Guest post by Andrew Napier, Expert Educator St. John’s Grammar School, South Australia.
Office Mix has captivated me for some time now and I am constantly experimenting with ways that it can be used as an educational tool. St John’s Grammar in Belair SA has set some pretty rock solid foundations as a 1:1 school, students carrying either a Samsung Slate or a Surface Pro 3 to classes. We use Office 365 as a learning management tool and students are increasingly comfortable using OneNote as the tool for storing information, writing notes and gaining feedback. For me, eLearning is the way to go and Office Mix is my one true love.
The following is an outline of how I am using Office Mix to deliver a trial examination to my Year 11 Biology class. They are familiar with Mix and use it themselves to create entertaining presentations that offer the opportunity to assess engagement and learning in their peers. They have a mid-year examination looming and I wanted to experiment with methods they could use in their preparation. My goal was to put an exam onto Office Mix, but also provide feedback and ideas on how to respond to the questions.
The design of the exam Mix needed to achieve a number of conditions: assess higher order thinking skills such as evaluation of experimental design, analysis of data and creation of scientific investigations (See the diagram to the right for my take on these different aspects of learning); provide detailed and immediate feedback to students; and offer options on how they can further develop various skills and biological knowledge.
Using familiar exam procedures that were adapted to suit the format of an Office Mix, students were led through the 3 sections of the exam (multiple choice, short written response and extended written response). Students were required to respond to a question, and the following slide provided an explanation of the concepts behind the correct response, as well as suggestions on how to answer that particular style of question in the future. The hint option for each question provided a reference where students could learn more about a challenging concept before they attempted the question.
I am not ready to use Office Mix for the actual examination. I want to be able to lead students through multiple choice questions without them being given feedback on their responses and I would like to work out the best way to include creation of diagrams, tables and graphs that can be seen in the analytics of the Mix.
I use a Surface Pro 3 and the pen truly is mightier than the keyboard, so if there was an opportunity to use pens when answering questions and a graphing/table construction App, then the world would be just a little bit brighter! I will get there though, and don’t lack the motivation to experiment until I get it just right.
For now though, I have found yet another application for the superb tool that is Office Mix.
To read more posts about Office Mix and more, visit Andrew’s blog here.