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Gathering Student Input

Using digital tools to inform instruction

I believe that it is important to design my instruction around the interests and background knowledge of my students. To do this, I often elicit information about how they are thinking about the content, connections, and new ideas. Below are examples of how I have gathered student input in my undergraduate teacher education courses.

Gathering Student Input: Projects

Face to Face Instruction

Digital Tool: Mentimeter

This technology tool was used in my CUIN 4332 undergraduate class. As one of our first class meetings, I wanted my students to be able to engage their background knowledge on literacy practices and processes.

I chose the Mentimeter tool because I wanted to poll my class but I also wanted to have a way for the results to be aesthetically meaningful. I think word clouds can be really powerful graphics particularly in the way the text is larger when it is more frequently included. My goal for this tool was for me to see what they knew about literacy practices but for the class to ALSO see the wide range of responses and how they connect. 

This tool gave me a lot of really important data. It told me the different terms my students currently use to describe literacy practices and it is clear they are familiar with “comprehension”, “fluency”, and “vocabulary”. While the smaller text might indicate that fewer students know these terms, I think it is also important to note the various ways students are describing literacy and how these terms might be synonyms for other concepts. 

Overall, my students know a lot about the different terminology and understand that these are important concepts. However, my job in my course is to really make these concepts concrete and provide opportunities for how they will assess these components as teachers. I will also be sure to review less known terms and build their foundational literacy knowledge.

Gathering Student Input: Text

Online or Remote Instruction

Digital Tool: Padlet

This technology tool was used in my ELED 3320 undergraduate class as part of our online exit slip. I wanted my students to take a moment to consider their own reading goals as readers in a more public setting. 

I chose the Padlet tool for a variety of reasons.

1. I wanted a tool that would allow for multimodal tools to be used. Padlet allows for an individual to post using text, audio, and/or video. I wanted a format that would allow students to select a wide range of modes to best describe and display their goals.

2. I wanted this to be not just information I would collect but I wanted there to be a digital dialogue taking place between students. As they publish their reading goals, I wanted other students to be able to provide comments, feedback, and encouragement.

3. I wanted this to be a good introduction and development into our learning community. I wanted my students to be able to start getting to know one another without having to worry about social distancing. 

4. I wanted to have an archived document that we could refer back to at a later time. 

This tool was really great to use. I was able to learn quite a bit about my students, particularly about how they feel or perceive their reading identities. Also I learned a lot about some of their interests or emotions based on the images or gifs they provided in the text. Lastly, I was able to see evidence of a community forming as many students chose to respond to other posts (this was not required). 

I REALLY liked using this tool as I found it to be interactive and collaborative at the same time. I like the wide range of customization and how the author has the ability to maneuver and manipulate the tools to suit its purpose.

Gathering Student Input: Text
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