Hello all, I hope you are hanging in there like myself until the semester. I apologize for my late posts, so here it goes..
Melissa and I had decided to collaborate on an ACT wiki guide for our students from her CSZ 099 and my CSE 099 course. Our goal was to get the students to have a more active role in their learning through inter-group collaboration and on to a cross class collaboration. Their task was to research and create a test guide page based on the type of question their group was assigned (Main Idea, Inference, Detail, Vocabulary, Not/Except). Melissas group would be doing the same. From here their work would be posted and peer edited across the two classes in order to create one page for the respective question type.
From the beginning it was difficult to get the basics of the activity started i.e. the research. My objectives for my course outside of this activity made it difficult to allot time for research for the students. I also felt that moving away from a basic skills approach in my teaching didnt help to solidify the concepts and strategies associated with answering these types of questions. Now I know what your thinking..is that not the point of integrating technology so that the students can communicate without being in the classroom..Yes. However they were not. The beginning of May was full of pulling teeth and the repetition of requests for students to begin a rough draft of their work despite due dates. I also spent time assigning practice tests designed with the intent ofanswering these types of questions so students could have a better idea of what they should be researching. More stressful than anticipated. I began to realize that although we had decided to view my class as the "stronger" group overall, Melissas class had a greater advantage over mine due to their familiarity with the exam and the types of questions because they have already taken the exam more than once. Her students seemed more eager to complete the assignment than mine.