UPTLC Virtual Workshops: Collaborative Group Testing and In Defense Of Distance Education
Tuesday, October 13 @ 3:30 PM
Collaborative Group Testing Implemented Online Using Zoom
Isaac Wedig, MTU PhD Candidate, Integrative Physiology
Abstract: Introduction: Collaborative group testing can facilitate meaningful discussion, cooperation, and improved understanding of course material. While this format is used in face-to-face classroom settings, it is less clear if it can be adapted for online settings. With the recent shift to online instruction due to COVID-19, we explored whether collaborative group testing could be implemented online through video conferencing.
Methods: Twelve students enrolled in two sections of an introductory kinesiology course (Spring, n=9; Summer, n=3), took exams individually and then immediately again in small groups (3-4 students). The Spring section completed exams 1 and 2 in-class and exam 3 online (due to COVID-19). The Summer section completed all exams online. For both sections, the group online exam was delivered using Zoom “breakout rooms”. Individual and group scores for exam 3 were evaluated along with student’s perceptions relating to the collaborative group testing format.
Results: Group exam scores were higher than individual scores (98±1% vs. 79±18%; P<0.05). Most students strongly agreed that the group exam format was collaborative (83%), less stressful than traditional testing (67%), and allowed them to go beyond their previous level of individual knowledge (83%). Additionally, all students recommended the format be implemented in future online courses. Of the students who completed group exams both in-class and online, the majority strongly agreed (67%) that the level of interaction with group members and overall experience was similar.
In Defense Of Distance Education: Lessons Learned From Zoom
H. Russel Searight, LSSU Psychology Department
Abstract: In the abrupt shift from face-to-face classroom instruction to distance modalities prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been considerable concern about educational quality. While surveys over the past 20 years have indicated a gradual increase in positive evaluations of online education, there are a still a perception among a substantial proportion of college students and faculty that distance learning is inferior to “in seat” classroom instruction. As an instructor who has taught in all three modalities—traditional classroom, asynchronous online, and synchronous distance education---I have been consistently skeptical of distance education. In addition to reservations about education quality, a chief concern has been the ability to establish a personal connection with students in the distance format. After receiving training and achieving a reasonable degree of mastery with the technical aspects of Zoom, I found that I was able to reproduce much of my in-class teaching style with this synchronous distance platform. In many instances, teaching in this format actually allowed a greater level of personal interaction with students and provided useful insight into students’ daily lives. I will highlight the strategies and technical requirements that I found to be important for personalized synchronous teaching. In addition, limitations of distance modalities, such as the continued digital divide, will also be discussed.