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Palomar College Learning For Success

Kelly Falcone

Professor & Professional Development Coordinator

Category: Health

In class chat room for Exam review

Yesterday in class I decided to use Simplemeet.me free online chat room for our exam review.

I broke the class up into groups of 5 people.  I had the groups discuss each of the 5 chapters that would be on the exam and come up with what they thought were the 3 most important topics/information from each chapter.  Then I brought up the chat room and we went chapter by chapter and each group posted their thoughts.  This gave us a good review of each chapter and also it showed me what they found most pertinent.

We then had each person in the group choose a chapter that they wanted to be the expert on.  The students then separated into large groups, one for each chapter.  In their large groups they were told to come up with 4 exam questions.  They were told that if the questions were good solid questions they would be used on the exam.  Again, the large chapter groups posted the questions they devised in the chat room.  This made for a 3 page document that summarized important information in each chapter and ended with possible exam questions.

WHY DID I USE THE CHAT ROOM?

I decided to try using the chat room as another way to get collaboration and interaction in the classroom.  This also allowed them to just discuss and not worry about writing everything down.  This is just another way to use cell phones in class and see answers to questions in writing on the classroom projection screen.

WHY DID I ALLOW THEM TO MAKE EXAM QUESTIONS?

I have been trying many new strategies this semester to increase student participation, collaboration, and interaction.  And to also work on self-management, interdependence, and responsibility.  I wanted to give the students a chance to let me know what information they found most important.  By allowing them the opportunity to have a part in the evaluation I believe it gives them an opportunity to take part in their success.

I also wanted to start incorporating more diverse types of questions rather than just multiple choice in order to reach all types of learners in the classroom.  So they are told they can write any type of question: T/F, multiple choice, list, short answer, fill-in. etc.

I also find that by doing a group review and having the groups design the questions I am providing an additional learning environment.  As stated in teh abstract titled Pedagogical use of multiple choice tests –
Students create their own tests “Creating something often results in learning, and involves new cognitive processing of existing knowledge.”

The use of groups in this way follows the basic guide of the OnCourse Jisaw meeting structure.

SO, HOW DID IT GO?

Well, unfortunately it didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  In the future I need to put more strict guidelines on the chat room use.  I had students repeatedly changing their name to funny and sometimes inappropriate names just for fun.  I had students post comments I wish I could’ve deleted.  Overall, this class had more fun “playing” in the chat room.  However, it did still serve the purpose of developing a typed summary of the important points in the chapter and a list of possible questions.  It just took me extra time to edit the chat log and remove hte unnecessary text.

IN THE FUTURE…

I will use this again, but I will ask them to join the room sequentially in order to know which group is in every location in the classroom.  I will not allow them to make-up their own group names, but rather leave it as the default “user 1”.  I will be more clear in my instructions of what I expect the posts to look like.   Unfortunately the issues I had were the same as when I used www.socrative.com for open ended student responses to class questions.  I need to be very clear in my rules and expectations prior to use.