“Just what I’d been looking for…”

Overview

SG Drama Glow Group. Click to enlarge.

SG Drama Glow Group. Click to enlarge.

Glenwood High School in Fife, with a roll of 860 pupils and with 90 teaching staff, has seen a significant increase in the use of Glow over the last six months. By the end of the year, around 75% of staff and pupils had active accounts and in an average week over 200 pupils were using Glow during school hours.

The cookbook, “Glowing across the curriculum at Glenwood High School“, describes how a number of staff from different departments, have been using Glow to enhance learning and teaching.

In this cookbook we focus on the work of one teacher, Clare Todd, and how she uses Glow Groups with each of her Drama classes. In the Recipe section, video clips show how you can replicate Clare’s use of surveys for self-evaluation.

Context

In January 2011, a number of Glow training courses were run in Fife and staff from eight secondary schools were invited to attend. At Glenwood, volunteers were sought from across the school and 14 participated in the training. Most of the sessions offered were one-day Glow Basics training, which covered how to create a curricular Glow Group to support learning with a specific class. At the end of the day’s session, staff had a Glow Group ready to go and a good idea of how they wanted their pupils to use it. The aim for many of the staff was initially to upload revision documents in preparation for prelims and for pupils to be able to use discussion boards or forums to ask questions or look for help.

Homework dropbox. Click to enlarge.

Homework dropbox. Click to enlarge.

Drama teacher, Clare Todd, attended the training having been put forward as the representative for her department. She comments that she “was really excited when I first heard about Glow. It was exactly what I’d been looking for.” What Clare wanted was a collaborative area where pupils could find learning resources, use forums to discuss their work, hand-in homework and use surveys to evaluate their learning. While she didn’t have the skills to create her own website, she could immediately see the potential for Glow to deliver what she was needed.

Clare first created a Drama Glow Group open to all pupils in the school. The Group showcases current work, with videos of recent trips, photos of class productions and discussion boards where pupils can post comments. All pupils can interact in this Glow Group and get excited about what they might be involved in as they progress through the school.

Clare Todd: Drama Glow Groups – part 1 (7:14) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

Next Clare created a Glow Group for each year group, with separate pages for each teaching group. This structure allows her to upload materials appropriate for each class, guiding pupils in their learning. In the Standard Grade Glow Group, for example, there are links to theatre review websites, discussion boards where questions are set for homework, and a spreadsheet where pupils assess themselves against grade-related criteria.

The Documents area of each Glow Group has proved particularly useful. Learning resources are uploaded, so that pupils have access to all the materials, such as the course handbook, from home.

As a number of colleagues in other departments have also done, Clare has created a homework web part, where pupils can submit work for review. This has proved very successful in encouraging pupils to complete their homework, and in addition it allows Clare to monitor the progress of draft pieces before final submission. Clare gives feedback either within the web part or in more detail on the pupil’s document which is then returned to them. Permissions on the web part are set so that while Clare can see everyone’s work, pupils can see only their own.

Clare Todd: Drama Glow Groups – part 2 (2:29) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

Survey questions. Click to enlarge.

Survey questions. Click to enlarge.

Survey results. Click to enlarge.

Survey results. Click to enlarge.

With many of her classes Clare has used surveys for self-evaluation exercises. The surveys are quick to create, easy for the pupils to respond to and, as the data is automatically collated, pretty painless for the teacher to review. For multiple-choice type questions, such as “When working in a group, I contributed imaginative and sensible ideas”, a bar chart provides a valuable overview of the responses. For free-text questions, such as “What were your main strengths in Drama?”, the bar chart view is less useful, but viewing pupils’ individual responses provides excellent personal feedback. When first experimenting with the survey options, Clare had hoped that it would provide a means of creating vocabulary tests, but having been introduced to Glow Learn by one of her colleagues, now feels that would be a more effective tool for assessments and tracking progress.

Ingredients

For each year group Clare required:

* a Glow Group

* the relevant pupils given Contributor membership of the group

Recipe

Having created each Glow Group, Clare has added many features, such as discussion boards, video clips, surveys and a homework web part. The video clips below focus on the use of surveys and show to replicate each part of the process from creating a survey to viewing pupils’ responses. A cookbook about Clare’s colleague, Kayleigh Brown, shows how to create and use the homework web part.

* How to create a survey (4:15) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

* How to add the Survey web part to a Glow Group (1:54) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

* How to change the permissions on the Survey web part (2:37) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

* How pupils respond to a survey (1:44) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

* How to view the results of a survey (2:42) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

Impact

From the outset Clare was impressed with how Glow would support her learners and it has lived up to expectations in day-to-day usage in the classroom. She’s already looking ahead to the next stages in her own learning and progression, ready to explore the potential benefits of using the assessment and tracking facilities offered by Glow Learn.

The use of Glow at Glenwood has grown very rapidly over just a few months, not just with Drama classes. Glow is becoming well embedded in the curriculum: it’s not viewed as an adjunct, but a tool to be used, when appropriate, to enhance learning and teaching.

In the video clip below, Dave Dawson, DHT at Glenwood, explains the progress that has been made.

Dave Dawson: uptake and usage of Glow at Glenwood (1:35) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

The challenge now is to continue to develop. In the new academic year, each department has been asked to have a Glow representative and for Glow to be included in development plans.

Dave Dawson: next stages of Glow development at Glenwood (0:36) “Just what I’d been looking for…”

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