We were challenged this week to use a new assessment technology in our class or choose one that we would like to use or have used in the past. Unfortunately, I was on vacation the past week so that I couldn’t try a new one. I decided to talk about a tool that I used recently to build a quiz in an online economic class.
The Instructor was used to teach face to face classes, and this economics class was his first online one. He would expect the student to write out the equation entirely, then substitute the appropriate values into the equation and solve for the correct answer. We had to think of a tool or plugin that would allow us to do so. I asked our instructional designer, and one of them has a daughter that was taking an online math class through Regina Catholic school board. The teacher in this class asked students to take a picture of a piece of paper that contains the answers with their phone and then submit this as an attachment in the assignment tool. Taking a picture of their work was a good idea for us.
The Instructional technologies team recommended a tool called Poodll-Audio, Video, Whiteboard submission and feedback tool. According to Poodll website “Students can record their voice or video or draw a picture, as part of a series of questions in a quiz. Later the submissions can be graded by the teacher, and reviewed by the student.” This exactly what we wanted.
Some challenges faced us, for example, writing out the equations on poodll whiteboard might be cumbersome and time-consuming, especially if students used the mouse and not a pen. However, we adapted this by providing pre-prepared pictures of multiple equations. The student would have to state in the answer which equation is the appropriate one. Another example, Students have to draw some graphs. It seemed to work well enough.
However, we noticed that students will need to practice using it before a mid-term exam or a quiz time because it does take a bit of getting used to it. We had to set up a practice quiz so students can practice using this new tool and to avoid any hiccups or significant problem during the exam. Similar to the math questions, we did pre-set up the axes so that student wouldn’t have to draw them; they would only have to draw the curves and label the curves/axes.
The results came in. Students feedback and grades were so promising. They liked the tool and found it easy to work with. The instructor noticed that students who took the practice quiz did better in the real exam than the ones who directly attempted the quiz. This could tell us that getting used to a new edtech tool is part of the student’s success afterwards.
Poodll was mainly designed for language learning courses. Teachers can create a complete language lab using it. Students can record themselves pronouncing letters or words, and teachers are hearing their students answer.
Poodll is still under testing at the university, but I can see many great potentials from using it in the online courses. It can be integrated into URcourses in many ways; Introduce Yourself forums, HTML editor, assignment submission/ feedback or question type in quizzes.
To summarize, Poodll is a new tool that can be integrated with URcourse. It can be used in the following ways:
1- Audio and video recorders that work for both teachers and students. Teachers can use it to give feedback, provide instructional video, or to highlight some fundamental concept. Students can introduce themselves or answer an audio question. Kyla M. stated many pros of using video or audio in the classroom and her goal of creating an interactive video that can be more engaging for her students. Which I agree with, Audio/video appeals to some types of learners; visual learners, learners with learning disabilities or shy and introvert learners like what Collete experienced in her class. Also, It provides the current generation with their preferred methods of learning by using the media.
2- Whiteboard that can be used by students to answer math questions, draw graphs or merely use it as a whiteboard to write their answers on. Teachers could use to explain contents like in the classroom.