Well, the half term is over and that particular unit of work is complete. We had 2 more weeks on simutations and whilst the technical issues with PrimaryWall weren’t sorted in time- partly because there’s nearly a week between my visits, so testing responses from YHGfL (who provided excellent support)- wasn’t as swift as if I’d been at the school full time. However, there was enough other stuff involved not to make that an issue.
In the first 2 weeks I’m certain I made the mistake of expecting the classes to be able to manage their time better than they could. I.e: I told them about the forum and why it was there, but didn’t really emphasise it enough and expected/hoped they’d sort themselves out an contribute. In the final 2 weeks I was a tad firmer and told them as the lesson neared its end that I wanted them all to make a contribution. I got more! I still feel that as we work more online, then they’ll get to manage their time more effectively (rich coming from me!) and make their contribution on a less enforced basis. We’ll see.
Anyway, I found the forum an excellent way of gleaning who’d learned what, whether they’d ‘got’ simulations and in some cases, they’d gone above and beyond and provided more than was asked for by way of explanation. The fact that I’ve now got a running record I can share with the class teachers is also a bonus. I’m contemplating a learning blog/journal somewhere down the line.
Towards the end of the topic I asked the pupils how they felt about having their work online and submitting their responses online too and the result was very positive, so it looks like I’m committed to carrying on with the next topic, at least in part.
So, was it worth it? Well, yes. Apart from the display now adorning the wall in the suite, not one bit of paper passed between myself and 70-odd pupils yet I have the evidence there if needed. The forum entries are better in week 5 than week 1, partly because I was more rigid in setting as time, but partly because they just got better too.
As I said in my 1st entry on this subject, I’m certain there are ways of doing this without a learning platform and I’ve still to use other facilities in there, such as audio and video resonses from the pupils, but whether you have an LP or not, delivering online can be done.