May 27, 2005

Students building a table of best journal articles

The students could initially be given some guidance as to what constitutes a good article from an academic perspective, although it may be that the aim is for them to identify the most useful article to support their own learning.

  1. Within a specified period of time, a group of students are asked to each find an online journal article that deals with a specific topic.
  2. Each student specifies a url to the journal article, and gives a short overview of it along with an explanation of why they recommend it.
  3. Other students access the recommended articles, and add their own comments.
  4. Each student can rate each article from 0 (bad) to 10 (good).
  5. A league table of articles is created from the votes.

There could be a reward for the student who nominates the top article.


April 25, 2005

Rhetorical voting poll repeated sequentially

This pattern can be used to highlight the lessons learnt in an activity. It also emphasis how assumptions and prior knowledge may be incorrect, thus challenging the student to question more deeply.

  1. A vote is taken at the start of the session, on some key issue that seems to have an obvious answer;
  2. The session proceeds, demonstrating that the assumptions are wrong;
  3. As the session proceeds, the vote is repeated;
  4. At some point, the majority of students will have changed their minds.

A more sophisticated approach would be to get the students, each time they vote, to state how confident they are in their answer. It would also therefore be possible to watch the confidence level change, adding to the excitement.

Implementation Notes

To use this pattern, voting needs to be managed as efficiently as possible. Using electronic voting with a personal response system (currently being trialled by Elab ) can make this easy.


Journal writing with confidence reflection

How can a student be encouraged to evaluate and re-evaluate their own knowledge? This act of self-reflection is an essential element in the learning process, but too often students move on too quickly without proper consideration of either their own understanding, or of the value of the theories and facts that they are studying. This pattern describes one technique that may encourage such reflections.

  1. The student writes a short text recording a fact or theory dealt with in a lecture, seminar, or reading;
  2. The student rates their confidence in that knowledge from one (low) to 5 (high);
  3. Over the next few sessions the student is prompted to reconsider what they have recorded;
  4. The student writes similar such confidence-rated recordings of aspects of their learning;
  5. The student (and others) can view a list of these confidence-based rated texts;
  6. The list can be sorted to show the most confident entry at the top, and the least confident entry at the bottom (or vice versa);
  7. The student can do more work on low confidence rated entries;
  8. The student can return to a low-confidence-rated text and modify it;
  9. The student can modify the confidence rating of a text, moving it up or down the list;
  10. When a confidence rating is changed, the student is asked to give a reason.

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  • Obviously that would say that the module isn't giving the students the ability to make that judgemen… by Robert O'Toole on this entry
  • Ok quick question – what happens if the "top" article is a load of rubbish academically? Is there so… by on this entry
  • The list could be a personal list, or it could aggregate u set of students. by Robert O'Toole on this entry

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