Policy on the use of technology-enhanced active learning approaches in large classes
The policy paper from the Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) can be downloaded here.
Technology-Enhanced Active Learning Selected Examples (Extracted from Policy Appendix)
1. Participatory or interactive lectures
- Teachers can provide interactive lectures with the use of Clickers (Student Response System) for the students to participate actively in the classroom. Students can answer the questions related to educational content with their mobile devices. The results can be showed immediately to the class on screen. Further analysis and elaboration can then facilitate the teaching and learning.
o Example from the Clickers Project- APSS111 Introduction to Psychology class:
- Online tools such as Padlet (previously known as Wallwisher) and Google Docs allow users to build virtual places for sharing. Users can share messages, web links, images, videos and audio. By sharing the URL of the tools with a group or class, teacher can enable students to view and contribute to the content.
o Padlet allows individual users to answer questions, keep notes or make mind-map or bookmark useful websites. Teachers can review individual progress and give comments. Students can share their work through URL and discuss with their peers. Teachers can further review and decides whether more explanation is needed.
o Google Docs: A Google ‘Word” document can be edited by the participants who have the link.
- Example from the BOLT Project:
Participants will complete an online worksheet together. They suggest some teaching and learning activities and related tools for a particular teaching scenario. They can also comment each other ideas synchronously.
3. Student demonstrations
- Students can demonstrate their presentations through social media like YouTube. By using the URL, they can share their performance with teachers and other students. Students can also use Apple TV to show the information on their own devices to the whole classroom. More than 100 Apple TVs are installed in lecture hall or classrooms by 2016 Semester 1.
- Besides traditional Powerpoint presentations, students can use Prezi or Pecha Kucha to illustrate their ideas.
o Prezi: 3D and parallax images which are added make the presentation look more attractive than the traditional presentation materials.
o Pecha Kucha: It is a presentation style Presenters need to make a timed-presentation which is usually 20 slides for 20 seconds. Pecha Kucha can enhance the quality of presentation as the presenters must keep their talks concise in order not to overrun their presentation.
- Kahoot: It can be conducted in both large and small class. Participants answer the multiple choice questions (4 options) within limited time. Teachers create a free Kahoot account. Then, they set some questions and answers but the answers are not limited to A B C or D. The answers can be images or diagrams. To play this game, learners use their own devices (ipad or mobile phone) and network. Then, they can access to the game by typing a code. During class, teacher projects the questions on the screen and learners play it with their own devices.
- uReply: There are new gaming features in Ureply, including Group Competition, Speed Challenge, Level Challenge, Pick or Random and Hand raising.
5. Peer instruction
- Peer instruction can be implemented with the Clickers (or Student Response System). An initial polling is conducted to check the students’ understanding on particular concept in the teaching content. Students with different opinion are asked to communicate and explain with each other. A second polling is conducted and followed by analysis and elaboration of results by the teacher.
o Example from the Clickers Project- SN3306 Clinical Microbiology For Nurses
6. Case-based learning
- To support case-based learning, important events or scenarios can be captured and stored in a database for review and retrieval. Scenarios can be simulated to allow students to visualize the scenes and identify the causes and consequences of the events.
7. Problem-based learning
- Various computer simulation applications have been designed to facilitate students to analyze information, formulate working hypotheses and identify learning issues. For example, simulation has been adopted in medication education to teach students professional knowledge and patient safety
- PolyU ISE department developed simulation games for students to learn how to solve problems regarding enterprises or logistics operations.
8. Small group discussion
- Discussion forum: Teachers and their teaching teams can create several groups for having small group discussion. Teachers can set the groups which is viewed by group members only. After the discussion is finished, the groups can be open to different groups for reading or comments.
- Chatroom in web conferencing: Teachers can create several breakout rooms (which means grouping certain number of participants in a chatroom) for discussion. Teachers can join into different chatrooms and facilitate the participants to share opinions. Teaching assistants can monitor groups and assist to answer questions.
o Example from the BOLT Project:
Participants attend an hour online session on Blackboard Coursesites (which is a free LMS of Blackboard). A free software for online class provided by Blackboard named “Blackboard Collaborate” is used. During the BOLT online session, Participants listen to the lecture and do polling and discussion etc. During the session, several breakout rooms are created for doing small group discussion. Participants are assigned to different groups by the moderators. Instructor can join into different groups and each group is monitors by moderators.
- A small group can be established in social media tools such as WhatsApps and WeChat to support students to discuss learning issues outside the classes.
9. Online research
- The use of powerful referencing tools can facilitate users to identify appropriate research materials, organize them, store them and easily share them with their peers. These tools include Endnote, Zotero and Paperpile.
10. Question and answer
- The software mentioned above support question and answer for teacher to use in various situations. In addition, Todaysmeet and Mentimeter are other options:
o Toadysmeet: It provides a digital backchannel for students to give feedback during the class. Information shared can be collected for further educational purpose.
o Mentimeter: It supports students to answer questions (such as multiple choice, quiz, open questions) or provide feedbacks (such as votes, word cloud or scales) promptly by using their mobile or other mobile devices.