I enjoyed placement today. It was good to see people really learning and enjoying the lesson. I also used Socrative again (I’m definitely using this for my conference presentation) and I loved the results, not only had every student managed to meet all of the learning outcomes and answer all of the topic related questions correctly, they also gave some reassuring feedback.
It was good to have instant feedback. I’m a real Socrative fan. Can you tell?
If I had to pick out what was my favourite moment it was when the one lady who said she had never even seen a spreadsheet before, let alone used one ended up helping other students who were struggling a little bit and managed to not only create and manipulate a spreadsheet but also pull off graphs using the data.
She had opted to follow the instructional lesson delivery. I’d designed the task so that everybody could make their own decision whether to work thorough the various stages independently or they could follow my detailed instruction delivered on the white board. Those who decided to work through it on their own were able to stop and watch my delivery if they got a bit stuck. I also raised my voice a little and made the whole class aware if I was showing something particularly useful, a short cut for example or a formatting feature, so that everyone had a chance to watch if it was something they were not familiar with.
It worked really well and I’ve learned from my very first observation to plan flexibly to allow for early finishers. The activity had 5 steps to it, with one being to have a play with changing colours, fonts, size of columns etc (this could take as long as it needed to) and then the final one was an option to write a 500-1000 word report on the pros and cons of using a spreadsheet in the workplace and how it may be used.
Fortunately only one student made it to that stage so everyone was engaged in the activity throughout the session and nobody was left thumb twiddling.
They liked that I had made it a real work based scenario, it was an annual cash flow forecast which obviously ties in with their area of study and said that this made it more engaging and an easier way to learn as they were involved in doing it rather than just being told or shown how to do it.
I guess I managed to bring together telling, showing and involving as methods of learning and I can really see the value of this mixed methods approach.