Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 3 - Students Recognize Need for Timely Feedback

In my Grade 11 Physics class I have had the chance to see how well they are capable of working together. I am seeing students helping each other with concepts, asking one another questions, and working through problems together. They are often asking their questions in pairs or groups - which is great. There are still kinks to work out and some of them are not completing tasks for homework consistently, but that seems to be changing slowly.

The neatest thing that I am seeing so far is students desire for as much formative feedback as they can get. We are using educanon so they are getting a chance to try to process while they are watching the lessons and many if them are taking advantage if the chance to type in an explanation when they get an incorrect answer. I allows me to read their explanation and give them credit for the question if the explanation is correct (which is an awesome feature if the website).

I have barely heard a single complaint when I announce a quiz coming up (my version of a quiz means that students get a chance to be in a test like situation and have me mark it, but there is no mark put on the paper). I have been using Edmodo to do some multiple choice, fill on the blank, and matching that is marked right away for them and then they do some more involved parts in class on paper. The students really responded to getting feedback without the mark and were given time to try to make corrections to their quiz before I posted the answers (and by then most of them did not need to check). I love that the flip class model gives me time to do something like this (or to have me come up one at a time for personal discussion about their results).

We have been through this process once now and they have a second quiz coming up. They seem to be less stressed about it than I have experienced in previous years and I am really seeing students try to focus on concepts and going back to passed lessons as needed. We have also done two labs that involved analysis with graphing and when I gave students the option to hand it in and have me write descriptive feedback or have them swap papers and us do it as a group so that we could do it right away, they chose the latter. 

I was pleasantly surprised by their choice and am hopeful that we can use this process to get them to analyze their own lab work more critically in the future. My intention is to have them work in pairs (not their lab partner) and end up with two labs from different groups that they will look through together.

Wish me luck!

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