Wednesday, February 14, 2018

SEED (Sharing Educational Experience and Development) - Ara Institute of Canterbury

Here are notes taken at the first Ara’s annual SEED (Sharing Educational Experience and Development) for 2018.

The theme for this session was technology in the classroom.

First up is Melissa Barber, programme leader for LevelCertificate in Study and Career Preparation for pre-health and medical imaging pathways. She presents on ‘the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning in the pre-health programme’. Began with background on the programme and focus of the presentation – to improve students' on-going engagement and revision as the programme progressed. Implemented a series of summative on-line quizzes on 2 courses, to increase engagement. Six quizzes in total, usually held every 2 weeks and with each having 15 items. Time limit for students to complete the quizzes and best score of 5 out of the 6 used to calculate final mark. Replaces a high stakes 90% exam. Still an exam but lower weighting (40%) and the progressive quizzes provide feedback on progress so students are able to access support with weak areas.  Second iteration being run this semester and will be evaluated to obtain feedback on efficacy of this approach. Included will be monitoring beyond this programme of students as they move across to degree programmes. To ensure there is authenticity of student undertaking the quiz, the time frame is over weekends and questions and multiple choice options are randomised. Each student then goes through a different version. The quiz is open book but students only have 30 minutes to complete. Questions ensued on robustness of our LMS and challenges of running summative assessments on it. Keeping to short quizzes and time delimitation helps. Need to ensure students are provided with proviso that they may have to resit if LMS fails.

Nathan Walsh provided a quick overview of OneNote Classnotebook and how it can be used to support learning.

Secondly, Dr. Isis Carter from Applied Sciences on ‘the use of Moodle forums for engagement and formative assessment in applied science’. Used forums for level 5 course on Industrial biomolecules. Was keen to improve students' ability to communicate and collaborate to prepare them for work in science – which is premised on high levels of collaborative work. Important to also provide formative feedback to students. Used forums (weighted at 10%) as the tool to encourage students to communicate clearly in writing on complex content. Students commented (at least to two peers) on each other’s postings to help each other refine their ‘final’ submission. Has run for two years (but with small number of students) and adjusted assignment to match learning outcome. The forum provided a means for the tutor to model good writing practice and scaffold students to the level of writing expected. These then useful for completing written report as students could use initial work from the forum and also from other students (but credited). Students needed confidence to undertake feedback, they had to learn the language of science and for feedback. Student feedback indicates need to build student confidence and student engagement increased when grade added for timely responses.

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