Queering the Classroom with Mind Map, Flip Grid, & ThingLink
Dr. Reznik outlines her projects in the video below. She discusses her planning, implementation, assessment and reflections.
Dr. Reznik outlines her projects in the video below. She discusses her planning, implementation, assessment and reflections.
The technology road to assessment of learning and teaching excellence
My technology fellows projects has been to systematically boost student learning and teaching expertise using technology – specifically to assess student learning and instructional effectiveness. I have done this primarily by exploring, learning, and utilizing new technology. The project involved the use of a WordPress educational blog site as a portal for a large student group assignment, the integration of FlipGrid and Padlet as a classroom student response/engagement tools, the development of online testing through Moodle and then Brightspace, the development of a specific substance use module with pre and post Qualtrics for surveys, expansion of learning options through use of video competencies, zoom instruction and small group learning activities. Further goals include embedding rubrics and audio messages into Brightspace for more efficient and individual feedback and increasing the variety of question types in electronic tests.report with Results, Discussion, and Conclusion sections.
My approach was to address professional development teaching goals and to better understand student’s learning. I want to gain skills but also stay contemporary, model adaptability in the pandemic and recognize that some old school teaching ways are no longer effective. Learning teaching technology is the best way to accomplish all these things.
I considered teaching evaluations, peer feedback and my own appraisal of needs to gain teaching skills. I also aligned with the university goals to improve teaching technology opportunities and program goals of making learning more accessible.
Started with developing an alternative to a paper portfolio for occupational therapy student assignment called Community Based Program (CBP). This involved setting up a website template through Chatham’s Educational Blog sites in which the students would create websites to describe and demonstrate their experiences and learning of their community-based fieldwork. An assessment survey through Qualtrics and emails was created and utilized. It contained likert scale and open ended questions.
Next, was expansion of technology in assignments and classroom activities to increase engagement of students and to assess real time learning. Added Flipgrid, Google shared drive, polling and Padlet activities.
Began testing through Moodle and then later Brightspace learning platform
Added one Qualtrics survey to teaching module entitled “The Opioid Crisis”.
Then the abrupt shift to virtual due to the pandemic occurred and required further growth in technology. All instruction shifted to video and Zoom based instruction. I utilized breakout groups and Google documents for group work, Padlet and polls for classroom, and added proctorial while continuing to do tests online through learning platform. Flipgrid provided to be effective in the students demonstrating their understanding of materials.
During this time, I reassessed use of WordPress blog and primarily the student’s comfort at utilizing a new technology in the midst of adjusting to many other new technologies and shifted to requiring a word document presentation of the CBP.
And lastly, this past year has been focused on moving all courses to Brightspace and learning grading and organizing tools in this new platform.
Formally assessed the use of:
Informally assessed the use of:
Just as I was beginning to feel more confident about on the ground teaching, the pandemic struck. Development shifted again from enhancement of practices to survival in a new context – online or virtual instruction. I realized quickly that modeling adaptability and being resilient in the context of school was necessary to lead the students.
My project incorporated the use of several technologies, Zoom and Padlet, into my Critical Thinking in Psychology (PSY217W) course in the fall of 2018. The purpose of this course is to teach students the skills to engage in critical reading, writing, and thinking as they consume information within the discipline of psychology. This course also teaches students how to engage in scientific writing and adhere to proper APA formatting. In previous semesters, I would often use class time for students to discuss the psychological content they were consuming as well as providing students an opportunity to work on their APA formatting. However, I observed that students would be quite reluctant to either initiate or join in on the discussions. I also observed that students would often struggle outside of the classroom when working on their assignments that required scientific writing and adherence to proper APA formatting. Based off these observations, I concluded that there must be a way to not only increase their participation, but to also improve their performance on writing assignments. After being introduced to Zoom and Padlet throughout our Tech Fellows meetings, I soon realized how these tools could encourage students to be more engaged with the content and discussions, and as a result, improve their performance on APA writing assignments. Therefore, my project incorporated the use of Zoom to capture a recording of my computer as I completed a references section from start to finish while adhering to proper APA formatting. The second technology my project incorporated was the use of Padlet, an online bulletin board, that allows students to post to an online bulletin board in real time.
For both technologies, student accessibility was the factor I initially considered. The Zoom recording was uploaded to the course Moodle page. Padlet is a free app that can be downloaded on smartphones, which every student in the course had. A second consideration was to learn and become familiar with the technologies myself. Having used Zoom before to video conference, becoming familiar with the recording feature of Zoom did not take long. Although I had no prior experience with Padlet, I was able to play around in Padlet during our Tech Fellows meetings. Learning how to use Padlet was a relatively quick and easy process. A third consideration was how to get students to “buy in” and learn how to use the app in class.
A major course learning objective was the development of skills to properly write and format a references section. Creating a video tutorial for how to properly format a references section seemed like an appropriate and salient project. Other major course learning objectives were the development of critical thinking and communication skills. The use of Padlet in class afforded students with low-stake and low-pressure opportunities to practice and hone those skills as responses made in Padlet can be done so anonymously.
While planning the Zoom video tutorial, I integrated two of the twelve principles of multimedia learning according to Richard E. Mayer’s book, Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Press, 2001). The first principle I integrated was principle #5, which is the temporal contiguity principle. This principle states “People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively”. The second principle I integrated was #11, which is the voice principle. This principle states “People learn better when the narration in multimedia lessons is spoken in a friendly human voice rather than a machine voice”. A second model I integrated into this project was Bloom’s Taxonomy. As students first watch the video tutorial, they will be understanding and making sense of the skills necessary for formatting references sections. The end goal of the Zoom video tutorial is to provide students with the skills necessary for creating accurate references sections in the future.
While planning the Padlet project, I integrated several components of the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition (SAMR) model. One component of the SAMR model I incorporated was modification. Using Padlet in the course redesigned the task of communication from the traditional format of a student raising their hand to speak to where each student now has the opportunity to communicate in an anonymous and digital format. Further, Padlet allows students to communicate in ways other than spoken words (e.g., pictures, GIFs). By affording the students to communicate in these alternative ways (e.g., via GIFs), this incorporates the redefinition component of the model. In previous courses that utilize communication, it would have been inconceivable to communicate through such mediums as emojis and GIFs.
For the Zoom video tutorial project, I recorded a practice run of myself going through the tutorial. Then, I watched this practice recording to pick up on any errors or mistakes I may have made, made sure I was speaking loud enough, not hitting the keys too loud, etc. Once I went through a few more practice runs, I recorded the tutorial that would eventually be uploaded to the Moodle page for the course. After I uploaded the video, I went to the Moodle page and switched my role to ‘Student’. That way, I could see what the student would see and to ensure the video was properly uploaded and could be viewed without issue. Had there been any issues preventing the tutorial from either being recorded or uploaded to Moodle, plan B was to conduct the tutorial in-class with a video recorder capturing the tutorial. That way, a recording of the tutorial would still exist.
For the Padlet project, I first had to go into the app and create a blank bulletin board. The template I chose to work with was a stream. That way, responses to the question could be streamlined in an easy to read, top-to-bottom format. After choosing a stream template, I edited the title to reflect a question, which was “What are your strengths and weaknesses as a psychology student?” Next, under settings, I activated the profanity filter, which replaces bad words with nice emojis.
Next, I sent out an e-mail to students a few days before the class in which we would be using Padlet. In the e-mail I instructed students to bring their smartphones to class and to download the free version of the Padlet app prior to class. In this e-mail I sent out links to download the Padlet app from either the Google Play store or the App store, depending on what kind of phone each student had. Lastly, I embedded the link to the stream template I created in the e-mail. That way, students could easily access the Padlet I created.
In case students experienced difficulties with the app on their phones, plan B was to access the Padlet using their laptops. Fortunately, all students were able to respond and post to the Padlet using their smartphones.
For the Zoom video tutorial project, I used a formal assessment by grading the subsequent references sections that students would submit throughout the course of the semester. I would argue the assessment is both formative and summative. Formative in the sense that prior to submitting their first references section, students have been introduced to and learned about proper APA formatting. Thus, when submitting their first references section, I am assessing students on how they are learning the material. This project is also summative in that students are submitting references sections numerous times throughout the course of the semester. The expectation is that students are improving on their performances with writing and formatting references sections throughout the semester. Thus, when students submit their final references section, my assessment is summative in that I am evaluating how much they have learned APA formatting over the course of the semester.
For the Padlet project, I used informal assessment. A main objective of this project was to increase student participation during class discussions. To assess this objective, I compared the number of responses to the same question (i.e., “What are your strengths and weaknesses as a psychology student?”)
In previous semesters without Padlet, this prompt would elicit an average of three to four responses. With using Padlet, the question now averaged 30 responses in a class of 20 students.
In previous courses, some students have expressed learning better through visual means. By accommodating students that learn better visually, the Zoom video tutorial provided these students with a useful resource for learning.
The Padlet project was valuable in that the app provided students an opportunity to not only be exposed to the thoughts and feelings of their classmates, but to be able to express their thoughts and feelings to their peers as well. These opportunities do not always readily present themselves in more traditional communication formats.
One thing that did not work for the Zoom video tutorial project was being able to view how many times students either accessed or watched the video. This was due to the way in which I uploaded the video file on to Moodle. Next time, I will create a Panopto activity in the course Moodle page, which will then direct students to the video tutorial. That way, I can generate activity reports on how many students have watched the video.
Another thing I would change is how I assess the effectiveness of the video tutorial. At the beginning of the semester, prior to loading the video to Moodle, I can assess students on their skills and knowledge on APA formatting. Then, I can load the video to Moodle and re-assess the students on their APA formatting knowledge and skills a few weeks later. By incorporating the activity reports of the video tutorial into these analyses, I can assess how much of an impact watching the video tutorial had on their skills and performance.
A potential future modification of this project is to incorporate the video tutorial into an EdPuzzle. Not only does this provide an opportunity for a formative assessment of their skills, but also makes the tutorial interactive. A second potential modification is to break up the tutorial into segments. With a total running time of nearly 30 minutes, it might benefit students to view this tutorial over several videos that are shorter in duration.
For the Padlet project, one thing that did work was the number of responses received from students. Despite the frequency of responses, one thing that did not work was how much students elaborated with their responses. In the future, I will encourage students to elaborate on their responses. One way to modify this project in the future is to change the layout of the Padlet to perhaps a canvas or grid, depending on the nature and context of the question.
One big lesson that I learned from these projects is that encouraging students goes a long way to get them to buy into and utilize the technologies. For the tutorial video, I made somewhat of a fuss about it by making a point to let students know about this particular resource compared to the numerous other resources they have access to on the course Moodle page. By acknowledging this video and drawing their attention to it, I am not sure how many students would have used the video or perceive any value in the video. The same logic of getting students to buy into the technology applied to Padlet. Prior to using Padlet in course, most (if not all) students had no experience with this technology. Encouraging students to work through the (relatively quick) learning pains of using the app paid off as the class quickly got the hang of the app. Within minutes, students were responding using GIFs, emojis, and pictures.
Introduction forums are a common practice in online courses. Students present themselves personally and professionally through the written word. The written word can lack intonation, emotion, and personality which are key elements in a live introduction. I explored the multiple methods of audio/video presentations and tried VoiceThread a few times. Too often the VoiceThread technology was challenging for the student and became the focus of the task. I sought to find a simple method that required minimal technology experience but provided a video that could be used in lieu of a written introduction in the course. Since most students are comfortable using their smart devices for videotaping, FaceTime, and other video-related applications, it seemed feasible to seek a tool that could be used from their phone or another device.
Flipgrid is a video discussion platform that is simple to use and can be accessed through any smartphone, tablet, or computer. It gives students a voice and educators a means of creating a communicative learning environment. Students are able to respond to the videos posted by the instructor or peers by reacting, responding, and sharing their own videos. Flipgrid has many features which students are familiar with thus leveraging the elements of social media to engage students in the classroom and promote communication.
This video method of introduction should be more effective in humanizing the online class. Students can connect on a more personal level which is usually lacking in the written introduction. This personal introduction could enhance their interactions in weekly activities like discussion forums and encourage richer dialogue.
For my project, I incorporated Flipgrid into online RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) courses I taught in the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. I also used the Flipgrid introduction approach with first-year undergraduate Pathways to Nursing (PTN) students in Summer 2018 prior to the students meeting in person at the orientation.
The initial step in planning this process was a literature search to determine current best practices. Also, using Bloom’s Digital Integration Model, I determined the focus should be at the highest level—creating. The written introductions are at a lower order of thinking and creating and viewing introductory videos should be a more effective modality through utilizing higher level thinking. After this initial investigation, I sought to find a technology tool that would be most effective.
With support from the Instructional Technology team, I narrowed my search and focused on technology applications which were simple, functional, and compatible with Moodle. Flipgrid seemed to be the best choice. I embraced the tool and sought to master it prior to implementation. Microsoft recently purchased Flipgrid and improved the already successful tool. Flipgrid has excellent learning materials for both students and teachers. I took advantage of all that was offered and became certified as a Flipgrid instructor. Through this process I mastered the use of the tool and planned to incorporate it into the classes I taught last fall.
Retrieved from https://flipgrid.com/
The implementation process was bifurcated. I produced a Flipgrid introductory forum for two online courses in the RN-BSN and MSN programs. Then I created a Flipgrid forum for the incoming first-year on ground students.
First, I created an introductory Flipgrid forum for my online students. Students in the RN-BSN and MSN courses had experience with written introductory forums. I prompted them to introduce themselves both personally and professionally and discuss their intended outcomes for the class. The students created videos that were personable and demonstrated their true personality. Their peers were able to add comments or videos in response to the introduction. As the instructor, I found the introduction more personal and emotional. It provided the opportunity to meet them virtually, respond, and appreciate their intended outcomes for the class.
Secondly, I sent a Flipgrid link to all incoming first-year students to create a video and meet each other virtually. The first-year nursing student orientation is limited to two hours and the personal introduction of each of the 32 students would have left little time for the presentation of pertinent information. PTN is an undergraduate program where nursing students spend their first year on the Chatham Shadyside campus. The second and third years they attend UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing (SSON) and complete their degree with the online RN-BSN program their senior year. Success in nursing school requires collaboration with peers through mentoring and study groups. It is imperative that students know who their peers are and develop friendships with an academic partnership as soon as possible.
Several weeks prior to starting at Chatham, the PTN students were sent a link and asked to create an introductory Flipgrid video. They were prompted to introduce themselves personally and share why they want to become a nurse. Most students embraced this opportunity and videos were created all over the United States. One was created in Finland where the student was visiting prior to starting college.
Example of a PTN Flipgrid introduction provided with permission from the student.
Summative assessments were conducted using Qualtrics surveys a few months after students engaged in the Flipgrid introductory activity. Both the online RN-BSN and MSN students and the undergraduate PTN students found value in the activity. As indicated formally through the Qualtrics survey and personal discussion, the project provided the students a means to actively engage in introductory forums that were personal and enhanced communication.
RN-BSN and MSN Application
For the online RN-BSN and MSN courses, students were surveyed and asked to compare their Flipgrid introduction experience with the usual introductory forum using the written word. Qualtrics software was used to survey the students who participated in the Flipgrid introductions. Since some of the students might not be technologically savvy, they were asked if Flipgrid was easy to use and helped personalize the course.
The students found the videos more personal than the written introductions. They indicated the technology tool was simple to use and found it more impactful than the written introductions. They were able to know their peers on a more personal level, which many found an asset to class activities like discussion forums.
Question: Did you find Flipgrid easy to use?
Question: Do you feel a video introduction personalizes this course?
Pathways to Nursing (PTN) Application
Flipgrid was employed with the first-year nursing students who had never met before. They created the videos prior to the live orientation the first week on campus. The students posted videos that truly demonstrated their personality. They were prompted to discuss why they chose nursing as a career and the responses were passionate and varied. When the students entered the orientation room, they recognized each other and remembered key elements of each other’s videos. In many cases, it was as if they already knew each other. This made the orientation flow more easily and the presented information was better received.
Students were surveyed a few months after the Flipgrid introductory activity using Qualtrics. Two questions addressed the ease of use and the effect on increasing their comfort in starting college. The students found Flipgrid easy to use and indicated it helped reduce the anxiety with starting their college career. They found things in common with their peers and several of the students continued friendships and academic relationships. These relationships were the start of activities like study partners and groups and peer mentoring.
Question: Did you find Flipgrid easy to use?
Question: Did Flipgrid videos increase your comfort level for starting your college career?
I plan to continue using Flipgrid in my course introductory forums. The personal introductions promoted a sense of community amongst online students who never meet in person and on ground students prior to meeting in person. Students found the tool easy to use and effective in personalizing peer interactions.
Moving forward I want to use Flipgrid as a type of formative assessment. Formative assessment is a common application for Flipgrid that has been used by teachers in various levels of education. This pedagogical approach allows educators to assess student learning in a unique and personal manner. Additionally, the tool is commonly used to gauge how students are feeling about the class and where they want to progress. They can connect class content with their own experiences. Since words are often misconstrued, video assessment provides an opportunity to provide feedback that is genuine and presented with the positive attributes of the spoken word. There are many uses for Flipgrid in the assessment process, both formative and summative. Educators are privy to a website, webinars, and personal support that afford them the opportunity to use Flipgrid in their classrooms in a multitude of ways. Ultimately, I hope to inspire other educators to use Flipgrid or another form of video technology to create a sense of personalization and community in their courses.