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Palomar College Learning For Success

Kelly Falcone

Professor & Professional Development Coordinator

Category: Education

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” ~Confuscius

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” ~Confuscius

I have been repeating this quote over and over again this semester… What does this mean to me? What does this mean for my teaching? Do we truly learn better by actively participating and doing rather than just simply hearing and seeing? To me this is the difference between having a teacher-centered lecture based classroom and a learner-centered classroom with interaction, collaboration, participation, and active learning.

I have spent the past few months trying to create lessons in which I keep this quote in mind and create a classroom that is much more learner-centered. I attended a workshop that has been very beneficial in this adoption which is called OnCourse.

What are your thoughts about transitioning from a lecture based classroom to a more interactive learner-centered classroom?

Here is a link to what has been called a “flipped classroom” where two teachers decided we have it all backwards. The students should just sit back and listen to the lesson at home instead of the classroom and when in class they should do the questions and answers as traditional homework may have been. So in essence bringing the “doing” to the classroom and the hearing and seeing to the homework…. very interesting concept!!!!! web based student response system, FUN!

In class this week I decided to try using student response system which allows students to use their own web enabled devices.  Students were able to use their cell phones, laptops, iPads, and other tablets; any web enabled device.  Socrative was very easy to use.

  1. Go to and start a free account
  2. As the teacher go to  After using your login you will see many different question options such as true/false, mutliple choice, and short answer.  You will also see where it has assigned you a specific classroom number
  3. To test out Socrative before your class, use another device to sign in as the student.  Login as a student using  The first screen the student sees is “Log in to room____”.  You must tell your students your specific room number assigned to you.
  4. Once the students is logged in they will see “waiting for question”.  Once the teacher presses a question button on their screen the student will then be able to answer it.
  5. You can see live results on the screen after each question, or you can pre-build a quiz and give the students a quiz in which the results are emailed ot you in an excel spreadsheet.

What I like about Socrative:  It was very easy to use and added a fun interactive touch to my lecture.  I think the students were more involved because of the anonymity.  I asked several open ended short answer questions for example “what causes stress in your life”, and we watched answers pop up on the main screen which spurred a great discussion of stressors.

The Cons of Socrative:  I had to keep switching back and forth between my PowerPoint and the socrative website.  I tried using my iPad and the main computer and toggle between the two.  Going back and forth kind of broke the flow of the lecture (but I’m sure with some practice it could be better).  There also is no way to edit the short answers as they popup and unfortunately some students made comments that I would’ve liked to delete.

Overall I found it very easy and fun.  I look forward to using it again!  I gave my students and exit quiz from class in which they told me how they felt about the program and all but one said they enjoyed it and would like to see it used again.


Silent Socrative Dialogue- A quiet way of communicating

Silent Socrative Dialogue is an OnCourse technique in which communication is done entirely through writing.  I chose to use this method in my Health class last week when they were supposed to be in their small groups deciding on a group project topic.  This is how I set it up:

  1. First I set-up a PowerPoint with timed slides so that there would be a chime at the end of each section of this dialogue
  2. I explained to the class how it would work:  there would be NO talking, you will look at the ppt screen whenever you hear the chime to signal what to do next, you will be conversing through writing, you will only be asking questions of others papers.
  3. The first question I had each person answer was:  take out a piece of paper and write down at least 2 topics you would like to use for the group research paper. 
  4. Then they heard a chime and the screen said “exchange your writing, read silently, respond with a thoughtful question”.
  5. The chime went off again and the screen said “exchange writing back, read the question asked, and write a thoughtful answer”.
  6. This went back and forth throughout the group and allowed each person to have input and ask questions.
  7. Once this was over they were allowed to discuss the topics and questions and decide on what topic they liked the most.

Pros:  Allows everyone to have a “say” and a “voice”.  I was able to show that this technique could be very valuable to them in many other situations especially during conflict, maybe with a parent.

Cons:  Unfortunately several students did not find this very worthy and made comments throughout, this made it difficult to take seriously. 

Overal experience:  I will definitely try this again, but I do need to explain it better and also give them more time.  I had the slides on :40 seconds thinking the responses would be short, but it definitely  wasn’t enough time.