#higher-ed, e-guides, quizlet

Some education thoughts of the week

It was a busy week and today I was in three different meetings about teaching-learning. The first was about electronic study guides and we discussed a number of issues:

  • pdf-paper-behind-glass type electronic guides vs. full-scale interactive electronic guides, 
  • what do students need, 
  • what can lecturers provide, 
  • it may help to go green and save paper, but will it save money, and
  • do we have the IT infrastructure? 

All of these are relevant issues, but for me the key is to get more lecturers to buy into the blended-learning model. If you are not flipping your classroom, an electronic guide will just be something that you are forced to developed (hopefully using some template!) and it won’t be used properly for learning.

In the School we had a nice session on assessment, talking specifically about essay questions and papers and the memo’s and marking rubrics for those. I learned that I have to go and have a look at Bloom’s taxonomy and the action verbs again. A big word of thanks to Dr Inge Venter of Academic Support Services for her time.

Finally I also started playing with Quizlet. I hope that the first years will start using it and create a resource for studying the basic concepts of introductory Economics. Have a look at these (in Afrikaans):


blogs, Economics, social media

Chalk dust to star dust

Tomorrow I am speaking at UP’s departmental seminar and quickly want to share the slides here. I really hoped that Manoel warned everyone that it is not going to be about serious research. For a while now I have been thinking about how South Africa’s academic economists use social media and I finally have a presentation. I also have a short questionnaire that I hope they will complete. If it goes well, I will go on the road and bring it to your school or department.

ECON111, EkonoomTV, flipped classroom, SONA2013

Another busy week taking names and flipping classrooms

It has been another busy week and I am giving up on reading through all the SONA, Oscar and meteorite tweets. I have a few things to post here to the blog.

If you are interested in the flipped ECON classroom videos, I have three of those on Chapter 2 of Mohr & Fourie:

And I have two posts on the State of the Nation Address at the School’s blog:

On Monday I am speaking at the Tuks seminar series and hope that everyone will be as excited as I am about the topic: Chalk dust to star dust – How social media can benefit your research. I’ll post the slides tomorrow or on Sunday.

#higher-ed, flipped classroom

Flipping ECON, chapter 1

This afternoon was the first of my flipped ECON111 lectures and I though it went quite well. The video was uploaded unto eFundi two days before and viewed 139 times by lunch time. The English version on YouTube had 2 views.

To start off the class I showed the video and then we worked through a few multiple choice questions. Hopefully I will have those on the Quiz system next week and then students can answer them before class on their mobile phones. Today we used the old-school show of hands. In cases where every option had some votes I first gave them the opportunity to explain their answer to a neighbour and then vote again. This was followed with some explanation from my side.

I still want us to spend some time making outlines or mind maps of a chapter’s content in class, but I first have to book a document camera for our room. Depending on the topic, I would like to add some group work and a debate to the MCQ-Q&A part.

It is way to early to judge success, but I enjoyed it.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

ECON111, EkonoomTV, flipped classroom

Flipping the ECON classroom

I started class with my ECON111 group this morning and I am excited. There are some big plans going in – I am going to try and “flip” the classroom.

This is a familiar term to those of you who are out there reading #edchat #flipped blog posts. The idea is to turn the whole thing on its head:

  • I am making short little videos explaining the stuff that I would typically have lectured about. Students can watch these as preparation for the contact session.
  • Then they answer a few multiple choice questions before hand, hopefully on their mobile phones, and I have an idea who has prepared and how prepared they are.
  • Finally they come to class, but not for a lecture, but for work: working through problem sets, drawing the graphs, discussing the issues.

I have the video for chapter 1 done in Afrikaans and it is on eFundi (our LMS). I want to make English versions as well and will have those up on YouTube. I’ll share here.

classroom backchannel, econedlink, mobile learning, SoTL

This week’s highlights: #EdTech

It has been a busy week and the classes have not even started! The highlight of the week was a blended learning workshop that I attended on campus. It was all about how to incorporate the use of technology in the learning experience: before class, in class, afterwards and also during assessment. I wrote a whole post about it on the Scholarship of Teaching Learning blog (Afrikaans only). The ECON111 lecturers also had a look at a demonstration of the Quiz system. It is a web-based platform that the NWU has developed to allow for in-class feedback from students on their mobile phones. Some of us are hoping to use Quiz, or the app Socrative, this semester.

In the spirit of teaching-learning I have also stumbled upon some new resources this week:

Finally, I am hoping to make a first video recording for next week’s ECON111 class somewhere over the weekend. I’m planning to add an audio explanation to my PPT slides using Explain Everything on the iPad. But first I have to wait for the dog to take a nap and the neighbours to finish mowing the lawn. I’ll post here as soon as my ECON-tv is launched.