Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Flipped Classroom: Online Feedback, Peer Assessment and Collaboration

The Flipped Classroom: Online Feedback, Peer Assessment and Collaboration

The next step in my flipped classroom is to try and find a place for children to publish work, receive feedback and then edit and improve. I experimented with EduBlogs with some success, but the whole process wasn't quick enough for the children in my class. They needed feedback quicker, they needed notifications, they needed to use their iPads and Tablets at home to share their thoughts and work without a complicated process.

Edmodo: Classroom Work Flow Solution
Up step Edmodo - Social Media for Education. This really was a game changer for my Year 3 flipped classroom.  It was named "Facebook for kids," by the children in my class and they love it.  

Edmodo is a 'work flow' solution for classrooms and it allows children to share work online, receive feedback, improve, and publish again.  

As a class teacher you have full control of the content that is published on your class space and you can be notified each time something is published (or not).  You can create notes, upload files, share links, embed videos, create polls, and store documents in an online library.  Crucially, it is all displayed in a very familiar format, a format that the children are used to seeing parents using on mobile devices - it's cool!

How have I used Edmodo in my Flipped Classroom?

When I first started flipping my classroom I would email the children videos, documents, pictures etc, ready for the next lesson - read about my flipped classroom.  I would then have to wait for the next session to find out what the children thought about the content, where they were up to and any misconceptions that they may have.  I know it was only over night, but still, I had to wait and they had to wait and sometimes they forgot!

Now I have started to embed videos, share documents and now the children are commenting on the information I am sharing, something they didn't do before. I asked the children why they didn't respond to the videos when I emailed them -  "it was too slow to send an email back," and "nobody else would have commented, there was only me in the email."  I realised that by using Edmodo, pre-learning had become a social learning experience but online.

"nobody else would have commented, there was only me in the email" 

This is a really good point that I hadn't actually contemplated. What I realised is that the children were receiving the videos, and documents, completing their flipped learning and then waiting to get to school to share their understanding, questions and misconceptions.

The difference I have observed when using Edmodo is that the children feel more compelled to comment there and then as the information is right in front of them. They don't need to open another window, the children can share easily by hitting the reply button - the work flow has been reduced.

When one child replied to the pre-learning I had posted more children replied and an online conversation about the work began.  Collaborative learning had started before they had even got to school.

Children as Publishers, Editors and Assessors.

Not only is Edmodo great for teachers sharing work, the children in my class have begun sharing their own learning. At first it began with the children sharing links to websites on William Shakespeare (our current learning adventure), but amazingly they began commenting and thanking each other for the information. 

The children were following their own curiosity and sharing their learning journey - all online.

Online Peer Assessment of Coding.
The next thing that pleased me was that the children began to ask for help from their classmates. They began posting links to their current computer programming projects from Scratch.

"How do I make the character bounce? Can you help me"

"Can you play my game, let me know what you think and suggest improvements."

"How do I change the level when I complete part of the game?"

They actually answered and posted screen shots of code to help each other - another example of using a skill I had taught them when we were coding - Read about it here, Social Coding

The children had 'Peer Assessed, Online'  without me suggesting they do it, something they naturally now do in the classroom, but this time in the virtual classroom.

I am going to pursue this method of peer assessment when the children complete their first piece of homework next week.  I am going to ask them to create a short piece of work on "How the people of Verona feel when walking the streets, now that the feud between the Montague and Capulets is growing."  The children will be able to publish in anyway they wish - write it, act and film it, podcast it, write poetry, etc. 

The only thing I will insist on is that they publish a link to their work on Edmodo and make changes to their work when people suggest them - online peer assessment.  The following week I will ask them to publish the work again for me to mark - online. I wonder what will happen?

This editing and publishing process is crucial to learning and something that can be done using an application like Edmodo.  Children could peer assess the work in the classroom, but maybe only their learning partner will have the opportunity to suggest next steps.  By publishing online, their work could be have next steps suggested by 32 people without the time constraints that the classroom brings.  They could use the time in the classroom to improve their work via the comments from their peers - a true flipped classroom.

21st Century Mobile Learning

So where could this take us? This diagram beautifully illustrates what learning could look like in the classroom. No end point, a constant opportunity to share and learn with social learning online.

We will be investing in 1:1 iPads in our school soon and I have finally found an application capable of being the 'hub' to online collaboration.  

One other beautiful thing I only found out recently, via Daniel Edwards @syded06 - 5 Essential Tips To Help Integrate iPads Into Your School Edmodo allows you to save the work you want to publish in your 'Edmodo Library.'   This enables the children to be working on document, say on Pages, save it to their library and then share it via an Edmodo note. Again, the workflow has been reduced - it becomes easier, which means the children will be more willing to engage in the collaborative process.  Their work is at their fingertips and there is no need to email, change formats etc.

Other options? Padlet: A Great Starting Point to Online Collaboration

We began at the start of the current academic year by using Padlet to help us to gather information about our next learning adventure.  Padlet is like an online learning wall that children can share their information, website links, and pictures in real time.

I asked the children to follow the link to the 'Online Wall' and then publish their information and questions to help me plan the next learning adventure  The link can be made public or made private - it's entirely up to you.  Edmodo could be used to do this, but I really like the mind map look to this. 

This is an example from my current Year 3s and their pre-learning over the Easter break for our upcoming Romeo and Juliet learning adventure.

I was able to take the information, website links, photographs to produce their next topic plan.  The beautiful thing about working in this way is that the children's views about what they want to learn is taken into account and planned for.

Finally, I'm presenting via a Webinar on Tuesday 13th May at 4.00pm. You can register via this link - Flipped Learning Webinar

Follow me on Twitter @chriswaterworth

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