Don’t ignore the ways students learn from each other when going hybrid

Two adults shaking hands from separate computers

The face-to-face version of my course aims to allow students to learn from each other, rather than just from the instructor. This is accomplished by including in-class participation as ten percent of the final grade. Students are required to earn a minimum of 15 points over 16 class meetings, which excludes class meetings that exam days and during add-drop period. Students are able to earn a maximum of three points available per day. Specifically, student can earn a point for attending class, a point each class for asking a question related to the day’s topic, and a point for answering a question asked by the instructor each day. A student must earn 18 to 23 points to earn a 75%, 24 to 30 points for an 85%, 31 to 37 for a 95%, and 38 or more points for 100%.

The first day that a new topic is introduced is the lecture day while the second class meeting is an in-class activity day, during which students work in pairs or small groups to apply the learnings from the prior meeting’s lecture. However, the lecture day facilitates student-to-student learning by posing discussion questions after content presentation and Think-Pair-Share exercises in which students discuss their problem solutions in pairs or small groups before sharing with the class.

With designing the hybrid delivery of the course, the lectures that were previously delivered in class will now be delivered online in the form of brief videos. It would be easy to simply post the lecture videos and simply forget the student-to-student learning component that occurs during the in-class lectures. However, students can still learn from each other through posing the same questions that would have been asked in class on an online discussion board.

Because of the asynchronous nature of online discussions boards, deadlines for students to post their responses need be long enough to allow students flexibility to fit the assignment into their schedule, but not too long so that students lose momentum and fail to engage with their peers. Additional, a second deadline is necessary to ensure that students read the other students comments and reply. Students will be to be incentivized to participate online, as they are incentive to participate in class. The participation grade requirement will need to be divided between in-class and online participation. Further, criteria for earning online participation points needs developed to ensure students have clear guidance of how to earn their online participation grade.

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4 Responses to Don’t ignore the ways students learn from each other when going hybrid

  1. greggji says:

    Sounds great! I am curious how you record if a student asked or answered a question in lecture? Do they ask and answer on Canvas? Or…

    I am curious to learn more about what activities you do on the activity days.
    Thanks for posting!

    • Ryann says:

      For in-class participation (lower level classes) or contribution to group learning (higher level classes), I have a form printed on the back of the name tents that includes the criteria, points, and grade scale. Students have to record their points for the day at end of class with their specific contribution/participation. I read over them and make adjustments when a student inevitably tries to given him/herself more points then they actually earned.

  2. stiegers says:

    I like the concept students learning from each other. How do you ensure they learn the correct information from each other; e.g. “loud, opinionated” student explaining concept to other student, who is more quiet; the concept explained is incorrect. Do you read through each individual student comment to ensure its correct or how do you stay on top of it?

    • Ryann says:

      The first time taught a version of the course I did have a student teach her sorority sisters wrong information, which caused them confusion and to do poorly on an assignment. Because of that, I discuss that during the first day of class and caution students not to confuse confidence with competence. If they aren’t sure, they should just ask.

      Having the 3 point max per day helps to incentive students to speak up in class while also not incentivizing the same students to keep talking the way they would if they received a point for every question or comment made.

      My 200-level intro course is focused on key concepts, vocabulary, and definitions with the in-class activities having students applying them. I assign students a five question, open book quiz in Canvas that they have to complete before class. This gets them to read the textbook so they have some exposure to the terminology before they walk into the lecture. When I have students work in small groups or pairs, and I walk around the room to check in with each group. That gives students an opportunity to ask clarification questions that they might not want to ask in front of everyone.

      The challenge (and what I’m struggling with) is how to implement this online.

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