Posts by rebeccanoble2014

Going Low-Tech

I have enjoyed using some of the newer technologies in the classroom for teaching and assessment activities, such as Quizdom, for example. I have found, however, a “low-tech” version of this activity that I also like. In one of my courses I pass out sets of brightly colored flashcards on the first day. Each student receives 4 flashcards of different colors. On each flash card I have written a large A, B, C, or D. I tell the students that we will use these periodically and they should keep them in their folder for this class, always having them available for in-class use. I then use these cards in multiple ways. Sometimes, mimicking Quizdom, I quiz them from a Power Point about a couple of key topics from the session before. Everyone has to “vote” and we clarify any points of confusion. The big benefit, however, is that I have a tool that I can use spontaneously as desired. Quizdom does take planning. There are times in the classroom that I want to just do a quick activity as it occurs to me based on the specific dynamic in that room at the time. I have also had students quiz each other, break up into teams and answer certain questions, and “vote” on all kinds of topics. I don’t think it takes the place of Quizdom type tools because I am getting different data, but it is an easy tool that I can use at any point during a three-hour class when some topic comes up that may be very difficult to “put aside and come back to next week”. I have been doing this for about a year and have only had 2-3 students not bring their cards to class, and they return them to me on the last day. It seems to be an effective, easy, additional tool.

It’s All Fun And Games.

For many years I have been assigning my Introduction To Psychology students to create a game out of the learning that occurs in this class. This has been one of the single most successful assignments I have ever used.

Students form groups of 3. They choose 2 chapters (or 2 competencies) that they will focus their game around. They then select a game format. The only hitch is that no two groups can choose the same format or the same chapters. They create a game that is then played by the rest of the class on the last day. Students have created games from so many, many formats (Family Feud, Clue, Chutes and Ladders, Apples to Apples, etc, etc). The amount of creativity they put into the development of their game board is amazing!

What I love about this is that the students reinforce their learning at the end of the semester. They are consistently proud of how much they have learned,as well as really having a lot of fun on the last day. Learner Feedback forms reflect very positively on this assignment as well.