What are you trying to accomplish through the use of the 360 degree camera and other tools like Kahoot and Flipgrid?
Good question. Student engagement is one of the big ones. Trying to get the students to be more engaged in whatever topic is being covered and then trying to get them to have a better understanding of it.
How does your use of these tools influence student learning?
Using Flipgrid, I’ve found that students pay a little more attention in class or if they missed something in class or didn’t pay attention in class, that they end up doing a little more digging into it before they have to record themselves talking about whatever that topic is. So it more or less forces them to make sure they understand it before they try to make a recording of themselves talking about whatever the topic was. It’s also great for them to be able to use it as a reflection point – to reflect upon their learning in the class.
We also use it to have students demonstrate a task instead of having a task sheet. It’s almost better than having a task sheet because you can see what they’re physically doing. One of the ones I like to do the most using Flipgrid is one where I’ve got a web-based simulator, an automotive diagnostic simulator that they’re working on. I have them use Flipgrid to record themselves performing the task on the simulator. And then I go in later and look at it to see if they are indeed performing that procedure correctly. And then I give them feedback that yep, they’re doing it right. Otherwise, if they aren’t doing it correctly I am able to give them some feedback saying “you had this part right, but when you tested this you weren’t actually in the right way or you weren’t on the right part of the car or you’re working on the wrong component”. That way they can go back and redo what they need to for a better understanding of it.
Does that all happen in Flipgrid asynchronously? Does that whole feedback loop take place there when you comment on their video?
Sometimes I will use Flipgrid to comment back to them. The other way I do it is to go through D2L where they’ve posted their Flipgrid link. I just go into their Flipgrid from there, watch their video and look at the worksheet that I have that goes along with it. And if I have to provide feedback, a lot of times what I’ll do is enter the written feedback on D2L in the assignment submission area. I have also given feedback as a video. Sometimes it’s easier to do it that way. Especially if there’s like certain pieces that you want to elaborate a little bit more on and maybe just typing it doesn’t quite get it to where it needs to be. So yeah, it’s really good for that.
I also use Kahoot for their pretests, like the precursor of what’s going to be taught inside that lesson. It kind of gives them a taste of what’s coming up and that way they know what to, what particular items within the lecture I want them to pay attention to. Otherwise, I use Kahoot as more of a post assessment tool. Seeing what they’ve learned throughout the lecture topic.
Has your use of Kahoot influenced student learning?
Students love Kahoot. Some of them see it as nostalgic because they played it back in school and they think it’s a lot of fun to play it here. It’s creates a competition against other students, which is cool too. But yeah, they like it. It’s a lot of fun so they look forward to playing. They do really like playing Kahoot and competing with each other.
Do they perform better on exams or in labs or do you notice that you have less questions in class?
Yeah, absolutely. Especially when it comes to the labs. They’re paying attention in the lecture knowing that there’s a Kahoot at the end of it, and when it comes to the lab time they do better as a result. It’s kind of almost that unintentional learning where they didn’t realize that they were trying so hard to learn.
You’ve just started using a 360-degree camera. Have you noticed any change in student learning since you started using that?
The first 360-degree learning item that I created was a little tutorial, a kind of step-by-step tutorial on how to power down a hybrid vehicle. And I haven’t gotten to that classroom content yet for this semester with this new cohort of students. I have however showed some of the older students this new content. The students that are in one of the other sections right now that have already had my section and have gone through that hybrid power down. They really liked it. They thought it was really cool. They’ve even gone so far as to show it to some of their coworkers because they’re like “well, one of them works at a shop that an independent shop and works on. They get some of these hybrid vehicles in”. The coworker thought it was so cool that you could kind of immerse yourself into this environment while you’re learning the power down procedure. You have these step-by-step photos that are 360 degrees showing off the procedure on how to do something. And you can engage in it and spin around and look at things, even label things in there for them.
What specific student skills are developed through your use of these tools? What specific student’s skills are you focused on?
A lot of it is hands-on content and skills. Of course, lab task oriented. Because our program is very hands on, the tasks that we’re typically doing for my class are getting into engine performance related items – how to treat our electrical diagnostics, how to go and check the voltage drop in a circuit, make sure that the circuit is operating properly, etc. Those are some skills that they need that hopefully they learn out of doing this stuff.
Another big one is theory. My area inside the automotive program is very theory-driven because there are so many different systems that are working on these cars together, hopefully in harmony. And if something doesn’t necessarily go right with one of them, if something goes wrong, then students have to try to isolate the issue down to a particular component being at fault. If you don’t understand how each of these things work, then it’s going to be almost impossible to be able to diagnose it. The nice thing about tools like Kahoot and Flipgrid is they make the students focus on theory-related items. Like the quizzes I build within Kahoot – they are really built around the theory side of things, how things work, the possibilities of things that could go wrong, so on and how they go about diagnosing them. So that’s a big part with these tools. Hopefully they help students understand how to perform these tasks and how to understand the theory of engine performance items.
I can see where using the visual tools would be beneficial. You’ve already mentioned students liking certain tools. What about other feedback that you’ve received? Do students say anything in class when you’re using these tools, or do you get any comments on course evaluation surveys?
Like I said, for the Kahoot it’s definitely a nostalgic thing. They do thoroughly love playing it on a daily basis. If I ask them, “do you want to do a Kahoot” I’ve never had anyone say no. It’s always a pretty unanimous yes. As for Flipgrid, at first I think students are a little apprehensive, but once they start going in and do their first recording you start making it fun for them. I usually do a recording myself. I will show them recorded myself doing it. And I’ll usually give them the option to start off by having it be a private video where it’s just between them and me. If I encourage them as they get going and they start watching some of the more confident students creating their videos, I notice that almost all the students start making theirs publicly. And the best part of that is that then they’re collaborating and picking pieces out of each other’s videos that are helpful.
How has the use of these tools changed the way you view teaching? Has it made your teaching life better in some ways?
Good question. Yes, I’ll start with Kahoots. They have definitely made it more fun in the classroom because of the increased engagement and the fun that the students are having. It makes the overall dynamic within the classroom a lot more fun. As for Flipgrid, I like using it and I don’t know if I would necessarily say it makes things easier. I say like the amount of work it takes to look at a video and watch a video might be about the same as any of the other I’ve been doing for that certain assignment. However, it gives me a much better understanding of where the student is currently at with their learning. And it shows me how much effort they’re putting into it. Also, some students will have a rather abbreviated video where then I can go talk to them – asking if there’s a way that I can help them. Some students are, are even more long-winded that really do enjoy talking in a video and that’s great too.
Sometimes I’ll ask students something like, “what’s your experience?” They’ll do a similar experience out in the shop about whatever the topic was. Let’s say we were talking about the fuel system on a vehicle, have you ever had to work on a vehicle that had a fuel system concern or problem? And since I’ve had students come out and say “oh yeah, actually I was working on this vehicle in the shop and it had this problem and I thought it was really cool that I found what it was…” and they elaborate on whatever it was that they were working on. And the cool thing is it’s bringing their personal experiences into the classroom. And also things that they’ve done out in the real world. So it’s been great being able to get some of that outside experience that they’ve had and get a taste of what they’ve already done. And that sometimes helps me kind of guide where I need to go with things in the classroom.
How does this project or practice relate to assessment in your course(s)? How do you assess whether this practice has been successful or useful – such as impact on student learning?
Using Kahoot itself of course, is an assessment tool. And because students like it so much, they are paying more attention to the questions that are in the Kahoot because they want to do well in their competition against each other. But a lot of times those or very similar questions end up appearing on the final exams to make sure students have the understanding there at the end. So having games like Kahoot has been just a great tool for helping them kind of know what to look for when it comes to certain key items in each of the lecture topics. So I use that as the assessment tool as we go along, for formative assessments.