LITEbox

Digital playground

Tagged: Flipped teaching

Using Peerwise (MCQ software) to encourage a deeper understanding

  , ,

📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Amanda Mackenzie, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Christine Edmead, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


What was done and what technology was used?
Peerwise is free online software which supports students in the creation, sharing, evaluation and discussion of assessment questions. We have been using this technology on a flipped unit with around 180 students for the last two years, and have had a great success.

Peerwise takes a few minutes to set up, and can be done via Moodle enrolment. Once it has been set up it is very self-sustaining and doesn't need much input from ourselves, however we can moderate if needed.

What are the benefits to staff?
This unit has 60% of marks assigned from a multiple choice paper, but we do not release past papers. Students have always asked for practice questions and with Peerwise they can write their own questions and then practice on questions which other students have created. There is also a competitive element as students gain points from writing, answering and commenting on questions. This saves us a lot of time not having to write practice questions each year and provides the students with a broader question bank. We can also look to see which topics students are finding harder and may need to revisit in lectures.

What are the benefits to students?
Students generally will deepen their knowledge by needing to think of appropriate questions and answers to these questions, as well as having access to a fantastic resource for revision for their exams which is added to throughout the semester. Around 60% of students in the cohort actively engage with Peerwise throughout the semester, and while no part of this is assessed, two questions selected from those submitted, are included in each years' exam as an incentive to engage.

 

Using tablets and other technology in research-inspired teaching

  , , ,

📥  Event Review

Dr Kit Yates shared his experiences of using the media to publicise research, research inspired teaching, and also using iPads in class for teaching. A brief write up is below, and you can also download the full presentation for more detail. A recording is available to watch now.

Public engagement

Public engagement focused on your own specific research has the benefits of allowing you to:

  • become more familiar with your own research and being able to explain it engagingly and in an easy to understand way
  • think about impact and then generate grant applications
  • generate publicity for your work and get the recognition you deserve.

When entering into public engagement for the first time you should consider starting off small, such as Ignite Talks, Bath Taps into Science, Pint of Science, etc.

Kit spoke about his experiences of writing for The Conversation (a news site written by academics from around the world, to which the University of Bath pays a subscription), having his work covered by various journalists for different publications and even speaking on BBC radio 4’s Today programme

For more information, read a research marketing blog post titled Making headlines with research, visit the public engagement website, or talk to the press office.

Research inspired teaching

Research inspired teaching in beneficial for both students and teachers. Students have some real world context of what they are learning, begin to think like experts and develop a deeper knowledge rather than rope learning. Staff can then give more engaging and interactive lectures, while also being able to reflect further on their own research while learning from students.

Flipping the problem class

Intended learning outcomes of the unit were out of line with what was actually being delivered, and the material taught didn't fully align with summative assessment.

Rather than running through problems and pre-written code in class, pre-recorded solutions with audio feedback were recorded with an iPad were put onto panopto/Moodle for students to learn in their own time. This then allowed Kit to construct code from scratch in the face to face sessions, in a much more engaging and useful way to teach the students coding.

Dr Kit Yates discusses how and why he changed his mathematical biology problem classes to focus more on the act of coding, inspired by a combination of flipping and apprentice model approaches.

Dr Kit Yates describes how he recorded his working through problem solutions on a tablet as an online resource to replicate some of the advantages of the live session over the solution sheet.

 

Lecturing with an iPad

Lecturing with an iPad is the alternative to using white/blackboards, visualisers or slides, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Dr Kit Yates reflects on his experience of using iPads in mathematics lectures as part of a trial to provide his pros and cons for their use.

Advantages of lecturing with an iPad:

  • Lectures can be uploaded quickly
  • Can efficiently switch between media
  • Can quickly back reference previous sections or lectures
  • Great for large lecture theatres as the text is always readable
  • No focussing problems which can occur on visualisers
  • No moving sheets up and down, so students can follow easily
  • Facilitates flipping
  • All the features of pen and paper, and many more (colours, highlighters, etc.)

Disadvantages of lecturing with an iPad:

  • Requires (lots of practice)
  • Set up is difficult and requires time each lecture
  • Lots of gear needed: iPad, HDMI/VGA adapters, styles, case, etc.)
  • Doesn't get significantly better feedback from students
  • Need a special pen/stylus for optimum writing

Kit uses an app called GoodNotes to write on. His iPad is connected to the first projector, and then also syncs the document to his laptop which projects the previous page onto a second projector. This means students can see the current page which Kit is writing as well as the previous page. In University Hall there is Apple TV which means he can wirelessly connect his iPad allowing him more mobility in lectures.

Kit's setup for using an iPad in class

Kit's setup for using an iPad in lectures

Student feedback on the use of the iPad is varied, but the iPad is generally considered to be no worse than black/whiteboards or visualisers. A selection of feedback received is given below:

“I don't think the use of the iPad enhanced learning.”
“I like the iPad with the two screens showing old and new material.”
“I prefer the iPad/visualiser as white board pens are usually quite low on ink.”
“No preference.”
“Prefer whiteboards – if I fall behind I know it will still be somewhere on the boards.”
“Standing up and writing on the board is more engaging.”

 

Technology Showcase

  , , , , , ,

📥  Case Studies, Event Review

On 19 February, four short presentations took place followed by a poster display. This event showcasing the use of technology within learning and teaching from different staff across the University gave the attendees an opportunity to share and discuss ideas, and was very well received.

"It was great to see the excellent work going on that we can all benefit from."

You can watch a recording of the presentations in case you were unable to attend the event, and read a summary of each of the presentations below.
 
 
Annotations on a tablet - Tim Lawrenson
Tim Lawrenson asks students to perform, record and send him a video of an activity in their own time, and then during class time uses a tablet to annotate over still or slow motion clips. This allows the students to see common mistakes, and also have instant feedback on their technique. There is very little problem with technology, however sometimes the filesize of the student videos can be too large for email.

The annotation app used is called Hudl Technique.

Tim Lawrenson discusses flipping his teaching on the BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

 
App Factory - Keith Brown
Due to a last minute space opening up, Keith Brown stepped up to present his development. He is developing apps for teaching and learning, and has implemented the App-Factory. This is an is an easy to use authoring system that has been used to deliver apps to students. Typically, app content includes slideshows, videos and quizzes. Student evaluation indicates that the apps have been well received by students. There was a great amount of interest in the App Factory both during the event and within feedback for the event.

For further information please see Keith’s blog, and if you are interested in making an app for your course then please email Keith directly at K.N.Brown@bath.ac.uk

The App Factory

 
Student projects - Rob Hyde & Alan Hayes
Final year computer science projects are set by Alan Hayes and Rob Hyde, who is effectively a customer to final year students. Different projects are set as tasks for students to give them some experience in this type of project, and developing something could have a real impact around campus. Example projects include a radio recorder to assist corporate comms, individual room timetables for each teaching space to be displayed outside the door, and a services dashboard for BUCS services.

If you would like to find out more, or suggest a project, please email either Rob Hyde at R.J.Hyde@bath.ac.uk or Alan Hayes at A.Hayes@bath.ac.uk.

 
2sli.de - Robin Shields
Robin Shields gave a live demonstration of free to use software called 2sli.de, which he has developed himself. Questions at the end were submitted via the attendees' devices and appeared at the front of the room for all to see.

Features of 2sli.de include:

  • embedded media
  • powerpoint import and .pdf export
  • audience response
  • remote control, including annotation

Find out more on the 2sli.de website.

Demonstration of features on 2sli.de

 

Using tablets and other technology in research-inspired teaching

  , , ,

📥  LITEbox Event

This event has now taken place, a write up is available including benefits and drawbacks of using the iPad to teach in lectures

Dr Kit Yates is a relatively new lecturer who has been fortunate enough to have some of his research covered by the media. As such, he has become practiced in explaining his research to a lay audience, which has helped to incorporate various aspects of his research into teaching.

In this talk Dr Yates will share his experiences of using the media to publicise research, research enhanced teaching, and also using iPads in class for teaching, and will try to give a live demonstration of the technology. However, he warns that these are only his experiences and will not zealously suggest that what works for him will work for everyone. Come along to learn what has helped Kit, and share your opinions on how an iPad could work for your teaching.

Kit has explored a number of different ways of delivering lectures with various technologies, including the use of an iPad to deliver lectures, which can be particularly helpful for issues such as inclusivity, and reproducibility in teaching. He also been combining the use of the iPad with lecture capture for his own variety of flipped teaching.

 

A flipped teaching toolkit for a quantitative module

  , , , , ,

📥  Event Review

Dr Aydin Nassehi began his LITEbox session, available to watch online, by explaining a typical problem with the “standard” classroom approach: students claim to be too busy meaning they often miss lectures, tutorials and out-of-class study time, leading to a lack of learning and lack of understanding of the material. In order to engage the students and create a deeper understanding, Dr Nassehi uses a flipped teaching approach where lectures are much more interactive and allow students to develop their ideas further. In order to assist his approach, he uses the following technologies:

Despite the advantages of flipped teaching, it does come with some disadvantages: student feedback is very mixed, with some students reporting that the academic staff are “not teaching anything”; the teaching approach needs to be continually adjusted according to feedback; and the culture of marks being more important than an understanding of the subject is a barrier for many students.

The student approach to a "standard" classroom approach

The student approach to a "standard" classroom approach

Digitising Tablet

Before the lecture, content must be provided for the students to learn. This can be a collection of anything relevant, from academic papers through to online videos, which are all uploaded to Moodle for easy access. Dr Nassehi produces videos of step-by-step problems specific to his taught modules by using a digitising tablet (costing £50 to £80), and allows the students to work in a self-paced learning environment where they can pause and resume the video as required. This means that no students are sat in lectures confused when the pace is too fast to follow.

Integration of Moodle - Quizzes

In order to ensure students have done the required work before class each week, they are incentivised with a quiz on Moodle worth 1% of the module mark. Quizzes can be automatically marked, and once a question bank is set up, Moodle allows for random value numerical answers and automatic question shuffling in order to ensure students can’t cheat. Moodle also allows for analysis of the students’ marks, showing where they are struggling and which topics they find hard.

It was noted that the content before the lecture must relate to both the quizzes and the assessment objectives, as otherwise students are disheartened spending time learning unrelated material.

LTEO can provide help and guidance on using Moodle for quizzes.

Audience Response System

To engage with a large cohort of students during contact time, Poll Everywhere is used to ask questions based on the content which has already been learnt, either multiple choice, numerical or short phrase submissions – though be prepared for students inputting silly words. It allows anyone with an internet-enabled device to connect, which is much easier logistically than having to hire out a set of 200+ clickers from the University. Poll Everywhere also allows for registration to track user’s progress throughout the semester.

Dr Nassehi uses an audience response system for a variety of reasons, including short numerical based problems in groups, through to marking other class presentations on non-technical presentation aspects. While Poll Everywhere can provide live feedback on whether students need the pace of class to increase or not, this can be challenging when a certain amount of in-class content must be planned in advance.

Alternative similar free software is mQlicker which allows for embedding within PowerPoint and deals with numerical answers as numbers rather than text strings. You can book the University's audience response system for use in your teaching from the Audio Visual Unit, and receive training on using the system from the e-Learning team.

You can find out more information about how to use audience response systems from a LITEbox event write up.


Questions arising during the session

Is flipped teaching more time consuming?

  • To set up the material takes much longer than standard teaching, however once the resources have been set up there is much less work in following years

How do you stop students using their phones in class for non-lecture content?

  • Students are more engaged as they have read the material, which as an added benefit also means the lecturer can discuss topics they enjoy with other informed people
  • Provide interesting material in class sessions so they want to learn
  • You can’t stop those who want to check Facebook, even in “technology free” lectures

How does flipped teaching rank in unit evaluations?

  • When students have to do more work and are taught in a different way to usual, flipped teaching appears worse in unit evaluations
  • You can still use these tools without flipping

Do students have transparency of the class being flipped?

  • From experience, students prefer and rate the class higher if you avoid calling it a flipped class and say this is the way the class has always been taught

If you have any more questions please ask in the comments box below.

 

LITEbox Event: A flipped teaching toolkit for a quantitative module

  , ,

📥  LITEbox Event

A flipped teaching toolkit for a quantitative module (a digitising tablet, screen capture and an audience participation system)

Date: Wednesday 18 November 2015
Time: 12.45pm - 13.45pm
Venue: CB 5.13

Please send an email RSVP to litebox@bath.ac.uk to register your interest.

If you are thinking about 'just-in-time' lecturing for flipped teaching, adding interactivity to your class or, trying self-paced instruction through virtual learning environments, this session may be of interest to you. In this session, innovative e-learning technologies will be showcased that can significantly enhance your teaching practice and student engagement.

Specifically, this session will look at the ways in which interactive learning environments can be created through: the integration of virtual learning environments such as Moodle; audience participation systems; and simple software packages.

Dr Aydin Nassehi is a Mary Tasker award-winning Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His area of expertise is manufacturing; a topic that is often challenging and unpopular with Mechanical Engineering students.

Watch a short video which Aydin has produced himself on the challenges faced when teaching manufacturing to second year students: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mr3cr24k5em1pk6/LiteBox.mp4

Flipped teaching

Extract from Dr Nassehi's video

 

Are you interested in any other LITEbox events? Register your interest with us to keep informed.