This blog has been a bit sparse recently, but that’s been down to getting to grips with a new job. The upside of this is that I am having to experiment with a few new techniques, which I can then share here. I am now teaching functional skills, building up the writing skills of students enrolled on Further Education courses. One of the skills that learners find really tricky is summarising – Copy and paste is just too easy, and too tempting. This post shows a technique that I have used to try and break the CTRL-C, CTRL-V dependency.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere the benefits of using Moodle Wikis for writing development(and given a step by step guide to setting them up); I have recently been using them together with You Tube to develop summarising skills. I ask learners to watch a video on YouTube and then set questions: it could be simply for them to summarise what they saw, or I might ask them to look out for information on certain key points.
As I have wanted to concentrate on notetaking and summarising I have been chosing videos between 3 and 5 minutes; it is pretty near impossible for learners to try and transcribe this length of video, so they have to try to summarise it (there’s also no text to cut and paste – I’ve yet to find the smart alec who tries to embed the whole video, though I reckon it’s just a matter of time….). A shorter video could be used for a more traditional dictation type exercise.
As learners have to generate their own language there is a lot of potential for checking their word and sentence level writing skills. It is then easy to add developmental feedback and ask learners to return to their work and improve it.
Step-by-step guide (Moodle Wikis)
- Make sure that you have editing on – click on the button on the left hand side.
- Select Wiki in the Editing Menu (where you want to place the wiki)
- Enter a title and instructions for your learners. You should add a link to the YouTube video in this section. In theory there should be a way of embedding the video in this section, but I have yet to get this to work – your Moodle installation may be different. If you can embed it here, it will be better for your learners as it keeps everything together.
- Select student wiki (not group or teacher).
- Ensure that you save your Wiki!!
- Students can switch between view (where they can see their page) and edit (where they can edit their page) using the tabs indicated.
- After students have created their page (and saved it) you can go into their page and edit it – I usually colour code their errors and add comments (thanks to my colleague Sandra for that idea)
- Students can then go back and edit the page further, having benefitted from your feedback. You can use the history tab to retrieve earlier versions should you wish to compare them.