Our team organises a get-together where staff can showcase different technologies they’ve been experimenting with to improve / enhance learning with their students or different research projects they are involved with. Due to staff absence, I covered a couple of these and have been asked to write blog posts so sharing here too. Note I joined in both the Glion activity at the end just from creating the quiz onwards so the majority of the activity had already happened and with the art psychotherapy activity, I was still in the process of changing roles so not able to spend any serious time in planning it.
Glion Institute of Higher Education presentation – student generated quizzes
Anthony Basiel who is teaching a Counselling & Negotiation Skills course wanted to involve students in a bottom-up networked learning model. There is a core textbook but Anthony wanted students to demonstrate their understanding but also develop the intellectual capital of the group. The students were organised as a business with teams managed by a student in each team. Together with an IT colleague, Anthony developed a google forms template which students used to create questions from the book. These were multiple choice questions with three answers and needed to provide specific feedback including references to where the correct answer and clarification could be found. They had overview sessions and links to videos explaining how to write good questions.
It was not possible to easily convert the questions from google forms into a moodle quiz, so the quiz was recreated from scratch using the questions exported as a CSV. Five questions in three quizzes were created. For the first quiz which was run during a teaching session, the questions were randomised. However this meant that well written questions were not necessarily selected so specific questions were selected for the final two quizzes which the students preferred. Anthony wanted the students to rank the questions but this was not possible with the core quiz activity.
The eLearning Services team have since installed a student quiz plugin which allows students to generate quiz questions and ranking. This will be tested over the next month.
The students actually ranked the poor questions higher when asked to use an anonymous ranking tool. We don’t know if they knew who had written the questions and whether that was an influencing factor.
Intellectual capital. It is hoped to finalise a question bank of student generated questions and then negotiate with the publisher of the original textbook to generate an eLearning resource. This allows a practical application of the negotiating skills.
Art Psychotherapy Virtual Field Trip
The lecturer wanted each student to contribute a reflection on a visit to an artistic installation. All the students are mature students who are doing a mix of remote and face-face learning on campus. Due to the short timescales for planning, a quick test of the Collaborate virtual classroom plugin in Moodle was completed. The ‘room’ was opened in advance of the session and the instructions were sent to the students asking them to test out their audio in advance.
Overall the session went well but we had some hiccups at the beginning due to some students attending in person which meant that we couldn’t book an appropriate teaching room with boundary microphones available so we had to use a mix of a smartphone, an iPad as well as a desktop computer with a headset. This meant that microphone feedback had to be managed and some other settings had to be temporarily managed by another facilitator in the virtual room. The iPad app does not always work so we had to explain where to find the link to using Firefox or Google chrome when it asks you to install the app (you don’t need to but the link to use the web version on the screen is quite small). These issues can all be fixed during the planning phase for future sessions.
Each student sent in their slide in advance which were combined into one presentation (27 students in total – each presenting for a couple of minutes). This made it easier for anyone who hadn’t checked their audio settings – if needed we could switch to other students quickly whilst they sorted their settings. This would have been more difficult with 27 presentations loaded individually.
Some students who do not say anything during face-face sessions were much more talkative during the virtual session. Some students used their smartphones to deliver their presentations and found that easier for managing the audio. Feedback included
“The virtual field trip gave me a sense of the various visits, and some of the questions and thoughts of other trainees; that I possibly would not have had. I also found being able to type questions and share thoughts whilst the presentations were happening to be a real bonus.”
“It was difficult to instigate meaningful conversation about the field trips, only quick comments were received”
“A better developing understanding of the importance of technology and its ability to connect. Being able to see art work made therapeutically in context and understand more of the role of art in patient life.”