6.15

National STEM Learning Centre

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsJane: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the last week of Yeasmin and Jane's Video Diaries. Last week of the MOOC, and it's been another very enjoyable week. We learned lots, and Yeasmin's gonna talk to you now about one of the hinge point questions she's been looking at.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsYeasmin: A lovely hinge point question came through from Damian, one of our course participants. And he tried this out on his Year 9 class. So he also supplemented his hinge point question with Plickers, which I'll show you what he did exactly. I think Plickers is a really, really great tool. So Damian's question was a maths question, which he wasn't too sure about whether it was too difficult for his Year 9 or not. I think it wasn't, and I think it is an excellent question. So let's have a look at what Damian submitted, which by the way, you can find on Padlet. Okay, so this was a question about addition of different distances.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 secondsSo the question says, the distance from planet Pongwak to Fersturn is 6.2 times 10 to the 9 kilometers. And the distance from first Fersturn to Naragan is 8.3 times 10 to the 9 kilometers. Lovely names for the planets, by the way, Damian. Well done there. So what distance is traveled on the journey from Pongwak to Naragan via Fersturn? Okay, so it should be a simple addition but the inclusion of the powers, the index figures, is what's made it tougher than what it might look like at first sight. And Damian's offered the four answers at the bottom for the students to choose from. So let's look at this in a little bit more detail.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsYeasmin: Okay, so of the four answers that Damian's given us, he's looking for answer B as the one that is his preferred answer. So let's look at the actual sums, the maths that's needed to get there. So (6.2 x 10 to the 9) + (8.3 x 10 to the 9) as well. So you've got two terms there which share a common multiplication, both smaller figures being multiplied by 10 raised to the power of 9. So what the students could do here is simply add the 6.2 with the 8.3 and carry over the 10.9 because everything on all sides of the maths is being multiplied by 10.9. So one correct answer is 14.5 x 10 to the 9.

Skip to 3 minutes and 4 secondsBut actually, there is another correct answer, which is the one that Damian went for. That figure can be converted because 14.5 can be divided by 10 to get 1.45.

Skip to 3 minutes and 22 secondsSo that would then raise the power by which 10 is raised to, so 10 to the power of 10. So both of those figures are correct. Now, this is the one Damian is looking for.

Skip to 3 minutes and 37 secondsYeasmin: Okay, so because one of the suggestions made, and I know that Damian commented that actually he'd benefited from suggestions made by others. And he'd already improved answer or his question and answers. Here's another suggestion for something that may be considered, and that is to put the alternative correct answer in as a choice. So that's one thing, just as a by the way. One of the things in this course that this time around, that I've really sort of come to appreciate, the concept of multiple correct answers but maybe at different degrees of correctness, perhaps. So that's a suggested improvement. Damien used Plickers to collect the answers from the students.

Skip to 4 minutes and 30 secondsPlickers is a fantastic tool which is worth mentioning for a few seconds. It's something that's free to download. The way it works is you would give your students cards that look something like this. They each receive a different one. And it's just a way for them to show you what answer they've chosen. And the teacher will have the Plickers program on their mobile phone, take pictures of kids. Fantastic quick way to generate graphs of where the class is at. Really, really good tool, and it's free of charge as well. Okay, so oops, right, I think I'm getting ahead of myself, right. So out of Damian's class, so that's what he found. And he put this up on Padlet as well.

Skip to 5 minutes and 14 secondsBut 5 out of the total students, they got the correct answer. And then there was a spread of students who got incorrect answers. C being the most common misconception, the most common incorrect answer that was given. So the question is what can Damian do about it? What would we do about it, right? So let's unpick this a little bit further, what the meaning of the incorrect answers. And how can they be interpreted?

Skip to 5 minutes and 44 secondsSo the first one, 14.5 x 10 to the 9, okay,

Skip to 5 minutes and 50 secondsit could be argued that the student has just made a simple arithmetic error there, okay? So they recognize that probably 10 to the 9 can stay in the end answer. So if they've made a simple arithmetic error, maybe those students can just be asked to check their answer.

Skip to 6 minutes and 7 secondsYeasmin: Well, that's the correct answer, so I won't discuss that for this second. Okay, so C, we've got 14.5 x 10 to the 18, okay. So let's unpick how that has emerged. And you'll see that this answer, I think, has something in common with D as an incorrect answer. Where the student will have gone for 20 raised to the power of 18, which is incorrect. So what does it mean if students go for those? Oops, all right, I beg your pardon.

Skip to 6 minutes and 53 secondsYeasmin: Okay, so the interpretation of that could be that with the 10 raised to the 18, the students have simply multiplied the two powers of 9. They've just added them together to end up with 18. So what that tells me is that that student perhaps doesn't know what the raising by power does, what that function does. So they've mistakenly added the two 9s together, which, of course, in other types of arithmetic they would do. So they may be confusing it with multiplication for example.

Skip to 7 minutes and 32 secondsAnswer D, 20 raised to the power of 18, the students have made two mistakes. They've added the powers of 9 together and they decided that the 10, figure of 10, is added together as well. So that also tells me that the student maybe doesn't understand what the index figure actually does. So what to do next? Maybe the thing to do next is to actually write out the numbers in full so that students appreciate where those figures come from, okay? So 6.2 times bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Is, 6 200 000 000, and so on, okay. So writing out the numbers in full may support students in the addition, to see what it looks like in long.

Skip to 8 minutes and 25 secondsAnd then converting it back again to a figure with powers, so that they can see where those individual steps came from. That might be the thing to do next. So my suggestion for Damian here, is perhaps with the students who went for A, ask them to check their figures. Students who went for the C and D, they can either be given help cards with the extended answers, or they could have a master class. And those who went for B, that's obvious. They can either do an extension task or move onto the next bit of learning. So I think well done to Damian for sharing that, and keep the hinge point questions coming in.

Skip to 9 minutes and 12 secondsReally, really lovely to see that question there. So,

Skip to 9 minutes and 16 secondsYeasmin: Jane, I know that you've got a hinge point question to share with us that you had a go at yourself.

Skip to 9 minutes and 25 secondsJane: Yes, well, my example's a little bit different from yours Yeasmin. Actually it came up with a little bit of learning that happened with me in response to a telephone conversation we had.

Skip to 9 minutes and 38 secondsAnd it really isn't rocket science. It's about, there is a time and a place to ask a hinge point question. And to be fair, that's what Andrea and Chris and Dylan have been saying throughout the course. And of course, we all know that. But I think it is quite easy to get caught up in the excitement of making hinge point questions. And obviously we do know that to ask a good hinge point question, you need to know that there's a misconception. You need to know that there's a misconception that many children in your class might have. So that's one criteria that needs to be met.

Skip to 10 minutes and 10 secondsAnother one is, just like in the example you've just given, Yeasmin, then you need to be actually doing something about that misconception if you uncover it. And I think, I was perhaps losing sight of that. And I've been reviewing hinge point questions, I've become aware that quite a few questions I look at, I can see, yes, you've identified misconceptions. You know who understands and who doesn't, so what? What are you going to do with that information? Sometimes it almost seems like pointless information. And luckily, I don't have to humiliate any of our participants because I've got an example of my own. Because as always, I generally make a mistake if it's there to be made.

Skip to 10 minutes and 55 secondsOne of my first hinge point questions was based on some work I knew I'd done with my class, and I've mentioned it before, about the snowman's coat? That common misconception if you to put that coat on a snowman he will melt because it will make him warm. And I was thinking, well, that would be a really good topic on a hinge point question. You could filter out who had that misconception and who understood about insulation and knew that, if anything, the coat would stop the snowman from melting, even if it was a slightly warm day. So for quite a while I was working on that trying to perfect the question.

Skip to 11 minutes and 31 secondsAnd it wasn't until we had that conversation, Yeasmin, I just thought, so what? Whatever the answer, I was gonna do the same with my class. I knew that some children would have that misconception, I knew that some wouldn't. We were gonna do some investigations, we were gonna talk about it. Their knowledge was gonna come up in the discussion anyway. There was no point in a hinge point question. They're hard to write, you need to target energies in the right direction. So that was my little nugget of learning from this week. And have you got any last thoughts, Yeasmin?

Skip to 12 minutes and 5 secondsYeasmin: Yeah, I think my last thought can be summed up best by this comment from Nosheen. So she says, the one thing that I've been able to immediately implement in my casual relief teaching days is, the talk in the classroom discussions are not dominated by me. And I think that is so incredibly true and important. And I think that to really make the best out of the AfL techniques that we've all been looking at, we need to hand over the talking to the kids. And we need to get them to express themselves by becoming facilitators and guides ourselves. Otherwise, if we don't hear and see what they have to say, we can't possibly know what they've learned and haven't learned.

Skip to 12 minutes and 47 secondsIt's my, sort of, take home message from that. So I thoroughly enjoyed this course, thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this course. I know that, Jane, you've got a few little messages for us about what's coming up, so I hand back over to you.

Skip to 13 minutes and 2 secondsJane: That would be lovely. And just, you were saying about we won't know what the children think. If we don't let the children talk, they won't know what they think either half the time. So it's just so important. I know it's the message Chris gives very clearly too. So going on to the next slide, just to remind everybody that there's a premium live webinar with Andrea on the 19th of April. Really, really worthwhile if you want to sign up for that. There is a small cost, but she will answer your question if you do and she is excellent, so well worth it.

Skip to 13 minutes and 40 secondsAnd lastly before I say goodbye, just a little apology for a typo that's been got through our steely-eyed administrator.

Skip to 13 minutes and 53 secondsThe word practice has been misspelled throughout. We did think we'd caught them all, but several have got through. So why don't you come back in January and see if we've managed to clear them all up? Cuz I don't know about you, but I'm certainly looking forward to doing the course again and learning a bit more. Thanks for coming along for the ride, it's been great. And happy assessment for learning, good bye.

Optional - Jane & Yeasmin - Video Diaries

Jane & Yeasmin reflect on the preceding weeks.

As an experiment, and inspired by the use of weekly feedback videos used on some courses from Monash University, we’ve invited Jane & Yeasmin to have a go at reflecting on some of the things that have caught their attention in the preceding weeks.

Do anything of the things they mention resonate with you? Use the Comments below to share your thoughts.

You can find links to various posts from Damian (whose HPQ features in this Video Diary) here.

For an alternative view on Plickers et al see this blog post from Dylan:

“Now some people advocate using these questions with electronic voting systems, or ‘classroom clickers’ as they are sometimes called. Those who sell this equipment point out that with such systems, one can record every single student’s response. This seems like a bad idea to me for two reasons. First, if you want to create a classroom where students feel OK about making mistakes, the last thing you should do is record every single one of them in an Excel spreadsheet until the end of time. Second, recording every single student’s response gives the teacher more information than is usable, and is, in any case, unnecessary. What a teacher needs is evidence to support the decision she or he needs to take right now. Not so much “data-driven decision making”, but more like “decision-driven data collection”; collecting the minimum amount of information that you need to make the decision you need to make in a smarter way.”