Pippa Sutcliffe

Pippa Sutcliffe

I work in assessor and teacher training as a freelance consultant.

Location UK

Activity

  • Just to reiterate all the thanks for this course, which has been so useful, and I will certainly continue to spread the word about it and about the Learning Designer tool, which I think is fantastic.

  • All good wishes to you, @YANANTIAN in the current situation in Shanghai

  • The analysis makes sense and, having worked on a blended course for several years now, the amount of prep work definitely falls away. A few points though:
    - after year 1, we've found you want to make more changes, but then it settles down. The first iteration is usually the most uncertain - useful, but probably not your best as you find your way. So I'd say...

  • I agree, and also that it takes time for a teacher to become confident in just one new software, let alone a number of them. There is a real risk that for some, online learning *could* become just: watch this video; do this exercise; watch this video; do this exercise (as my son experienced during the school closures). I understand why it happened, but not all...

  • I agree, this seems to make such complete sense that you wonder why everyone isn't doing it; then you look at teachers' reality and understand. I'm not sure what the answer is, as I don't work in this kind of organisation any more, and am lucky enough to work with mostly very small teams where we are all allowed to express our opinions.

  • I agree with many of the previous comments. It's definitely valuable to share designs, although I've found it a bit tricky (so far) to identify which designs are worth investigating. I need to explore the Learning Designer tool more (time is always the enemy). But yes, I will return.
    I believe that sharing across sectors/subjects is very valuable. We are (I...

  • I agree, @LeeYenTay - it doesn't make sense for us to continually be creating something 'new' (which of course isn't new) if we can make intelligent use of something that's been tried and tested before, and then adapt and mould it to suit our context.

  • Thanks @JingTao! We're a bit limited on how many live sessions we can run - students are not all in the same time zone, so these can't run the risk of excluding people. I like the idea, though! I'll suggest it to the authors of the relevant units.

  • Could you expand? Most automated assessment is a variety of mcq in some way, so students aren't required to produce an answer. There are very few tools I know of which can assess answers produced by students (Cambridge English Write and Improve is one designed for English language learners https://writeandimprove.com/)

  • I have adapted the 'developing a concept' lesson plan to my context.
    https://v.gd/yNwM1o
    We are a fully online course, and mostly asynchronous. I have changed the quiz activity slightly to suit the concept and also the context, as we're mostly interested in applying the concept rather than understanding it to its full complexity.

  • Hi @AJITHKUMARCHELOTE I looked at your design. I really like the idea of personal recorded feedback on each text (but I do wonder how long this might take the teacher!) What seems to be missing to me is that there's no peer review opportunity, and I think this would be a perfect plan for incorporating that. I don't know what type of text you would use this...

  • I agree that the peer assessment process has huge potential for both the reviewer and the reviewee. I think there's also very useful life skill that it helps to develop: that of being able to give constructive feedback, of course, but also being able to accept and respond to feedback in a positive way. I think that students need some support/training in how to...

  • Yes, I completely agree. The tools must be simple to use and access for the students as well as the tutor.
    For the course I'm working on, the output is all textual, so for us, Google Docs is great: students can post their draft, and others can comment directly using the comments tool, which notifies them directly in their inbox. This mode of working (knowing...

  • We have used discussion questions as a means for formative assessment, particularly for highly conceptual courses where the exploration and critiquing of ideas is the core learning. The tutor monitors the discussions and picks up on ideas/themes and asks questions to encourage the students to probe their ideas further.

  • I am finding the course really useful. I have been working in education for over 30 years now, although I don't work in a traditional classroom any more. As I come from the (fairly progressive) field of English language teaching, a lot of the ideas presented in the framework are familiar, although not exactly the same, and I haven't seen them presented in...

  • Plenty of change of pace and focus, and a very clear purpose. Students need to understand why they're being asked to do something, and how it relates to the aims of the course or lesson. I'm lucky in that in my context, motivation is not the issue (as they've all chosen to come on the course), but time is, and we need to motivate them to choose to find that...

  • @JohnI I don't know Hot Potatoes - thanks for that

  • @JohnI I would agree with you, that time taken is factor in achievement, and 2 students with the same score but very different time taken are displaying different levels of language proficiency - I can't say whether this is the case in other disciplines. Have you heard Malcolm Gladwell's 2 podcasts on the LSAT? This is exactly the kind of test you describe -...

  • Really interesting comments here, thank you!
    I have probably used a few of these, in different guises. I think currently my preferred one is 7a, where we get students to start thinking about the concept in some way (it isn't always a problem to solve). Often it might be applying a theory to their own experiences, to see how it fits, or doesn't, and then...

  • I'm very interested to read your comments on mcqs, @JohnI, as this is the field I work in (assessment, albeit language assessment not engineering). You're quite right that there is a huge amount that can be achieved through mcqs, athough of course they do have their limitations as well. MCQs are very difficult to write well, but much loved by awarding...

  • I agree with you Linda. It's very easy to get caught up in a lot of input, fearing that students won't complete activities without the motivation of being in a classroom. The significant point for me (as has been pointed out) is that the activities need to have a clear expectation attached, or some kind of relevant feedback process, to maintain that...

  • Time is certainly a factor; for me, this course coincides with me building a new course myself, so I can use the process to contribute to that.
    I think it can be hard for people to recognise the pay-off of peer reviews, especially when they're time poor. I think it's worthwhile, as it definitely improves your own practice, but if I was working on something...

  • Most of the training I lead is for work done on documents, which are then shared. However, something we've already thought about is to get an expert in the field to carry out the skill we're teaching (writing a test question), while they talk through their thinking processes. The whole process would be recorded to form the input. The students could have tasks...

  • Thanks Diana. I guess for my case it depends on how these activities are intended to be delivered - we don't use many synchronous sessions, so some of the designs I've looked at don't adapt very well for our context. But I get that we're not the target audience for this tool.

  • Did you find some good ideas among other contributions?
    I looked at the plan for 'Developing a newsfeed item' and found this adapted very well to one of the topics I need to prepare. I add one additional step to accommodate the nature of our learning environment, but otherwise it was quick and easy to do. My plan is...

  • I found I had to adapt the design quite a lot, for a fully asynchronous session. But it was useful and very easy to use. It made me think through how to use different tools, and now I have a full plan ready to go.
    It helped me to think about the different activities and also the timing of the session, and how to balance different phases of the session, and...

  • @StephenNealon I've reviewed your design - well done! It's always easy to watch an expert using a tool; not so much when you have to use it yourself. Some questions:
    In the first step, you've labelled it Read Watch Listen, but I wonder whether it's more of a practice stage, being a quiz? This would help to balance out the learning types in your plan.
    In the...

  • I am thinking differently about the idea of interactions with online learning. With adult professional development, the situation is slightly different because they are all fitting studying in around their work, so synchronous sessions are not so easy to plan. But I'm thinking about how to work these in using padlet or other online tools.
    I find the...

  • Yes, me too. The message is that 'my account is not enabled to access the form'

  • I would agree, for young people and children I don't think online learning full-time is sustainable. Even for the adults I work with, there is a hankering to meet each other in person. It is much harder work to motivate and maintain the motivation without f2f contact.

  • My main field of work is assessment, in which the peer review process is used extensively in order to achieve good quality assessment items. So I'm very enthusiastic about the value of peer review, both for the writer and for the person who's reviewing. Both sides can learn immensely from this process, and improve their own practice. I agree with Lee Yen Tay's...

  • I'm coming at this course from a slightly different perspective, as I only work on online courses, so am looking at improving that practice rather than transferring from f2f. So if we take the LOs (from the top right of the plan) as:
    a) Using the concept of learning design to think through what students need to learn, and therefore what it takes to teach....

  • @AndrewK Right click, Andrew, and open in new tab - that's the solution! I agree - best practice is to set links to open in new tab, if it's available on the platform

  • I have a question about the video. On the slide shown at about 4min20, which compares the 2 plans (RA vs Correlation), the RA plan has the 2nd stage labelled as 'Discuss' (blue), while this is lilac in the Correlation plan (Practice). Did this happen automatically on the platform, and if so, why? Or is it an accident (and both should be discuss)?

  • @JohnI Thanks John. The only way we've found round this is to have multiple observers hopping in and out of rooms. In some ways it's been good that our students feel they can talk without worrying that the tutor is listening, but you definitely miss out on eavesdropping, such an important classroom skill. This sounds like it might be useful

  • I'm in the process of setting up a new online course (adult training). This is a really interesting idea that we can incorporate into the course by encouraging the participants to create their own groups - these will also have to be online in most cases. Would you see any issues with that?

  • @AJITHKUMARCHELOTE Wow, that sounds like quite a challenge. Did you manage to get things up and running at all? Congratulations on all your hard work.

  • Yes, I agree. I work in training adults, rather than teaching, and most of it is online already. But this is very helpful to make me think through how to improve our courses.

  • I'm interested in exploring Talkwall further with our students, as I think it might be a very good way to help them draw out key insights into some of the very abstract topics we explore. We have tried wikis embedded on the VLE before, but unsuccessfully. They find it hard to collaborate at a distance, so I wonder if Talkwall might a) help some of the more...

  • I agree Jill. I really liked James Nottingham's The Learning Challenge https://www.jamesnottingham.co.uk/books/ but I really wish there was more time in classrooms to pursue this.

  • yes, I've been thinking as well about its application to language teaching. I guess also it could be used to make a 'think aloud' video of constructing a paragraph, eg structuring, choosing vocabulary, changing structures, etc. Perhaps also for answering reading comprehension tasks - eg if you have an mcq question, you could show how you eliminate different...

  • Yes, I completely agree with you. It sounds like those students need to learn a bit about respecting other people's privacy.
    No, I didn't get filmed at school either (it was a long time ago!) but I think a lot of kids these days are a lot more used to it and, used respectfully, it shouldn't be invasive or threatening.

  • I can totally see how these ideas work for maths, science etc. I'm not sure how easily they'd apply to ELT, for example, where it's not really as clear cut as this. I would have to give it a try. Also not sure how this would work for the higher level courses I work on. I wonder if anyone has researched it... (off to Google)

  • I have definitely used too much animation/transitions in the past, when these things seemed exciting and new, but didn't really think about whether they added anything at all to the presentation ... I think that is long behind me now.
    The point about not including text on the slide if you're going to explain the image is interesting. The temptation is always...

  • That's interesting, Stuart, because we're told by our institution to use only black/dark font on white/pale backgrounds, which is better for those with visual impairment and some SpLDs. I'd be interested if you find any studies to the contrary!

  • This reminded me of the Naked Scientist Scrapbook videos. Brilliant! that's why they work :)

  • I agree, it seems really hard to get this right. To avoid the redundancy of reading aloud (!), we've gone for bullet points but it seems that they're also not quite right. I need to really think about how our presentations could be improved - I don't think it's as easy as it sounds!

  • Definitely agree with all that's said here, but I do think that some subjects / levels of learning lend themselves more easily to visuals than others. I sympathise with the A Level English teacher below. Our PG course (on an abstract topic) is not always easy to find suitably visuals for, but something to think about definitely as we have a wide range of...

  • I like the idea from dual coding that the narrative is needed alongside the visual, rather than before (or after) it. This is very common in ELT, in fact, but never explained in this way. But it makes sense to transpose it across to other subjects.

  • What is sketchnoting, @SapnaYadav?

  • Key learning point: The SAMR model - I knew about the different purposes to which tech can be put and also the significance of using the tech which fits the pedagogy, but the model is a different way of analysing the use of tech and could help me to think about tech in a different way.
    Case study: I found the case study about giving feedback most interesting,...

  • I agree that there is a lot of pressure to use tech, especially with young people for whom tech is a kind of grail. I will also use the SAMR model as we reevaluate and upgrade the course I work on, as we feel we need to make better use of the tech we have but it absolutely must be in an informed way.

  • I see your point, Peyman, and the school you describe does sound off-putting. I think that, as far as filming students is concerned, there has to be a clear policy in the school, which parents are aware of and signed up to as well as children and teachers. And the policy would absolutely not allow uploading to social media! It's not insurmountable, anyway.

  • I'm not sure I agree that there's an inevitable 'progression' up the model. I think I agree with @ClairePrice that sometimes a piece of tech which allows you to do something completely novel is more worth the effort than something which simply replaces an analogue means which was working perfectly well. I think too much 'substitution' is often what puts the...

  • In my context, the technology isn't a choice, as the course is about 80% delivered online (adult education). So my questions are more, how to get the best use of the technology we have. In fact, this example of a short recorded 'thinking piece' is really helpful!

  • I'm a freelance consultant for education and assessment, mostly in English language teaching. Quite a lot of the work I do is with teachers and writing materials to help them get to grips with using tech with their students. As these teachers could be working anywhere in the world, access is a big issue in how I evaluate materials for use. I don't work...

  • The methods are interesting and certainly reflect good practice. My concern (other than those voiced by others about preparation time) is the pace. While this pace is ideal for dyslexic learners, how many of us have a class of dyslexic learners? We all teach mixed learners, and for those who learn the words quickly, some of these activities will be very slow...

  • I was at university with someone who was extremely bright and creative, but very dyslexic. He introduced me to mindmaps - he did amazingly beautiful ones for his essays - and I've always loved them. I find they help to organise my thoughts (I'm not dyslexic btw). I use them often with students, as I find them really useful to categorise thinking and to find...

  • I've used cuisenaire rods before - you can use it for question forms and negatives, for example. You allocate one colour to the subject, one for the main verb, one for the auxiliary, one for the negative, etc. You start with an affirmative sentence - usually on the floor or somewhere you can lay out the rods so everyone can see. You assign the rods to each...

  • I agree, Jake, though I think that it may not be as easy to do as it seems. As the video points out, course books often introduce question words together, for example. It can be quite hard to separate them out if the course materials then assume that they've already been introduced. It makes sense, but I'm not sure how it would work in practice.

  • I thought it was interesting that there wasn't one clear way - the different learners each cited different techniques, and even one learner was very against rote learning while the last learner clearly used this to overcome his problems with English spelling! Also, some learners are much more aware of the techniques that work for them than others. The overall...

  • I really feel like I'm learning and it's also encouraging me to reflect on teaching in general and how to support all learners effectively. Thank you