I love using Edmodo! It has created a very different learning environment for students but most of all it has pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me something I wished I’d learnt an eon ago. When Edmodo added the Quiz feature I quickly created a quiz that reviewed the first few lessons of a new Module I was teaching to my Advanced English (HSC NSW) class. It took about ten minutes. This set me on the path of setting weekly homework through Edmodo assignment and quiz features for the whole module. I liked the ease with which I could set tasks and the way Edmodo tracks the turning in of tasks for me. I also liked that Edmodo records students grades. Since I don’t want to spend hours marking, even if it is easier in digital form, I focused on setting short tasks that built skills and was relevant to the learning objectives for the week. The most students were asked to write was two well structured paragraphs, although, as one student said “That was a really hard question!”
Some things I learnt were:
- A short task that has a higher order thinking skill is doable (and therefore more likely to be done), easier to mark and actually develops the critical thinking skills kids needed to learn.
- The tasks progressed from revising some work done in class to going beyond recount to analysis and evaluation.
- The relationship between learning objectives for the week and the homework seemed to be a key feature in the increasing quality of their answers over time.
- The grade book feature insisted kids be accountable. Edmodo kept telling kids they had Late assignments.
Since the new Annotate feature has been added, the marking is even easier, without the need to open documents, mark and then re save and resend. I am keen to see how I can keep up the momentum in the next Module.