA, what about FERPA? </li></ul><ul><li>Students may appreciate that opportunity to indicate that they would like to review the item first, place a condition on the grade received or have the ability to make revisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Students should always be given the opportunity to change their mind. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Track Usage
  33. 33. Track Usage: Site Stats and others <ul><li>Either with Site Stats or embed something from another site or service like that monitors traffic (keeping in mind your local privacy regime). </li></ul><ul><li>Can shape where you put your efforts: is it worth producing the exam review sheet or should you instead host a chat, or not? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Explain how your course site works
  35. 35. Explain how your course site works <ul><li>Take a moment to explain in video or in text how the course site works and place it in a prominent location, such as the home page or the announcements area when the students first gain access. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain both how each to works and more importantly how you expect students to use it. Not all instructors or students conceive of tools like the Gradebook or the wiki the same way. </li></ul><ul><li>Clear expectations help everyone. </li></ul>
  36. 36. RSS/News Tool
  37. 37. Published Feeds <ul><li>Link the course blog with the “ official” course site </li></ul><ul><li>Publishers feeds.. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journals... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>News sites... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stock Information... </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Social Bookmarking <ul><li>While it still exists, can be used for groups to bookmark urls and tag them. Instructors could ask students to tag URL with very unique tags, for example a course code. </li></ul><ul><li>From the web page you can go to the tags section and search the tag and find the RSS link at the bottom of the page. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Twitter Hastags and Other Searches <ul><li>If students or other communities are using a hashtag to communicate in Twitter an instructor can search for that hashtag at and copy the URL from the &quot;Feed for this query&quot; link on the right. </li></ul><ul><li>Adding the Twitter search link as a News/RSS tool will add the conversation about this hastag to the course site. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Grades and Spreadsheets
  41. 41. Dropping the Lowest Item <ul><li>The a good approach is to create a new column and apply a formula that will SUM all of the items and subtract the MIN of those items. </li></ul><ul><li>The best approach is to confirm that the student completed all of the items thus accounting for the distinction between a null/exemption value and a score of zero. </li></ul><ul><li>=IF( COUNT (B2,C2,D2,E2,F2,G2)=6,SUM(B2,C2,D2,E2,F2,G2)- MIN (B2,C2,D2,E2,F2,G2), SUM (B2,C2,D2,E2,F2,G2)) </li></ul>
  42. 42. Low Grade Alerts: Visual Alerts <ul><li>In MS Excel or Google Docs select the relevant column (such as final grade), choose from the &quot;Format&quot; menu &quot;Conditional Formatting&quot;, click to add a rule, choose one of the colour options and add it. </li></ul><ul><li>You will then get colour based alerts behind the students relevant column. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Low Grade Alerts: E-Mail Students <ul><li>Sort the grades by the final grade (or other relevant column). Choose your braking point and then copy and paste the the &quot;Student ID&quot; column into your E-Mail clients BCC filed and send off a generic alert to students. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Turning usernames into E-Mail Addresses <ul><li>In many institutions (including Brock University) the &quot;Student ID&quot; field only has usernames, not the full E-Mail address with the @ and domain. </li></ul><ul><li>One way to add the @ and domain is to add a column beside &quot;Student ID&quot; and paste into the cells a formula like =A2&&quot;; -- in this case adding to the usernames/Student IDs. </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>Thanks! </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to everyone who contributed, knowingly or not. </li></ul> or
  46. 46. Hide Resources
  47. 47. Givings students access to hidden items
  48. 48. Forums for hierarchical layout <ul><li>Dubious? </li></ul>