Online Engagement

by / Thursday, 30 January 2020 / Published in Teaching with Technology

Since this will be my last post for Teaching with Technology as I am soon to leave HCT and return home, I’d like to briefly outline what I believe is the most important change that technology has enabled for teachers managing classes in the 20 years that I have been here.

If you have attended my Implementing the Flipped Class Model workshops then you’ll know that I harp on about tracking student engagement outside of the classroom as the most important  change to lesson preparation and ultimately whether or not the class are engaged and the teacher confident that the activities they facilitate are relevant.

Prior to being able to do this easily, teachers would set homework and do lesson preparation based on the assumption that students at least attempted the work. Once you were in class, you could discuss with the students on what they thought of the homework and how they coped. At this point you might find that either no one had done the work or if they had, there were some parts of it that gave all of them or some of them great difficulty. Here you would have to be very nimble and restructure your lesson on the spot and try to come up with activities that addressed any concerns.

With the software now available to us under HCT licenses, it’s very easy to set up online work and track student engagement. From here, you can restructure your lesson prior to class rather than when you are standing in front of it. I’ll summarize some of the software below:

NearPod Self-Paced Presentations

NearPod has been around for a while and was traditionally used for introductory elements to a class using the ‘live lesson’. Now though, you can add audio to each slide and set as ‘self-paced’ lessons with due dates and decent item analysis in the reporting. If you enable the student notes, students can take notes on the slides and on closing the lesson, the notes are automatically emailed to them.

Kahoot! Challenges

Kahoots are popular for their gaming aspect but with the self-paced ‘Challenge’, much the same as NearPod above, you can set engaging content and quizzes to be done out of the class but still retain the gaming element for engagement. The reports are very well presented and allow you to isolate problem questions easily.

Microsoft Office 365 Forms

These are live forms or quizzes that give a great dashboard of overall student performance along with being able to burrow down to individual student answers. Forms are easily embedded in video or can just be associated with other content such as readings, case studies or online presentations.

Along with these licensed softwares, there are many free platforms that do the same job in one way or another. If you need help in setting any of these up or for ideas in how to incorporate these into your classes, contact us and we’ll be happy to help out.

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