Perusall Exchange, May 17-28

I was just made aware of an opportunity for anyone who uses or is interested in learning more about Perusall: Perusall Exchange. The event will be held May 17 (today) through May 28.

A banner with the information: Perusall Exchange 2021, May 17-28
Dear Peruser,   From May 17-28, more than 1,200 of your colleagues will participate in Perusall’s first community event: a truly social asynchronous conference. The Perusall Exchange will offer  50+ sessions across a diverse array of disciplines that highlight innovative pedagogical approaches by instructors using our platform. The conference is free to attend. View the program and register today!  

View Program  

Pick and choose from sessions that pique your interest and watch whenever it suits your schedule. Ask questions or chat with other participants synchronously if they are online at the same time as you, or asynchronously if they are not.   At the end of the conference, presenters and participants will gather in live sessions to continue the discussion. The live sessions include: Promoting Equity and Inclusivity with Perusall Maximizing Student Engagement with Perusall Transitioning Back to Campus with Perusall Register today to stay up-to-date and get quick access on May 17th. We hope you can join us to share your ideas and connect.  We look forward to seeing you at the Exchange!   Take care,   The Perusall Team

Canvas Tips and Recommendations

The list of resources below will help you as you begin to learn and work in Canvas. The list will be kept up-to-date as resources become available.

Design Considerations

  • Image Size recommendations (dimensions are approximate)
    • Banner image: 1451×312
    • Topic heading image: 88×88
  • For images within a table: make sure they are all the same dimensions so that the table cells are all the same size and images center the same within the cells
  • Emojipedia: https://emojipedia.org/ – Use this to add images to module titles, assignment titles, or any place you can enter text.

Moodle Support Videos and Links

This post will be used to host links to all the Moodle workshop, support videos, and links. Links will be grouped as best as possible by topic. If there is a Moodle support topic you would like to request, please contact Jedidiah Rex.

Course Design

Grading and Assessment

Tools

Community of Inquiry

In this Chronicle blog post, Rachel Toor writes about the strategies she used in conjunction with Zoom to help build community in her undergraduate courses. The main one about her, “sandbox” discussion thread reminded me about what I have learned from the community of inquiry method (CoI) and social presence. it is also encouraging to know that at least some face-to-face strategies may work in an online environment.

For more about Community of Inquiry (CoI) check out the links here: https://raindrop.io/collection/11425854

Lightboard!

The Lightboard, LU’s version of Learning Glass, is a way to engage students with lecture while maintaining eye contact with them. The current iteration supports recording of video that may be used in a flipped model. Instructional Technology invites any interested faculty to contact them about using the Lightboard.

Schedule a Demonstration

To schedule a demonstration of the capabilities of the Lightboard, please contact inst-tech@lawrence.edu.

Recording Tips

  • Plan to wear dark (not black) clothing so your writing will stand out better.
  • It may be helpful to practice on paper to position yourself correctly in relation to your writing.

IDC04 – Project-based Assessment: Interview with Dr. Kristin Shingler

Listen to ID Corner:
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All Episodes|Music provided by Kimiko Ishizaka

Transcript

In this episode I interview Dr. Kristin Shingler, Teaching Specialist in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry about the project-based assessment she uses in her classes.

Resources

Microbial Murders Crime Scene Investigation: An Active Team-Based Learning Project that Enhances Student Enthusiasm and Comprehension of Clinical Microbial Pathogens

Kristin’s Documents

IDC03 – Taking Notes: Interview with Julie Haurykiewicz

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All Episodes|Music provided by Kimiko Ishizaka

Transcript

I had the pleasure to sit down with Julie Haurykiewicz, an Associate Dean of Academic Success in the Center for Academic Success, or CAS, at Lawrence University. In her current role, Julie teaches Freshman Studies during winter term, works in a number of different summer programs including the Summer Institute program, and oversees many parts of the tutoring program at Lawrence. Due to the work that Julie does she has unique insight into the topic of note taking, the current picture of note-taking on our campus, the challenges students face, and some of the ways in which faculty have and can approach note-taking. Part of our conversation focused on each of these things as well as strategies for instructors and for students to encourage note-taking and to take better notes. I will share some of the key points from the interview below.

One thing that came out of the interview is that it seems like fewer students are coming to college having learned specific note-taking strategies. Students are challenged by figuring out how to take notes for for different classes and within different contexts e.g. notes for lecture vs. notes for class discussion vs. notes for a class reading. Some common pitfalls that students fall into related to note taking are that they are overwhelmed by trying to capture everything and know what to prioritize as they take notes. This is compounded by the fact that some instructors assume that students have had instruction in note-taking previous to coming to university.

If students are not coming to college having had instruction in note-taking, how can an instructor encourage the students to take notes?  Should they provide that instruction to them?

Julie mentions four reasons for taking notes.

  1. To maintain concentration or focus
  2. To make sense of concepts
  3. To recall material later
  4. To serve as a reference or backup

She then shares a number of recommendations for instructors about things they can do to support student note-taking. These include:

  • talking with students about when, why, and how notes are important in their own discipline
  • sharing research about the impact of various note-taking practices
  • sharing PowerPoint slides with students in Moodle
    • teaching students to annotate [the slides] or use them as flashcards
  • using scaffold-ed or guided notes where professors provide an outline for students with part of the notes filled in for their course       
  • using verbal cues such as, “Be sure to add this to your notes” or, “This will be on the test.”
  • Leveraging a grade for notes

I then asked Julie about note taking strategies that she recommends for students. Her response mirrors the same advice for instructors. She shares that student should think about the purpose of the notes. they should ask themselves, “Why am I taking these notes?” and “What do I hope to gain from the notes?” Below are some of the strategies that Julie shared for students

  • Outline or bullet notes
  • Cornell notes
  • Reading with a Purpose – read with a question in mind. Answer the question as you read.
  • Note cards
  • Sketch-noting, visuals, diagrams, color, timelines
  • Review the notes
    • At the time when they’re taken to add parts you may have missed but can still recall
    • Review repeatedly, over a period of time to help move the information to long term memory (distributed cognition)

Below are some helpful note-taking apps/programs, and strategies.

Resources

Carter, Susan Payne. “The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military Academy.” Economics of Education Review 56 (2017): 118-132.

Mueller, Pam A. “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking.” Psychological Science. 25, no. 6 (2014): 1159-1168.

Cult of Pedagogy – Notetaking: A Research Roundup

Cult of Pedagogy – Power Lesson: Notetaking Stations

Lifehacker: Use The Medium Method to Combine Digital Note-Taking With Pen and Paper

Want to be more productive? Don’t go paperless.
Read this before ditching pen and paper.

IDC01-Peer Assessment

Listen to ID Corner:
Apple Podcasts | Google Play Podcasts | Spotify | RSS
All Episodes|Music provided by Kimiko Ishizaka

IDC01 Transcript (PDF)

Welcome to the first episode of the ID Corner podcast.
The ID Corner podcast is a place where I will share and invite you to think about anything and everything related to teaching and learning. I plan to release three episodes a term. My hope is that this podcast will be a resource to teachers and a source of discussion. I want to provide space for thinking and talking about teaching. I invite you to comment below.

Peer Assessment

In his article published in Theory and Practice, Keith Topping defines peer assessment (PA) as, “… an arrangement for learners to consider and specify the level, value, or quality of a product or performance of other equal-status learners.” (Topping, 20) Why would an instructor want to use PA? What are the benefits and challenges? If I decide to use PA in my course, how should I go about doing so?

PA can be used as a means of engaging students in the learning process (Allberg and Lorås, 6) especially when the instructor deliberately communicates to students about the reasons for and benefits from PA. (Topping, 25) It has been shown that there can be gains for both assessors and assesees due to PA. (Topping, 22)

Benefits

What are the benefits of peer assessment? In the following section, we will look at benefits in three areas: academic benefits and social skill benefits for students, and benefits of PA for teachers.

Academic

Topping lists a number of benefits that students may enjoy because of participating in a PA exercise. Some of those listed are: time on task, increased sense of accountability, increased assessment of understanding, earlier error identification and analysis, and increased metacognition. (Topping, 23) These are all areas that a teacher should want to see gains in their students. There is some correlation between a high PA and high performance on exams. (Allberg and Lorås, 10) This means that those students who receive a high grade in the PA perform well on the exams. Another study by van Zundert et al. reports that students work revisions improved based on feedback from PA. (273)

Social

Students may also realize gains in social skills. One such gain is the ability to judge good work. (van Zundert et al., 270) Related to criticism Topping reports that, “Learning how to give and accept criticism, justify one’s own position, and reject suggestions are all useful, transferable social skills.”(24) PA helps the student practice these skills. Lastly, Aalberg, and Lorås share that, “Research also shows that peer assessments, if applied successfully, can have positive effects on self-confidence, transferable skills and social skills.”(9)

Teacher

Benefits to students should weigh heavy in favor of use, but there are specific benefits that a teacher may realize with PA. One benefit of using PA for the teacher is an economy of scale. Using the students as assessors creates that many more assessors and shares the responsibility of assessment. (Topping, 22) In addition, when taken as a whole, the sum of all the assessments may provide a deeper level of detail than with a single assessor. Aalberg and Lorås report that teachers found that the comments provided by the peer assessors seemed to, “have a higher level of detail than what the teacher would have been able to identify, and if when all comments are put together they gave a good overview.”(9) Related to PA of group work, the work by van Zundert et al. quotes a study mentioning that PA provides teachers, “a more accurate picture of individual performance in group work (Cheng & Warren, 2000).”(270) Another final benefit that teachers may realize is that the process of preparing for and administering PA may cause them to take a focused look at the course objectives and assessment, bringing clarity. As Topping mentions, “”Peer assessment can lead teachers to scrutinize and clarify assessment objectives and purposes, criteria, and grading scales.” (24)

Challenges & Questions

PA is not without its challenges. Students may feel anxious about assessing and being assessed by peers. (Topping, 24) Some students may feel that the assessment is not fair or that the assessment is not valid because their peer is not an expert in the area being assessed. (Allberg and Lorås, 8) They may also feel that the time and effort to complete a PA exercise is not worth what they perceive they may get out of the experience. (Allberg and Lorås, 8) One question related to PA is, “Are the grades valid and reliable?” It has been shown that PA grades are generally higher than a teacher may give. (Allberg and Lorås, 8) Can a teacher trust the PA enough to include the grades in the overall course grade? Aalberg, and Lorås share that PA may be used in grading, a finding that was confirmed by Topping. (9)  There are conflicting findings about whether and to what degree social processes may affect PA. Topping reports that social processes can, “influence and contaminate the reliability and validity of peer assessments.” (24)  He elaborated that, “Peer assessments can be partly determined by friendship bonds, enmity, or other power processes, the popularity of individuals, perception of criticism as socially uncomfortable, or even collusion to submit average scores, leading to lack of differentiation.” (24) A study referenced by van Zundert et al. conversely shares that the fairness of PA affected by personal relationships is negligible. (van Zundert et al., 272) There may be strategies that an instructor may use to minimize the possibility of these issues becoming a factor in the PA exercise.

Strategies

How do we maximize benefits and minimize challenges associated with PA? As we will see in the following section, there are strategies that an instructor may employ to make the best use of PA in the learning experience. With forethought and preparation, PA can be an effective pedagogical tool.

Beginning

The success of the PA activity is due largely to how much time is spent in preparation. As with any other learning activity, a teacher should define the objectives, what she or he wants students to get out of the experience, and why it is important for the students to participate. (Topping, 25) Helping students understand the ‘why’ of the activity will go a long way in alleviating some of the negative feelings students may have about the PA exercise.  Communicating the importance of the place the students are taking within the PA exercise can help them to be more engaged. As Topping states, “…students should be told that peer assessment involves students directly in learning, and should promote a sense of ownership, personal responsibility, and motivation.”(24) Providing support for the students in a PA experience should begin with defining how the students will be assessed and creating a rubric for doing so. The creation of a rubric can help bring focus on those most important take-aways, and provide language that the students may use in their assessment of peers. (Allberg and Lorås, 2) Providing guidance and opportunities to practice PA can have a great positive impact on both students’ perception of PA and ability to carry out a PA. (van Zundert et al., 270, 274-5)  Another strategy that can help students as they begin practicing a PA exercise is to have them give positive feedback initially. This can help to reduce anxiety they may have about assessing their peers. (Topping, 24]

During

A teacher must monitor and coach the PA activity in order for it to be successful. (Allberg and Lorås, 9) Providing guidelines and rubrics are one step in the preparation, but to be successful the instructor needs to continue to support the students through the experience. Students need direction from the teacher and opportunities to practice writing appropriate and helpful assessment comments. (Allberg and Lorås, 11) One strategy for reducing assesse anxiety in the initial PA experience is to give positive feedback first. (Topping, 24) In addition, providing multiple opportunities to practice PA will help students build skills for accurately assessing the work of their peers. Evaluating the quality of the PA is another way that teachers may support students through the experience and help them build good assessment skills. (Allberg and Lorås, 11)

In his article “Peer Assessment” Keith Topping provides eleven steps to executing a successful PA activity. I will not reproduce the entire list here, but there are a few items from the list that are important to recount here. The first recommendation is to find a partner. Do not implement PA on your own. I think this is important to share the intellectual load of talking through and determining objectives, rubrics, guidelines, and structure. This is work and many hands are helpful. The second recommendation mentioned is, “Clarify purpose, rationale, expectations, and acceptability with all stakeholders.” Determining the reason for and what you want students to get out of the PA experience is crucial for making the experience a success. Communicating these with students early and throughout the experience can increase their engagement, accountability and sense of ownership. Similar to this point is to include the students in identifying the assessment criteria. This is especially the case for PA of team or group work. Next is practice, practice, practice. Training students on how you want them to do PA is the best way to ensure that they do it the way that you want and to have a successful experience. To that end, providing exemplars, guidelines for and rubrics for the assessment you are asking them to do provides them a solid grounding in what criteria you want them to assess. This also provides a foundation for the sort of language that is appropriate and desired for them to use in the PA. Lastly, instructor should make a point to evaluate the assessments. This can be a graded exercise or not. Doing so provides a good means of determining if the students understand the objectives of the PA activity. This can also serve as a means of gathering exemplars for future iterations of the activity. (Topping, 25)

Peer assessment can be a great tool for formative assessment as well as benefitting students in a number of other ways. Preparing adequately and following the strategies listed her can help your PA activity be a success.

References

Aalberg, Trond, and Madeleine Lorås. 2018. Active Learning and Student Peer Assessment in a Web Development Course ; Active Learning and Student Peer Assessment in a Web Development Course. http://hdl.handle.net/11250/2582857.

Topping, Keith J. 2009 “Peer Assessment.” Theory Into Practice, vol. 48, no. 1, Winter , pp. 20–27. doi:10.1080/00405840802577569.

van Zundert, Marjo, et al. 2010. “Effective Peer Assessment Processes: Research Findings and Future Directions.” Learning and Instruction, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 270–79. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2009.08.004.

Resources

Discussion

UDL and Blended Learning

In her article on Edutopia, Beth Holland mentions the following:

“In a blended environment, students take advantage of the different modalities afforded by both the online and in-person contexts. I have argued in the pastthat neither digital workflow nor the dissemination of digitized, teacher-driven content constitutes blended learning. As Michael Horn and Heather Staker write in Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, the proper role of digital technologies in true blended learning is giving students control over the time, path (e.g., type of content), place (online or in person), and pace of their learning. The online environment affords students with choice and control over their learning, and teachers gain opportunities for meaningful interactions with their students. “
[Emphasis mine]

This second part of the paragraph sounds very similar to a universal design for learning (UDL) approach. The article mentions differentiation but I would argue that UDL is not the same thing as differentiation. I appreciate the comparison made by Loui Lord Nelson in, Design & Deliver: Planning and Teaching Using UDL where she compares differentiation as creating separate meals for each student versus providing a buffet of options (UDL). the latter environment allows the person to choose the things that work for them.

I wonder how may educators view it this way?

References