Join Aaron Quigley for an in-depth discussion in this video Holding students accountable, part of Teaching with Lynda.com.
- The question I am most commonly asked by educators is, "How do I keep students accountable to watching "video based assignments?". Whether using video for a flipped classroom, or assigning Lynda.com material as a digital textbook, it's important to have the end goal in mind. And a good assessment, and accountability strategy, will be critical to successfully using video-based materials. First, I want to stress that it's important to both assess students and hold them accountable. While some people believe that the assessment, and ultimately the grade in the course, should be accountability enough.
That's not always the case. If we can properly motivate students, then they're more likely to achieve their learning outcomes, regardless of the grade they receive from the class. This ties back into building our culture of learning and keeps learning at the center of everything that we do. Okay, let's first explore how to hold students accountable. Now, I have two recommendations here. The first one is pure accountability. This is a great motivator for students. When assigning Lynda.com content as homework, start the next class session with a short, five to ten minutes perhaps, group activity that asks students to apply the learning from the video.
Several things will happen during this time. First, if a student didn't watch the video, they will not be able to fully participate, and they will quickly understand the importance of what proper preparation looks like for your class. Second, as the learners work in groups, they will have an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings in learning and refresh their memories through discussion with other learners. This moves the learning from simple comprehension recall, to application and synthesis of ideas. Even in an online class, you can simulate this pure accountability by using discussion threads and groups, which is a common feature of most learning management systems.
While it may be unreasonable to start every class you ever teach with this kind of activity, making it a part of the first few lessons that integrate Lynda.com material, can set a tone for how students should be using the video lessons. The second recommendation I have for holding students accountable, is to encourage active participation while watching a Lynda.com course. There are several features built right into the Lynda.com website that help move learners from passive viewers to active participants, which will help create motivation for students completing the learning. Let's take a look at a couple of the features you can encourage learners to use.
So here I've navigated to the Design the Web: Creating a Sortable Table course. This course provides us a great example of how we can help get students to be more active learners as they watch Lynda.com content. Many of the Lynda.com courses have exercise files. The exercise files are an opportunity for students to download iterative processes of what's being taught, to open that file up, and to follow along with that author. We can access the exercise files by clicking on downloads and then choosing exercise files. Now, the exercise files will allow students to create the exact thing that the author's creating.
One thing that I highly recommend, is if you're going to have students using the exercise files and then turning them in, ask students to create a variation of what the author's created. For example, in this particular course, the author's creating a sortable table. And the table has a variety of information in it as well as some stylistic things that are happening through CSS. If you ask your students to create this table using their own information and their own design, you can be sure that they actually did follow along with what the author was saying, and that they're demonstrating not only their ability to do this skill, but also some related skills.
Now, in addition to encouraging students to use the exercise files, I also encourage students to always use the notebook. The notebook, which we've already referenced in this course, is an opportunity for students to take notes as they move throughout a Lynda.com course. And this is available on all courses. So, even if the course doesn't have exercise files, students can interact with it by taking notes. For example, I do know that in this particular course, we have to have a thead tag for the particular plugin to work. So I'll just put, thead tag needed for the plugin to work.
When I'm done taking a note, all I have to do is hit Enter, and that note's going to be automatically created underneath the chapter that I've been watching. It's gonna be timestamped to the exact moment I was at in this particular video. And if I hover on the icon, I can see the name of the video that I was watching. At the end of watching a course, one way to hold students accountable, is to have them send you their notes that they took. And they can do that simply by clicking on the export icon. They're exporting this as a Microsoft Word, PDF, or Text file and emailing it to you, or they can even create a Google doc version of this that they share with you.
Using these built-in website features are a great way to make sure students are actually watching the content you've assigned to them, and they'll also allow you to look for gaps in the knowledge so that you can address any misunderstandings that may have taken place.
Use the knowledge checks and Lynda.com's built-in note-taking tool to practice what you've learned and remember ideas for your own teaching practice.
- Finding courses in the Lynda.com library
- Refreshing student skills
- Extending learning with a flipped classroom
- Supplementing Lynda.com training with your own videos
- Increasing digital skills
- Mapping curriculum to skills
- Creating learning playlists
- Assessing student learning
- Adding Lynda.com content to Canvas and Moodle