Increasing momentum, autonomy and engagement in practical classes
In lab classes, many students do not keep up momentum – they fall behind and enter a vicious cycle; they need a way to nudge them into picking up momentum and keeping it. Related to this is a vital skill for students for self-regulation and autonomy is self and peer assessment (see, for example, David Nicol’s work on the REAP project).
The project proposed a digital tool that could be used on a mobile or online, that students and the lecturer could use in practical classes to address this problem. The key features were:
- Students can see a representation of all their labs and can access as many steps as they have progressed (like unlocking levels in a game).
- Once the student has completed a step, he/she self-assesses it, submits his/her work, and marks it as complete.
- For certain steps, students can be required to peer review another student’s work. This explores linking individual progression with group progression
- Lecturers can keep track of how the class is progressing at a granular level – they can see what step of the lab each student is on and quickly see who is having difficulty.
- Lecturers can give feedback on steps – verifying the self and peer assessments enabling the students to use this feedback to improve their own assessment skills.