This week we discussed alternative assessment tools, learning styles and created rubrics for our classes.
Above is my rubric link.
I have tried rubric generators on www.rubistar.org and on http://teachnology.com
Both of these sites have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantage of Rubistar generator is that it lets you integrate several types of rubrics. For instance presentations of my students include both oral and PPT. But you may not give different value and scores for different accomplished tasks. For the content the value of the score would be more than for appropriate images in PPT. You have to adapt and then explain to your students modifications you make there.
Advantages or rubrics on teachnology.com is that you may give different point for different criteria. But you cannot add your own criteria. Besides of it you cannot save it on the web site you have to print it out.
For this reason I have created a rucric on rubistar.org.
Topics for the discussion were alternative assessment and technology and learning styles and technology.
"Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember.
Involve me and I understand" Chinese proverb
Rick Finnan and Donna Shaw state that student's attention span is about 20 minutes. For this reason it is essential to combine variety of methods like visual aids, changing topics or giving different tasks to do.
All visual aids can be done using computer because in the large setting class it is beneficial to use LCD projector with a computer to be seen to the whole class.
Next, to keep students interested authors suggest including current events from the news. We can use on-line BBC or other news. For teachers of English as a foreign language it is right for us since it is an authentic source for teaching.
Remembering the second sentence of the proverb -Show me I would suggest to collaborate with native speaker if it is not through the direct video-conferencing using Skype, because of the slow Internet connection, then at least through downloaded video of the foreign lecturer. Collaboration can be set between students using discussion threads on nicenet. It is an effective tool to see the progress and assess.
To enlarge the circle of interaction with the students authors talk about using different color of card for binary question. In my opinion, it is time consuming to count the answers after voting. I have not searched yet but I am sure there is some tools to use count yes/no answers using technology in class as our senators use during their sessions?
To make concept maps group of students would use downloadable free mind mapping software http://www.smartdraw.com/downloads/
Authors offer some techniques to make sure task is clear, specific and discrete like create two multiple choice questions to cover this unit e t.c. In my opinion these multiple choice questions can be done on line as well i.e. www.school.discovery.com has the option of making different types of tests.
In conclusion for extended learning activity they suggest to set up groups for entire term, when students sit together in class and meet outside class. Of course for more complex activity this is a good technique, but after the results of short term activities are achieved and students in various groups were able to get to know each other better. These long term groups would make a blog for the group and them share with another group and write comments in their works. Jig saw variation of group activity when each student is responsible to study one part of the material and teaching it to the rest of the group can be done on the blogs as well along with the oral explanation and after the explanation peer could comment or ask questions on the learned part. Moreover the teacher will be able to look the process of the group work and give his own comments or evaluate them.
To sum up there are always some technology tools to implement in any activity, you just have to think about it whether it is efficient or not.
Terry O'Connor in the article "Using Learning Styles to Adapt Technology for Higher Education" says that the easiest way to provide technology opportunities is to find basic software programs which offer variety of activities. But I think they partly suit our teaching as we all have different curriculum and beside of learning foreign language and its community and culture we have to teach our students to speak freely about our own culture and community in English. For this reason I prefer to find materials on-line and adjust them into my curriculum.
Power Point presentations can engage both right & left brained thinkers during class - visual , tactile and auditory style students as you may insert scripts, images, movies, voices. Atching them again and again students go through the material in a self-paced way.
Electronic mail corresponds more to the visual style.
Simulation games as Sim-City are more appropriate for students with kinesthetic style of learning.
From this article I have learned about new for me software Norton Textra Connect which is interactive and adaptive writing environment and allows students and teachers to create texts to meet assignments. But I think it is shareware not freeware and couldn't download to probe it.
The article Sailing the 5 Cs with Learning Strategies at www.nclrc.org/sailing/ although does not stress on using technology to meet different learning styles describe strategies, descriptions and possible tasks. Yet again it gives you food for thought about how to integrate technology to the strategy.
To conclude everything I have read about styles consideration and technology I would use followings to meet each style and to motivate students better:
Visual: Publisher, video, PPT, Word processing, webquests, photo sharing websites, on-line comics, match pictures to vocabulary words, concept mapping tools and diagrams, music clips, computer-based journaling, blogs, multimedia portfolios, e-mail projects, social networks
Auditory: audio files (books, songs), webquests, blogs with images and video files, chats (using micro), social networks
Kinesthetic/tactile: simulation games, audio-video files with shows, graphics, 3D images, animated images and e-books managed by students themselves, video projects (record your own ideas), group presentations
Above mentioned techniques usually can be applied for two or three learning styles at the same time, as they contain writings, images, videos and interactive elements and it is hard to rate to exact learning style.
But technology gives us all possibilities to integrate all elements and to meet to every style.
2 years ago