assignments, portfolios and more
I am a teacher with a Govt school in Australia. My school covers all ages. So my feedback below is primary coming the perspective of how assignment submission can be made easier for students, teachers and also parents to engage in the process.
Idea One - Automatic Sway Portfolio of Achievements
It would be great if somehow everything submitted into via the Assignments tab could auto fill into a sway. I am envisaging a Sway that has the assignment attached into it, along with the teacher feedback. The sway would live inside the students OneDrive/O365, not within the team.
Why this idea is great.. several reasons...
A) Within my State, parents have zero access to teams, so they can't see what's happening. However it is possible for Sways to be shared with them.
B) Sways are a great format as they are highly accessible on any device.
C) It's easier for parents to navigate a sway then it would be teams.
D) At the end of the year, when a student goes up a grade, they will still have a sway that documents all their work and the feedback they received. Without this, they loose the history of their achievements
In Primary Schools, all subjects would be done within the one team, so it would make just one sway.
In Secondary Schools, students maybe in multiple teams, so it would result in multiple sways. That's okay too. It would give me a good reason to teach students how to embed multiple sways within a sway.
Idea Two - Teacher submission of Assignments
I have teachers that would like to be able to submit assignments on behalf of their students. Imagine this situation... a class young students under 8yrs old, have all been doing some creative painting. It could be annoying to then ask all the students to then take photos of their work and submit it through teams etc. The students would be within a Team, but may never have logged in yet.
The teacher would like to quickly be able to walk around the class snapping photos of students work and submitting them. The teacher wouldn't need to waiting until they are finally completed, it could be done whilst they are teaching.
I envisage this working by a teacher creating an assignment as per usual in teams. But then the teaching having some sort of companion App that complements assignments. The app would be quite simple.
Step One - Choose Student from list
Step Two - Take Photo
Step Three - Comments box
If a rubric was added to the assignment then it would also be really handy for some addition questions to appear to allow the teacher to give a rating scale. This would allow teachers to rapidly, record and assess work on the spot.
Other great additions to this would be the ability to somehow select Multiple students at a time. Imagine the situation where a teacher has asked students to work in small groups to draw a large mindmap of ideas.
The next way you could enhance this would be to enable video footage in addition to photos. This could allow teachers to submit conference discussions with about their piece of work directly as an assignment
Combine this idea with the previous Sway idea and you suddenly get a lively content rich portfolio of student achievements.
Idea Three - Simplified Student Assignment Drop Box.
Imagine a classroom of 25 students with only a handful ipads/tablets. It could be very young class, or it could simply be a senior wood work class that has access to only one tablet. This idea is similar to the previous one, except it is intended to be submitted by the student.
Suppose all the students in the wood work class are working on making tool boxes. The teacher in advance would have created assignment on teams. The Teams assignment provides a url that opens up the student submission companion app.
Step One - Who are you? (student selects who they are)
Step Three - Enter your password only (**** possibly optional)
Step Four - Take a photo of your work
Step Five - additional comments
Step Five Submit
The app then logs them out and returns to the original screen listing all the remaining student that are yet to submit. The ipad is then handed on to the next student.
Why is this useful? because it's so much faster then logging into teams, then navigating to the correct assignment, taking a photo, then uploading a photo to the assignment. Then logging out again. Time and simplicity in super important.
If the url to open this assignment drop box was presented as a QR code then student could really easily submit work via a mobile phone too.
The next way you could improve this submission feature would be to give teachers the ability to allow students to submit without providing their password. In order to keep this safe then it would work by teacher enabling the feature for a limited time frame, eg. up to 3 hours at a time. All work submitted would initially be pending teacher approval. This is just to stop students being cheeky and falsely submitting inappropriate under someone else name.
Why is this important, because then the Assignment function of teams will be so easy that even our five year olds will be able to manage it.
The appeal of software like Seesaw is the ability for students to rapidly submit work. This would enable the same idea.
Idea Four - Student Reflection Questions.
This one is much more simple than the previous ideas. It could easily be integrated into the previous ones aswell.
Professor John Hattie has done oodles of research into how to influence learning. According to his research, self reported grades and self reflection are very powerful tools. This could be done in several ways.
Ideally, a teacher would create a rubric for an assignment. Then students would upload the assignment. But they wouldn't be able to submit the assignment until they have completed their own version of the rubric. This would force students to self assess the quality of their work before submitting it.
Other more simple methods of doing this having three or so basic questions students must answer before submitting the work.
eg Rate 0-5 stars how proud you are of this work?
If you had more time, what would you change?
What was the most interesting thing you learned from this assignment?
At present, teachers can ask their students to include a reflection within the assignment that they have done. But I think it would be better if there was somehow the option of prompting students to do it at the point of submission.
So I'm hoping you can see the grand vision here. Imagine being a Students in a cooking class, and there are one or two ipad/tablets available in the room. The task is to bake some cookies.
The students bake their cookie, then use the ipad to take a photo of their work and answer three very quick questions on the ipad before handing to the next student.
Rate 0-5 stars how tasty your cookie was
Rate 0-5 on how much you enjoyed this task
If you were to make another batch, what would you do differently?