Remote Learning — Week 9

Published by MrHonner on

My emergency Remote Learning strategy has evolved primarily around teacher-student interaction. Given my limited experience and tool set, this has been my best leverage point. I’ve tried to establish a simple work-flow that lets me interact with students around mathematics, and that has formed an effective foundation for the course.

As the semester has unfolded I’ve tried to recapture some of what has been missing in this approach. One small thing we did recently was a peer review assignment that successfully recreated a little of the student-to-student interaction that’s been missing.

The activity centered on a typical assessment item, but rather than write my own I pulled an old Regents question. Longtime readers know I’m not a huge fan of Regents questions, but I wanted students to work on a specific kind of “applied” area / volume question that typically appears on the Geometry Regents exam. Also, by using an old test question, I could use the pre-existing rubric (as it were) and the published sample student responses as the basis for the peer review.

I assigned students to groups and distributed the scoring resources. After students submitted their own work they had to connect with their group and, using the scoring materials, perform their peer reviews. I captured everything in a Google form, where I could sort responses by reviewer or reviewee and look for consistency among the evaluations.

Usually the goal of peer review is to get students to engage with rubrics, but here it also served to get students interacting with each other. In my regular survey of students, one of the highest variance items had been:

I interacted with my classmates around mathematics this week.

Many students were naturally interacting with their peers, but many weren’t. This modest peer review activity succeeded in getting the entire class communicating with each other and interacting around their shared work.

And it was nice to find a standard classroom assignment that could be effectively repurposed to serve the goals of remote learning as well. As we look toward an uncertain future, we’ll need as many of those activities as we can find.

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