Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Gold Standard Implementation of Peer Instruction Using Clickers

Recently, I watched a webinar from Turning Technologies that addressed a standard of implementation for using clickers for peer instruction.  Julie Schell, the Director of OnRamps and Strategic Initiatives, was the presenter.  In her presentation, "Using Clickers with Peer Instruction," she offered the 7 basic steps of this standard:

1.  Provide a mini lecture
2.  The instructor asks a question to the class
3.  The students are given time to think about the question
4.  The students vote for the first time
(The answer is not shown if there is a right answer; the answer may be shown if there is not a correct answer)
5.  Students discuss their response to the question with a neighbor or in groups
6.  A second vote is taking in class
(The answer  is shown)
7.  There is an explanation of why the answer is correct.

Peer instruction and class interaction often fall apart when one or more of these steps are left out of the process. Check out the entire webinar here

If you'd like more information about survey and polling solutions to help enable peer instruction and student discussion in your classroom, please contact me, Dave Houle, at dhoule@northshore.edu.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More ANGEL Tips

The semester is well under way and I thought I would present some tips on using ANGEL.

TIP  #1:    Personalizing Announcements

When students log into their ANGEL course, it is always nice for  you to have a message welcoming them, directing them or updating them on the course.   You can personalizing your announcement and thus make the student feel as though you are addressing him/her individually. You can include the student's first name in the message.

You can use a simple script to add a student's first name to any announcement.  To do so, just add the following: $First_Name$ into the announcement text box (such as "Greetings $First_Name$).  Be sure to add it exactly as it is shown (or copy and past it).  This will enter the student’s first name on the announcement page.  It will also work in course mail.

TIP  #2:    Printing the ANGEL Gradebook

An ANGEL tip for those of you who are using the ANGEL Gradebook. It is always a good idea to "save" a copy of your Gradebook a few times throughout the semester.  It is very easy to do. 

1. Go to the Manage tab in your course.
2. Go to Gradebook.  
3. Click on the "Print Grades" in the left column.
4. On this page, select the parameters you would like to print.  You can even change the font if you would like to view it in a larger size.
5.  Click on "Generate PDF"
6.  You can either print or save the PDF file to your computer or flash drive.

If you have any ANGEL tips you would like to share, please feel free to comment!