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Screenshot of a Nearpod activity

Test Driving in the Drivers’ Seat

Submitted by Sarah Wendorf

Short screencapture video of Sarah’s student-paced Nearpod lesson [no audio]

What challenge, problem or motivation inspired you to make one small change?

I am teaching part-time for the first time this fall semester in the Graphic Design program so much of what I’m doing is “new” 🙂

In my regular role as Instructional Designer in the Hub, I advise faculty and staff on different technologies they could use in the classroom and also help create learning objects, modules and courses. I wanted to put into practice some items that I have advised on / created for others, so I could get some experience with how these actually work in a classroom.

Tell us about your one small change:

I decided to try a few things in my classroom as a way to get as much hands-on experience as possible:

1. Video feedback on assignments – I’m part of the Ensemble pilot group that is testing this software for video feedback on assessments. After getting set up with Orville, I installed the Chrome plugin and use this to record short, quick, and easy videos to send to my students as I’m marking their assignments.

2. Nearpod as a tool for lessons and practice – I’ve chosen to use Nearpod as my ed-tech tool for use in delivering lessons, content, practice, and formative feedback. I’ve luckily been assigned a computer lab for my class and am able to fully utilize Nearpod for guiding students through lessons, with group work, in showing visuals and slides, and creating interactive activities. Students sign in, follow along during the lesson as I control the pace of the slides at the front, and they participate in activities throughout the lesson. Activities include short multiple choice quizzes, collaborative short-answer “poster boards”, fill-in-the-blanks, matching, videos, freehand drawing, short-answer, and more.

3. Moodle Marking Guide for assignments – My colleagues Orville and Rob in the Hub helped get me set up with the Moodle Marking Guide and PDF annotation tool. This is a setting in Moodle assignments that can be enabled to allow the instructor to annotate PDF files with drawings, lines, shapes etc. I can also write feedback notes, upload my checklist with the students’ mark, and enable a marking workflow. The workflow allows me to mark all the assignments and set them to “Ready for Release” and then when I’m done marking them all, I can set them all to “Release” at the same time so students can receive their marks altogether.

What was the result of your one small change?

Here is what I’m discovering in my classroom:

1. Video feedback on assignments – the students are really enjoying this personalized, 1-1 feedback that I can provide them through video. Since all of the assignments are completed and submitted online, video made the most sense to me if I were to find a way to provide more personal feedback to students that directly impacts their own work. With the PDF annotation tool, I can highlight, underline and circle items as I’m speaking on the video so it makes sense when the student views their work.

2. Nearpod as a tool for lessons and practice – Students like that they can listen, participate, answer anonymously, and have paired or whole-class discussions all in one lesson period. I can share examples of their work if students give me permission and we can have richer discussions without students feeling that their names are attached to their answers. They are more apt to participate.

3. Moodle Marking Guide for assignments – This allows me to provide students with evidence of their mark (aka. the checklist that I upload) and a link to the video file that I produce. It keeps everything all in one place and the students have told me so far that they appreciate this.

While the semester is only half complete at this time, I hope to write a blog post in December as a reflection on these three items including the learning curve, time investment, and student feedback.

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