Monday, April 26, 2010

Peerwise workshop presented by Dr, Paul Denny on 16th April

Attended workshop convened by Southern hub of Ako Aotearoa by Dr. Paul Denny of University of Auckland a week ago. I am putting this post up now as I was interested in gauging participant response to his presentation. So a week or so after the presentation, I can report that there is movement at CPIT on using Peerwise.

Paul is a member of the Ako Aotearoa Academy having earned his wings at last year’s tertiary excellence awards. A good representation of CPIT staff, private providers & ITO representatives attended the workshop at CPIT on the afternoon of Friday 16th April.

Paul provided a very good workshop, with enough time for participants to have a good play with Peerwise. He modelled good teaching practice and it was a pleasure to watch him take the participants gradually through the ins and outs of using Peerwise. In essence, Peerwise is a ‘social networking’ site for students to share multiple choice questions. The concepts which bring Peerwise beyond the usual is the ability for students not only to enter multiple choice questions and answers but to also rate and comment on questions inputted by other students. Having to write multiple choice questions is in itself, no easy task as this guideline describes. Students working on compiling the questions need to understand the topic and then construct clear and meaningful questions. Students are able to then rate/rank and comment on the questions of other students. This engages students in another layer of interaction with the subject content. Therefore, concepts used in Peerwise supported by sound educational theory.

At CPIT, the interest in Peerwise as led to a workshop, which I will run later this week, for school of business tutors on discussing merits or other wise of using Peerwise. Will need to sell the idea that the students will be doing most of the work! Plus interest from the Carpentry ITP consortium of using Peerwise as a repository of multiple choice questions suitable for sharing between the ITPs teaching carpentry trades in NZ. Adult education will also be evaluating the use of Peerwise into one of the Diploma in Tertiary Teaching & Learning courses, to introduce new tutors to the process of using a modified form of social networking to help engage their students in active learning.