Monday, January 9, 2012

Today's Meet and Backchannel Resources

Thank you to Peter Tragos for an informative Presentation on Today's Meet and leveraging the Backchannel in your classroom. "Backchannel" refers to what is going on in the room, but is not coming from the presenter (asking others questions, feedback, notes, etc).

Tragos Presentation: Peter's handout, 7 Things you should know about Backchanne Communication (Feb 2010), was produced by Educause. He showed several examples from his AP US History class which had used iPod Touches.

One was a warm-up class activity: while Peter lectured on the Emancipation Proclamation, students responded in real-time and discussed its validity. In that example, he saved the Today'sMeet transcript as a pdf and annotated that with sticky notes (e.g., noting good questions, highlighting student interaction, and praising student restraint in staying on topic) and later posted it to the class FaceBook page. As homework, Peter asked students to "title the discussion" in order to synthesize concepts discussed.

Another example involved splitting the class into 2 panels; the first group of students discussed Reconstruction while others commented in Today'sMeet and then they switched roles. This transcript was also saved and posted on SlideShare and we talked about the possibility of further using this as a review tool. In initial trials students were anonymous (signing in as their birthdate), but they later used their initials to identify their comments.

Peter also showed us the results of a class survey (close to 70% responded) where almost 80% reacted favorably by indicating that this tool has some potential in classroom discussions. Generally, it seemed that this acknowledged their ability to multi-task and encouraged more active involvement in the lectures or discussions.

Andy and Matt could not be at the meeting, but they indicated separately that they had experimented with this tool and found it to be interesting and practical. Linda and Judy had also used it as participants at a professional development workshop on iPads in December.

Ways to use this tool: Together, we brainstormed several other ideas including:
  • encourage backchanneling during a guest speaker to raise questions for him/her;
  • separate class into several small virtual Today'sMeet classrooms; give them a prompt; post transcripts and ask students to later reflect on a different group's discussion;
  • set up a place for questions and review links and materials;
  • save and annotate discussions can be done individually by students;
  • explore promoting conversations between sections or across different periods.
Here are links to several other relevant resources regarding BackChannel Communication:

Hotseat: Opening the Backchannel in Large Lectures (Sept. 2010) -- also from Educause (“a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology”) summarizes research at Purdue University using “Hotseat”; notes some ideas for best practices with tools like this, student survey responses, etc.

Students speak up in class, silently, using Social Media” (May 12, 2011), a New York Times article on the topic.

Expanding the Notion of Backchanneling” blog post by Carolyn Foote, librarian at one of our sister consortium schools. SEE especially her links to a Prezi and Live Binders on this topic.

Given the exam schedule and upcoming NICE Meeting (see separate post for details) , we agreed that the next Am Exchange meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:30am in the Library. Agenda topics will focus on sharing our learning from NICE and planning for future meetings.

In attendance: Raquelle Brennan, Erika Eich, Judy Gressel, Linda Straube and Peter Tragos. Several members had conflicts due to advisee situations.

No comments:

Post a Comment