Students in my teaching and learning class created the assignment expectations and rubrics for the final assignment in the course on discharge teaching. The intent was twofold: (a) to have them demonstrate teaching skills and (b) to help them prepare for the NCLEX. They started with a basic outline and customized the instructions in a workshop facilitated in partnership with the Hub at the beginning of the term. Last night the experience unfolded.
Originally I planned for students to simply post their videos and watch other videos on their own time. The students were actually disappointed with the idea of not coming to class. I was more than happy to turn their work into a Movie Night.
I did not require attendance nor did I require that students have their videos watched in class. There were students that chose not to have their videos shown. Allowing for that flexibility is a positive thing in my mind.
The invitation to attend movie night got my students excited about the experience. It only took a short time to create. It was super easy to make because I remixed Jess’ Open Day poster. In the midst of many other due dates, students told me that the poster got them excited about having fun in class watching the videos. Having fun with the assignment created excitement for myself and the learners.
The students were amazingly creative (maybe because they built creativity into the rubric). Class was so much fun. Many stayed despite having a big assignment due tomorrow. There were a lot of laughs in the middle of a stressful time. Below are a few that students said I could share (after getting their mark). I only asked students who already chose to post their videos on YouTube.
These students could have a future in video production. The thought put into storylines, humour, engagement, and content delivery was truely above my expectations. See if you can pick up on the cartoon names of the clients in the video below. If you go to YouTube they even included a short quiz below the video.
I am so lucky to have access to even more amazing videos from this class. They are engaging to watch … I now need to be careful not to spend all kinds of time watching them just for fun.
An Overall Success
It worked. I am fairly certain my class had fun and learned about teaching. I am not sure if co-creation is the reason, but the students did amazing work. They really understood what I was asking for. I had very few questions about the assignment outside of class time.
Choice also worked. The video was one of three options. We had a skit in class that was also amazing. The students were quite clever in their use of the projector as a spotlight. It felt like we were in a live theatre. The other option was the creation of a pamphlet and a presentation demonstrating how to teach with the pamphlet. Those were so well done last week in class that conversations about how we may get students to create material for community partners have begun.
Do not Assume
Do not assume students would prefer the flexibility of watching videos on their own time. Actually, they told me that they probably would not have watched them outside of class time. Interestingly, Sidney told me he had a similar experience in his class where students said they preferred to complete an assignment together in class instead of on their own.
The sense of community among this group of learners is really amazing to witness. I think that might be the real reason for success. Encouraging community is something I try to do as a teacher. It really has more to do with what they have done than me, but I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of their educational experience this term.
Next time …
Some scaffolding would help them. It dawned on me that I did not do a learner assessment of their ability to create videos. Maybe that was okay since they had options, but I really should have in a class where I talk about the need to assess learner needs. It was apparent some of them had video editing skills. They did not make any amateur videography mistakes (like recording in portrait mode). However, a website like I saw at TESS would help to consider some more advanced considerations around copyright and licensing. I also wished I had told them how to normalize the audio so the volume was more equal for those that used effects. I was really impressed. A similar tool to the website that is simpler would also work (Jeff was thinking maybe a decision tree).
If I get to teach the class again I would change up the rubric a little. I think a checklist approach would be more user-friendly for marking than a rubric. It was a little hard to focus on everything I needed to in class so I am finishing my marking outside of class time. I do want to leave it flexible so I need to be careful not to be over-prescriptive.
The rubric did not really evaluate the content being taught. Instead, it evaluated how the content was taught. I think that next time the checklist should place more emphasis on what content I am looking for in the teaching. Students did a great job figuring it out, but I would have liked to give them more credit for content covered.
I asked students to post the videos in two places: The discussion boards (for peers to view) and the submission dropbox. In the future, I will only have one place (the discussion boards) since no one posted it in the discussion boards. Submitting an assignment in two places is too confusing. I didn’t say anything about it in class – just made a note to self to clarify that next time. Also, I had all the evaluations in one section of Moodle but the discussion boards were at the bottom of the shell. Next time I will have the discussion boards at the top of Moodle when students are submitting their work.