Digital Project Review: Jigsaw

Sidrah Ahmad’s digital project on the jigsaw method can be viewed here.

Jigsaw is an instructional strategy that demonstrates collaborative learning.  Effective for student-centered learning, team-based learning, and project-based learning.  Applicable and effective when used with a variety of subject areas.  The best topics for this activity are easy enough for the students to teach but complex enough to require discussion.  The topics should be able to divide into an appropriate number of groups, with equal numbers in each group.

The learner’s role is essential.  Students are responsible for teaching their topic; in preparing for this, they must choose an activity that will allow others to learn from them.  Students work together in small groups and decide on general knowledge on their given topic and discuss methods to teach this material to others.  These groups are known as expert groups.  These expert groups then break up into jigsaw groups.  Each jigsaw group has a student with expertise from each expert group.  The students then teach each other about their area of expertise.  After sharing their knowledge, students return to their expert groups to debrief and then participate in a full class discussion.

The instructor must come up with the list of topics and ensure the division of the material is clear.  Preparation for topics can be assigned as homework.  As a close to the activity, the instructor can give a quiz to the jigsaw groups and have the expert groups evaluate the quiz, which can become a study guide.

The class discussion is important; everyone should be involved in evaluating the teaching strategies for quality, effectiveness, and challenges.  Pre- and post-testing in the expert groups can ensure preparation.  Student input into potential topics can increase engagement.  Closure is essential and feedback from the instructor on participation and expectations ends the activity.

I first experienced this method through the Instructional Practice course, PIDP 3220.  I was fascinated and intrigued.  Sounds funny, but I really enjoyed the experience and saw the benefit of it as a teaching strategy.  One of the things I have always been aware of is that if I am not able to explain a concept or topic to someone, I simply don’t really understand it myself.  I like the collaborative component of this strategy.  I like that the students get some insight into the challenges and successes of teaching others.  I appreciate the evaluation component and think the class discussion at the end is an excellent way to share and benefit from the insights and reflections of others.

I will definitely keep this instructional strategy in my toolbox for the future.

Digital Project Review: 3-2-1

Thea Brown’s piktochart infographic on the 3-2-1 instructional strategy was helpful in understanding this framework.

First of all, I loved the clean and clear message of the layout.  The icons matched the content and clarified the strategy.  It is not complicated to carry out, but the infographic provides an excellent reminder that all three of these steps are important: understanding, interest, and clarification.  It also addressed pros, cons, and best practices.

This approach to instruction encourages the student to reflect on their own learning, and this reflection is something that I have recently learned to embrace, as it enhances my own learning.  I want to encourage this in my students.  Essentially, each student should write:

  • 3 key concepts they have learned
  • 2 things they would like to know more about
  • 1 thing they are still unsure about

This provides an excellent way to assess how/if the students have processed the material.  The discussion component is important to clarify the concepts and address the uncertainties.  It gauges interest in additional areas, and identifies areas where teaching may need to be supplemented by additional or different approaches.

While this wouldn’t work for all the topics I address in the Speechreading course, I can see immediate application possibilities for several areas, such as how we hear, understanding the audiogram, and causes of hearing loss.  3-2-1 will definitely become a strategy utilized in Speechreading.


Digital Project Review: Flipped Classroom

Donna Perry’s digital project on flipped classrooms can be seen here and provided a lot of information on the technique.

I like the idea of starting with a focused question: does this type of teaching work in the 21st-century classroom?  With this technique, students get exposure to new material outside of class via videos and then use class time to do the “harder work”.  The steps:

  1. the instructor provides online lectures for the students to watch before coming to class,
  2. the students watch the videos in preparation for focused engagement during class time,
  3. active learning tools are used during class time: pre-assessment, group activities, and post-assessment.

Research shows increased test scores, and students report enhanced learning, more active engagement, and appreciation for increased opportunities for collaboration.  The time spent teaching also yielded greater returns.  Although more time was spent creating the online lectures, these could be re-used and students could rewatch as needed.  This provided more valuable in-class time for discussing and applying the material.  Students are able to learn at their own pace and can come to class with more insightful questions. Students must fulfill their responsibility to come to class prepared for this technique to work appropriately.  The flipped classroom ultimately allows for more dynamic learning.

I liked the platform used for this project- Go Animate.  I used it for my digital project in 3250 and found it relatively easy and adaptable.

I first became aware of the concept of flipped classrooms last summer through PIDP 3100.  Here is a link to the blog post I made then.

I am still interested in trying to include some flipped classroom components in the Speechreading courses.  I do believe that this technique would provide some much-needed time in the classroom for more active engagement; we would have more opportunities to practice the communication strategies that we talk about in class.  This is where the true learning will flourish.  Making time for active learning in the classroom will allow me to take advantage of all the great instructional techniques I’m learning about through this course.  Incorporating the flipped classroom needs to become a priority for my upcoming professional development time.  This project review was a timely reminder for me!


Digital Project Review: Learning from Mistakes

Jennifer Aarestad’s digital project on learning from mistakes as an instructional strategy provided strong support for this tool.

In order for us to learn from our mistakes, we need to change the way we think about mistakes.  We need to think about them rationally rather than emotionally.

Instructors role:

  • Recognize effort as success.
  • Be open about your own mistakes.
  • Encourage a non-judgmental atmosphere.
  • When students make mistakes, ask why and how they made the decisions they made in order to figure out how to move forward.
  • Encourage collaboration.  Learn from the mistakes of others.
  • Teach and model responsibility.
  • Promote deliberate practice to develop further learning.

Learners role:

  • Recognize that there is much to learn and ways to improve.
  • Have a growth mindset- belief that we can all improve and develop skills and abilities.
  • Accept responsibility and be accountable.

I liked the digital format of the Prezi and how the big picture was always present, and the presentation zoomed in to the various components. The message was very clear and well organized.

Easwari Thoreraj’s digital project also discussed learning from mistakes, and it introduced some additional information.

Many learners view their mistakes with negative emotions such as shame, unacceptance, sadness, and disbelief.  The human mind sees mistakes as pain.  Instructors must introduce the perspective of embracing mistakes.

I haven’t failed.  I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.     Thomas Edison

Ways to teach with mistakes:

  1. Have open discussions about mistakes.
  2. Acknowledge common mistakes, reflect on them and learn from them, thereby promoting an ‘I can fix it’ attitude.
  3. Allow learners the opportunity to make corrections to their mistakes before it is too late.
  4. Self-assessment is a great tool for placing the responsibility of learning on the learner.

Incorporating this strategy in the Speechreading class makes a lot of sense.  I plan to introduce a topic actually called ‘Learning from Mistakes’.  An important component of the Speechreading classes is learning how to both anticipate and repair miscommunications.  I like the idea of celebrating the biggest mistake and what was learned from it.  We already share experiences, but I now appreciate the benefit of calling a spade a spade.  The students often speak about ‘mistakes’ and times when they ‘did the wrong thing’ or ‘didn’t do anything, but wished they did’.  Let’s call it a mistake and turn the table on focusing on what was learned and what they would do differently next time.  Sharing these experiences is also vital.  The frustrations experienced by those with hearing loss is common.  Let’s explicitly share those frustrations, failures (and successes), and learn from everyone’s stories.  This is also an important concept to introduce so that the students continue to see their mistakes as positive opportunities as they carry on their journey of life-long learning and living with hearing loss.

This is such a perfect instructional strategy for the Speechreading class.  Don’t be greedy!  Share!  We can all benefit from sharing and learning from each other’s mistakes.


Digital Project Review: Triad Listening

Bryce Walker’s VideoScribe digital project on triad listening can be found here.

The basics: Three people- three roles- per triad:

  • Speaker: present clear ideas while supporting it with concrete examples
  • Reflective listener: actively listen and reiterate message back to the speaker
  • Referee: must enforce rules. Watches for interruptions, aggressive behaviour or speech, sarcasm, judgments, joking around.

As instructor, you must:

  • Explain why good communication skills are important to the class.
  • Describe how this activity is helpful and relevant
  • encourage them to take risks, say with they think and believe.

This works best in a classroom setting where you can have moderation and application.

All three roles must have active participants.  It’s important to rotate students through each of the roles to experience and benefit the various responsibilities.

This activity format would be appropriate and beneficial in the Speechreading class.  Since communication is often the vehicle we use for practicing communication strategies and assertive behaviour, triad listening provides the structure for multiple people to benefit from a conversation.  It is often difficult for the two initial participants (speaker and listener) to be aware of the strategies they use.  An added task for the referee could be to observe and comment on the strategies attempted to solve communication breakdowns and their perceived success.  This conversation and reflection help all involved to be aware of how effective their communication efforts are.



Digital Project Review: Role Play

I have wanted to introduce the idea of role play into the Speechreading courses in the past, but haven’t taken the leap yet.  These digital projects gave me enough information to peak my interest and try them out in the classroom.

Kelly Chhor’s video gave me several things to think about:

  • Participants pretend to be someone else (instead of a simulation, where they play themselves)
  • Situations can be unfamiliar
  • You should assign an observer to provide feedback

Carmen Chan’s video reminded me of additional factors:

  • Role playing promotes problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • It’s important to connect the lesson to the purpose
  • Decide before you start how the roleplay will end
  • Ensure time for debriefing
  • Roleplay can help to introduce other perspectives

We spend a fair bit of time brainstorming troublesome communication situations.  Instead of general class discussions, roleplays would give a different way to encourage student participation and engagement and provide different insights.

Some ways to bring this activity to life in the Speechreading class:

Students who typically behave more passively with regard to their hearing loss could be asked to ‘act’ like someone who is more assertive.  Students could be asked to be accommodating to requests (or not!).  Scenarios could take place in the classroom, or in other areas (e.g. cafeteria), and noise could be introduced through a babble sound file to make the situation more challenging and realistic.  The discussion following the roleplay would be important to share the various observations and perspectives and could promote lessons not easily described through group discussions.