Yesterday I had the pleasure of accompanying Steve Orwin and other 'its' (oops! remember - no more apostrophes please!) colleagues to deliver a Wakefield Local Authority CPD whole day session on sharing best practice with a focus on elearning. I was amazed at how much breadth and depth of experience these secondary schools in Wakefield brought to showcase.
Recently we wrote an article "Ten Principles for Successful E-learning" which we shared with schools around the world, which struck a chord with many. Airedale Academy in Wakefield not only adopted these strategies when they took on itslearning last year, but have adapted it to their own needs which I am compelled to share with you today. Seven steps is a LOT. One step at a time!
With Kind permission of Karen Elliott and Airedale Academy, Wakefield, Yorkshire.
1. Create interactive peer-to-peer tests
Ask each student in a class to write a summary question at the end of a topic. Students can then upload their question to itslearning. Once you've checked over the test and activated it, students can take the test themselves
Students are likely to use the full range of question types and incorporate video & images to make the test more engaging.
This works as an excellent revision tool for students as they get to revise in a way that they want to and it means that as a teacher you build a fabulous bank of questions to use over and over again.
2. Record Performances Using a WebCam
Record students in a class using a webcam and upload the performances to itslearning. Students can view the performances and comment on them using a discussion forum
It is really easy to record webcam footage using a 'content block'. Students will enjoy being able to look over their performances and you can lock the content so only they can see it.
The discussion forum is an excellent way for students to peer assess as everyone has a go and students can see who is giving what feedback. The teacher can also use this to provide less rushed feedback
3. Create a Quiz Based on a Video Clip
Uploading video clips from 'Clip Bank' is really straightforward. You could show students a clip to introduce a topic and then ask them to complete an interactive quiz to test their knowledge on what they've learnt.
The test can be given a time limit so they have to use their memory & can't keep looking at the clip. Alternatively you can give them unlimited time and instruct them that they have to keep watching the clip to find the answers.
Using video will make the test more interesting & it enables the test function to be used at the start of a topic as well as to recall information at the end.
4. Have a Homepage & Keep it up to date
Engage students with the VLE by including the following on your 'Subject' or 'Year Manager' home page:
- Pictures of students
- links to key websites
- RSS feeds
- Information about upcoming events
- A key dates calendar
- Topical Votes
- A Discussion Forum
Give Students a reason to keep looking at itslearning by regularly updating your homepage. Students will continuously engage with new content.
5. Use Audio to Test Understanding
Ask students to work in groups to prepare an audio performance related to the topic that you are covering. The dialogue might just be a review of the work covered, a radio report or a Q&A session
Students then need to use a mic to work collaboratively before submitting the piece to the teacher via itslearning.
Students will enjoy working in groups & will be able to listen to their performances & conduct self evaluation of the audio. They could use the performance as a form of revision before exams, or as a way of evaluating a lesson.
6. Make Interactive Tests More Fun!
Whilst students state that they enjoy the interactive quizzes in itslearning & find the immediate feedback useful, endless multiple choice questions are fairly boring!
To live up your tests, use 'Hot Spots' questions. Inserting an image & asking students to answer a given question by selecting the correct place on the image can be much more fun.
If the same image is used for every question, this can reduce the time it takes to make the quiz.
7. Encourage Students to Create an itslearning 'Learning Log'
After each lesson students could be asked to construct a short paragraph to explain what they have learnt in the lesson. This could take place in itslearning as a discussion forum, as an assignment or students could simply message the learning log to the teacher.
Students are given the opportunity to showcase their knowledge & understanding which will identify any areas needing further help.
Not only does this help you as a teacher to measure student progress, but it helps to inform your planning too.
Huge thanks to :
Laura Reader, Karen Elliott, Kate Dixon, Emma Ward, Seb Le Gall, Claire Shillito & Airedale ICT Advocates.
Go forth and itslearnify!