Students’ pre-class preparation: concise and interactive online modules that students use

Wegener, Margaret J., McIntyre, Timothy, McGrath, Dominic, Peet, Sam and Holmes, Catherine (2015). Students’ pre-class preparation: concise and interactive online modules that students use. In: International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (). 27-30 October 2015.

Author Wegener, Margaret J.
McIntyre, Timothy
McGrath, Dominic
Peet, Sam
Holmes, Catherine
Title of paper Students’ pre-class preparation: concise and interactive online modules that students use
Conference name International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference
Conference location Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Conference dates 27-30 October 2015
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Oral presentation
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Language eng
Abstract/Summary We have been exploring the challenge of getting students to prepare for class for the last five years. During this time we have investigated assessed preparation, types of reading and finally, interactive online modules. Now 75% of our students in an introductory service course regularly complete pre-class preparation that supports active learning during class. We make use of our students enthusiasm for and habitual use of the internet and internet-capable mobile devices. We have developed, implemented and evaluated an extensive suite of ‘Five-Minute Physics’ online modules for a range of Physics courses. With these, we have created multiple opportunities for students to learn, in small grabs of time. The modules contain concise text, images and diagrams, video, sound, interactive simulations, and formative quizzes with instant feedback, drawing on known effective practices. The modules are made up of segments that can each be addressed in about five minutes. These resources are usable on multiple platforms, on computer, tablet and smartphone. They have changed the behaviour of students, making a dramatic improvement to the level of engagement. We can now realistically work on the assumption that students have done the preparation for class. Students have incorporated the modules into their study lives, accessing the material with a range of devices. They enjoy using ‘Five-Minute Physics’ and value it as an aid to class preparation and for revision. Students particularly value that their lecturers produced the resources. This approach has been adopted and adapted by academics in Mathematics and Chemistry (for ‘MathSims’ and ‘ChemBytes’ respectively). The modular template structure has enabled us as academics to develop and update resources without ongoing expert support. The design principles we have used assist the creation of suites of modules tailored to specific student audiences. Varied materials can be tightly integrated, including incorporation of other externally available digital learning resources. Collaborating with students has enabled us to add student contributions in some cases. We have collected data from student surveys, focus groups and usage analytics over first- and second-year cohorts and across Mathematics and Physics over the past two years. Each cohort showed substantial engagement with the modules. We will discuss differences observed between cohorts, and explore trends emerging about how students are using technology for out-of-class activities. During the presentation the audience will have the opportunity to use the resources, engaging with the interactive components.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 25 Nov 2015, 11:28:44 EST by Mr Dominic Mcgrath on behalf of Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation