Integrating Technology When Teaching Large Classes



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Integrating Technology When Teaching Large Classes

  • Wendy L. Keeney-Kennicutt
  • Associate Director, First Year Chemistry Program
  • Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence
  • Texas A&M University
  • K-keeney@tamu.edu
  • 2010

Technologies I Use

  • Web assessments for student feedback
  • Email
  • Excel Spreadsheet
  • Ebook, e-solution manual and e-homework
  • Class Websites – public and private
  • Calibrated Peer Review – on-line writing/reviewing
  • Turnitin
  • Clickers
  • Office hours/review sessions in Second Life

My Background

  • Taught first year chemistry at TAMU since 1984
    • Off sequence students for >10 years
  • Class size: 2 classes of 230-300 students each
  • Always had excellent student evaluations, university teaching awards, but…
  • I was unhappy with rigidity of class structure, felt I wasn’t serving my students…
  • What could I do? I used technology to…….
  • ASK THEM! LISTEN! BE CREATIVE!

Tools for Student Feedback

  • Myers Briggs/Kiersey Temperment Sorter/Jung Typology Test (output – 4 letters e.g. INTJ)
    • Free quiz: www.humanmetrics.com/
  • Learning Style Test (VARK)
    • Free quiz: www.vark-learn.com/
    • Provides learning styles (Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic) with hints for students
  • SALG (Student Assessment of Learning Gains)
  • 2010

SALG (www.salgsite.org)

  • Developed in 1997 for undergraduate chemistry courses – funded by NSF, then revised in 2007
  • focuses exclusively on the degree to which a course has enabled student learning
  • asks students to assess/report on own learning:
  • How much of the following aspects of the course helped you in your learning?
  • As a result of your work in this class
    • What gains did you make in your understanding of …
    • What gains did you make in the following skills …
    • What gains did you make in the following attitudinal changes …
    • What gains did you make in integrating the following …
  • 2010

SALG

  • Benefits
  • Free and easy to use and modify
  • Can add questions, including demographics
    • I’ve used this for many semesters for classroom research
  • Provides easy-to-read output
  • Provides raw numeric data for your own correlations
  • Students can log in with their name so credit can be given
  • SALG dissociates names from responses to ensure anonymity
  • How do I incorporate it?
  • worth 5 points on their final exam (~95% compliance)
  • What do I get out of it?
  • Reliable, consistent information from my class over time
  • 2010

Personality Test

  • Jung Typology Test
  • free
  • students like it
  • How do I incorporate it?
  • worth a quiz grade (3 pts)
  • students email me their results and comments
    • encourages students to email me; I respond
    • tells students that communication is important to me
  • What do I get out of it?
  • data on learning styles (next slide) – I share with the class
  • reminder to me that class is heterogeneous in how they learn
  • (72 questions)
  • 2010

Personality Test

  • Four Learning Styles:
  • NT: interested in principles and logic, enjoy developing own ideas, like technology, do not enjoy meaningless assignments
  • NF: need acceptance, caring and support, enjoy group activities, prefer cooperation over competition, learn best face-to-face
  • SP: value physical involvement and activity in the learning process, are free-spirited and resourceful, may be restless in class
  • SJ: value responsibility, dependability, conformity, prefer structure in the classroom, like and need organization & a schedule
  • Normal Pop.: NT = 13% SP = 38% NF = 13% SJ = 38%
  • My Class (F07): NT = 23% SP = 7% NF = 26% SJ = 44%
  • 2010

VARK

  • What is VARK?
  • a 16 question quiz providing users with profile of learning preferences
    • the ways that they want to take-in and give-out information.
    • Visual vs. Aural vs. Reading/Writing vs. Kinesthetic
    • Remember, preferences are not the same as strengths
  • developed by Neil Fleming, Lincoln University, New Zealand
  • one can choose more than one answer to a question:
  • Kinesthetic
  • Read/Write
  • Aural
  • Visual
  • My Fall 2007 class:
    • 67% are multimodal learners (VARK), but what about the rest?
  • 2010

VARK

  • My Fall 2007 Class (N=425 responses):
  • Represents 100% of the students who took the final exam
  • Although 67% of the students have no preference for learning modality (VARK),
  • Learning Preference
  • N
  • Learning Preference
  • N
  • V
  • A
  • R
  • K
  • VA
  • VR
  • VK
  • 9
  • 13
  • 25
  • 28
  • 2
  • 5
  • 9
  • AK
  • RK
  • VAR
  • VAK
  • VRK
  • VARK
  • 10
  • 3
  • 1
  • 16
  • 9
  • 286
  • 79% like Visual
  • 79% like Aural
  • 80% like Read/Write
  • 87% like Kinesthetic
  • Where does that leave us as instructors?
  • 2010

Technology helps us meet student needs.

  • My Syllabus:
  • Exams 1, 2, 3 - 100 pts each (80% MC)
  • “Exam 4” – average of best 3 scores of 3 exams and 3 writing assignments (Calibrated Peer ReviewTM) – 100 pts
  • Ebook includes on-line homework (OWL) – 20 or 100 pts
    • Individual student choice
  • Written homework – 0,1,2 pts added to final average
    • All HW due next class period after exams;
    • 10% penalty when done by makeup exam
  • In-class quizzes – best 20/25+ – 30 pts (mostly with clickers)
    • Open book, open notes, talk to your neighbors
  • Final Exam – 170 pts (150 pts MC)

More on Exams

  • I give partial credit on multiple choice part!
  • Each question is really 2 questions. For example:
  • The entire question is worth 5 points
    • Question 1 is 3 pts and Question 2 is 2 points
  • If the student is sure of the answer, he/she bubbles the same answer twice for the full 5 points
  • Students who narrow the choice to two answers can split. C is correct, so if they put C for (1) and D for (2), they would get 3 points.
  • 2010

Technologies I Use

  • Web assessments for student feedback
  • Email
  • Excel Spreadsheet
  • Ebook, e-solution manual and e-homework
  • Class Websites – public and private
  • Calibrated Peer Review – on-line writing/reviewing
  • Turnitin
  • Clickers
  • Office hours/review sessions in Second Life

Technology is Your Ally!

  • Web evaluations & personality tests
  • Email & MS Excel (Grades and Grade Calculator)
  • Details:

Technology is Your Ally!

  • Ebook
    • Hardcopy is optional
    • Comes with on-line homework (OWL) and solution manual
    • Cost: $45/semester
    • Due to lower book costs, we can ask students to buy clickers
    • With $$ for graders decreasing and university costs increasing, ebooks are the future
  • 2010

Technology is Your Ally!

  • Two websites – public and at elearning.tamu.edu
  • Public - www.chem.tamu.edu/class/fyp/wkk-chem.html
    • Info source – syllabus, office hours, handouts, HW assignments
    • Course notes, learning objectives, old exams, Camtasia videos
    • Links to all technology websites we use
    • Powerpoint: “How to do well in First Year Chemistry”
    • Math Skills Review selected as NSTA SciLinks
    • Links to other chemistry/science-related sites
  • Elearning website
    • Link to my public webpage
    • Link to register clicker
    • Link to Turnitin for my writing assignments (Calibrated Peer Review)
    • Grades
  • 2010

Technology is Your Ally!

  • Calibrated Peer Review (CPRTM) – cpr.tamu.edu
    • Read FAQs on website for more info
    • Free online writing/peer assessing tool
    • Sits on TAMU server (meets FERPA Guidelines)
    • I’m the TAMU Master Administrator
    • Used by >25,000 students at TAMU in last 7 years in 30+ majors
  • How does it work?
    • The students write an assignment as per detailed instructions
    • They pass a calibration step, where they learn to recognize and rank 3 essays of different quality on the same topic (instructor provides these essays)
    • Your students anonymously critique 3 of their peers’ essays and their own work
    • You (the instructor) can see all grades and can change if necessary
  • 2010

Technology is Your Ally!

  • Turnitin thru elearning.tamu.edu – for CPR assignments
    • Plagiarism control
    • Students check their own work before submitting to CPR
    • I spot check to see if they actually turned in their CPR essay
  • Clicker quizzes
    • Used daily to promote learning and attendance
    • Open book, open notes, talk to your neighbor
      • Student learn more when they teach someone else
    • Test on topics taught that day
    • Students get instant feedback
    • Low stakes assessment
    • Take time
      • Must allow students to log into the system
      • Must give them time to figure out problem
      • Must allow students send in their answer.

More on Clickers

  • Survey Results of 322 Students from My Classes - Fall 2009
  • I think the clickers made the class be more enjoyable.
  • Clickers helped me pay attention and learn in class.

Second Life at TAMU

  • Virtual persistent 3-D world
  • Train
  • Depot
  • MSC
  • SL Orientation
  • Aggie Beach
  • Academic
  • Bldg
  • Classrooms
  • Dr. K’s Chemistry
  • Place
  • Bonfire
  • Memorial
  • Clock
  • Tower
  • Cushing
  • Library
  • Nagle Hall
  • Bolton Hall
  • Amphitheater
  • Sul Ross Statue
  • Seasonal
  • Activity
  • Area

Second Life at TAMU

  • Dr. K’s Chemistry Place - Overview

Second Life at TAMU

  • Dr. K’s Chemistry Place – Classroom Area
  • Blackboard
  • Movie Screen
  • Streaming Desktop
  • Clicker
  • System
  • Quiz
  • System
  • Seats that allow students to raise their hands
  • Notice Board

Second Life at TAMU

  • Obelisk Quiz
    • 4 choices
    • if pick correctly, get 4 more choices
  • MC Quiz
  • Both can be done by students on their own
  • Dr. K’s Chemistry Place – Quizzes

Technology is Your Ally!

  • Technology Caveat: you must spend time
  • inside/outside class to help with tech learning curves.
  • Second Life
    • Office hour/review session/SL activity for 1 quiz grade
    • Cannot be mandatory – there is a population density problem
      • An island can only handle about 50 people; I have 550 students
    • A way to reach technically-savvy students
    • More personal than email or telephone
    • Can work with groups at a distance
    • No need for students to come to campus
  • SL Issues
    • Technology
    • Lack of student computer literacy

Tech Learning Curve

  • Data on Calibrated Peer Review study
  • “Overcoming Student Resistance to a Teaching Innovation” by Wendy Keeney-Kennicutt, Baris Gunersel and Nancy Simpson.
  • http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/issue_v2n1.htm

But you are not tied to technology!

  • My lectures are not powerpoint
  • My notes are handwritten
    • Available on the public website and at Copy Corner
    • I tack $1 onto Copy Corner notes to support the Chemistry Road Show
  • Student notecard with picture
    • Counts as a quiz grade
    • Includes hometown, chemistry background etc. plus something special
    • My opportunity to share my background
  • Written homework from the textbook (counted, not graded)
  • Paper quizzes
    • See student thought processes
  • 2010
  • Examples from my class:

The personal touch!

  • Weekly review sessions – Sundays at 2pm – in real life
    • Review the week’s work
    • Answer queries
    • Give more examples at a slower pace
    • Why?
      • I teach an off-sequence course
      • Student chemistry backgrounds are very non-homogeneous
      • I was bored with answering the same questions over and over
      • Some students are too shy to ask questions
  • Weekly review sessions – Sundays at 5pm – in Second Life
  • Office hours – my office is in back of Chemistry Help Desk area
  • Examples from my class:

Benefits of Technology for Me

  • Allows me to meet needs of different learning styles
  • Allows students to design their own course assessments (within reason)
  • Gives me more time to spend doing fun activities with my students
    • Clickers are amazing time-savers (no grading/alphabetizing/recording)
  • Learning environment is converted from teacher-centered to student-centered.
    • Allows me to be imaginative in my syllabus and stay true to my teaching style.
    • Think about choosing another fun tech method for your classes!


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