Follow Up from Meeting & Effective Technology in PAL Sessions

| 11 Comments

At the last Professional Development Meeting, we discussed how we read and take notes in different subject areas. Near the end, we briefly went over some of the different techniques and strategies to address these issues from the agenda. (As a reminder, here is the agenda.) Choose one technique and describe how you could use it in your PAL Session.

Second, as a warm up to next week's meeting, think about technology in PAL Sessions. UMR is one of few technology-focused universities nationwide and it is an expectation to have both the students and instructors use technology in and outside of class. The technology used in these activities is planned and purposeful, becoming an effective tool to assist in the learning process. As we all know, PAL Sessions often operate differently than a normal class. With the focus on peer learning, the sessions often look like students collaborating with paper and a writing utensil, possibly with their laptop open looking at electronic resources or a website.

How could technology be integrated into a PAL Session in your area? What technology would be conducive to the activities in a PAL Session? How is the technology used is effective and results in a rich learning experience?

11 Comments

Choose one technique and describe how you could use it in your PAL Session.

One reading strategy I could incorporate into my PAL sessions is the 5 word summery. I will make word problems for them, and have them pick out the 5 most important words or values. I think this will also help the students figure out what is significant in the problem. I will also tell them that this would be a good strategy to use while they are reading their notes for the reading quiz the next day, because it will make them focus on the key points.

How could technology be integrated into a PAL Session in your area? What technology would be conducive to the activities in a PAL Session? How is the technology used is effective and results in a rich learning experience?

Technology can be inserted into my PAL session in a few ways. The first way is I could make a practice quiz and send it via e-mail to all of them and tell them it needs to be completed online. This could help them because there are many activities that they have to turn in online, and it does take a while to get used to showing your work online. Also I could make problems that they would need to make graphs for instead of providing the graphs for them. I think that them having to do the graphs themselves will one better prepare them for the exams and quizzes, but I also think that it forces them to think and interact with the problems more. I think that technology can be very useful, and can allow you to do things like make nice graphs. However, it also can be a distraction, so in order to use technology effective you need fully engage all of the students.


One reading strategy that I could use in my sessions is that I could present them with a math word problem and have the students do a five word summary on it before determining the answer. This would help them determine what is important from the word problem and what isn't. I could also have everyone at my session make a word web of the class notes that would include all of the key concepts from the reading and how they relate to each other and other things we have learned. One note taking technique I could use in my PAL session is to review that week’s lecture notes and have the students take notes on it again. For me this is a really helpful technique because I may understand a concept better the second time around and will have a better way of explaining it in my own words.

Technology could easily be integrated into my PAL session because in statistics we do a lot of excel work. For my next PAL session I am going to have practice excel problems for the students to work on. My computer will be hooked up to the projectors and I will e-mail everyone who is attending the session the excel workbook. I think that using technology in this way in the PAL session is not only helpful, but necessary to prepare them for the quizzes and exams. I think that using excel in my PAL sessions results in a learning experience because the students are getting more practice with excel and doing it by themselves, not along with the professor. Another way I can incorporate technology in my PAL sessions is to have example problems on a Google doc that I send out to all of the students that attend my sessions and have them work on them together. In other areas of learning online stimulations might be helpful in PAL sessions (like chemistry) so that the students can see what is actually happening. Any technology that can still connect the students would be helpful in PAL sessions. It’s important that the students are still working and studying together.

For a reading strategy in my sessions I could present them with a math word problem and have the students do a five word summary on it before determining the answer. This would help them determine what is important from the word problem and what isn’t. I could also have everyone at my session make a word web of the class notes that would include all of the key concepts from the reading and how they relate to each other and other things we have learned. One note taking technique I could use in my PAL session is to review that week’s lecture notes and have the students take notes on it again. For me this is a really helpful technique because I may understand a concept better the second time around and will have a better way of explaining it in my own words.

Technology could easily be integrated into my PAL session because in statistics we do a lot of excel work. For my next PAL session I am going to have practice excel problems for the students to work on. My computer will be hooked up to the projectors and I will e-mail everyone who is attending the session the excel workbook. I think that using technology in this way in the PAL session is not only helpful, but necessary to prepare them for the quizzes and exams. I think that using excel in my PAL sessions results in a learning experience because the students are getting more practice with excel and doing it by themselves, not along with the professor. Another way I can incorporate technology in my PAL sessions is to have example problems on a Google doc that I send out to all of the students that attend my sessions and have them work on them together. In other areas of learning online stimulations might be helpful in PAL sessions (like chemistry) so that the students can see what is actually happening. Any technology that can still connect the students would be helpful in PAL sessions. It’s important that the students are still working and studying together.

For a reading strategy in my sessions I could present them with a math word problem and have the students do a five word summary on it before determining the answer. This would help them determine what is important from the word problem and what isn’t. I could also have everyone at my session make a word web of the class notes that would include all of the key concepts from the reading and how they relate to each other and other things we have learned. One note taking technique I could use in my PAL session is to review that week’s lecture notes and have the students take notes on it again. For me this is a really helpful technique because I may understand a concept better the second time around and will have a better way of explaining it in my own words.

Technology could easily be integrated into my PAL session because in statistics we do a lot of excel work. For my next PAL session I am going to have practice excel problems for the students to work on. My computer will be hooked up to the projectors and I will e-mail everyone who is attending the session the excel workbook. I think that using technology in this way in the PAL session is not only helpful, but necessary to prepare them for the quizzes and exams. I think that using excel in my PAL sessions results in a learning experience because the students are getting more practice with excel and doing it by themselves, not along with the professor. Another way I can incorporate technology in my PAL sessions is to have example problems on a Google doc that I send out to all of the students that attend my sessions and have them work on them together. In other areas of learning online stimulation's might be helpful in PAL sessions (like chemistry) so that the students can see what is actually happening. Any technology that can still connect the students would be helpful in PAL sessions. It’s important that the students are still working and studying together.

One reading strategy I could use during my PAL sessions would be showing a question on the board using the projectors and asking students to underline what portions of the questions they think is important. By being able to know what is important in a word problem and being able to understand and pinpoint the question that is being asked will be essential when trying to find an answer. I could also ask the students to create concepts maps using the vocab words they have been introduced to and writing the relationship of the concepts on the lines that connect them.
There are multiple ways I could incorporate technology during my PAL sessions. The first way is using Google Docs wisely. I like using Google docs because it allows me to be flexible and change things. It also allows for me to share with the students the document so that they can use the document anytime and revisit it as many times as they want. The other way of incorporating technology during my PAL session is the use of the projectors in the classroom. For example, when working on Excel sheets in statistics, students tend to get lost very quickly so a good use of technology would be having a student who already knows how to do the activity, plug into the projectors and share their knowledge with their peers. This way, the students can have the material presented in another way from one of their fellow peers

Choose one technique and describe how you could use it in your PAL Session.
I would use the Cornell Note-taking System to help the students really understand the concepts and learn exactly why something happens instead of just knowing how to do it. I would give them some problem types and have them solve it and then reflect upon their struggles and go over the concept behind it. I think this would be very helpful.

How could technology be integrated into a PAL Session in your area? What technology would be conducive to the activities in a PAL Session? How is the technology used is effective and results in a rich learning experience?
I implemented technology in my last session by emailing out an excel document with practice problems and some definitions for us to work through. it might also help to project my laptop screen onto the big screens to make sure everyone can see what is going on which can be hard on the whiteboards. Technology can make it so everyone has the right tools at their fingertips and can learn on their own how to solve difficult problems that would be harder without it.

One strategy I would use would have to be the basic problem solving from the handbook. Since I am an Organic Chemistry pal, most of the material is visualization and drawing structures. I would pick some problems in the textbook and write them all over the boards around the room. I would have each student do one and after they are all done I would let them explain how and why the got such answer. This way the students can learn from each other rather than having that mindset that the teacher or pal will always be right beside you in an exam or something. Also, it would benefit those who are telling the students how they got their answer for a specific problem learn the material thus making it stuck in their head.

I incorporated technology in my last session by creating a jeopardy game as a review for a quiz that the students had the next day. I utilized the projections in the classroom to execute my plan. Technology, to me, makes it possible for everyone to engage in the activities, whether it be a clicker question or a problem on a slide. In organic chemistry especially, the professors utilize the clicker questions a lot so that the students are engaged in the learning experience. If I had access to making clicker questions, I would definitely use that in my pal sessions. My jeopardy game actually got all the students involved and made the material look easier to them. Of course, I had them discuss the question and answer for each category that we did. This way, the students would get involved. By the end of my pal session, there wasn't any student who did not understand the material. I was very happy about that and relieved that my game actually worked in getting them to understand the material a little better and less difficult

I think one technique that I could incorporate into my PAL session is the SQ3R. I think this may be the best technique for math because it allows students to hopefully understand a topic better. Ultimately, I want students to be able to help each other. If someone has a question, I want someone to lean over and give them some advice. If that still doesn't help, then I can go over and address their concern. I can then bring up the situation in front of everyone and see if other people have the same problem.

In my opinion, math (especially calculus) is still a subject done primarily on paper. However, one way technology can be integrated into a PAL session is by projecting story problems or other examples onto the board. Students could then go up to the board and highlight important information and then work through it as a group. Everyone has a computer and most bring them to the session. This allows me to be able to make an excel spreadsheet and share it with people so that they can work on it and ask when they have questions. Finally, I can always make surveys on Moodle to test their understanding of a concept. I know that the PAL did this last year, and it is very similar to how many professors make clicker questions and have them answer in class to test whether we are processing what they teach.

A technique that I might use for my Pal sessions would be the visual concept. This would be an easy concept to use towards Organic Chemistry since the majority of the information is visual. Drawing out diagrams, molecules, and concepts would really help with the overall understanding of the module. I always found drawing out information to be the best way to comprehend the subject matter.
I actually already have incorporated technology into my Pal sessions. I find that creating study guides with practice problems and major points on a Google doc, and sharing that with the students attending the session is very helpful. That way they can download the document and edit however they wish and comment on things that they may not fully understand. I also find the projectors helpful for pulling up visual things like the periodic table. All in all, I think technology is a very helpful tool for Pal sessions.

A technique that I could use in my PAL sessions is the SQ3R. This seems to be very compatible with math courses. I could encourage surveying the material beforehand and bringing questions to the session. If they cannot answer the questions themselves by going over and reading the notes again, then we could work through them together. Then doing practice problems we can really study the problems and then review everything we've gone over at the end of the session.

The technology I could use for my PAL session is google docs. This is an easy way to share a document. I could send a link to the doc with the practice problems we went over in the session and add the answers so that students could go over them again in order to review for quizzes or the exam.

During a PAL session, I would implement the basic problem solving technique as well as the SQ3R technique coupled with student-sharing-of-knowledge. I think it is helpful for students to be able to apply their critical thinking skills as well as be able to explain how they applied such reasoning in order to solving a problem. This strategy not only reinforces the learning of the individual student, but the overall group as well. Ideally, the students who may not have known how to solve the problem originally will learn how to approach such a problem in the future after listening to their peers’ explanations.

In order to encourage this type of learning, I like to present example problems using a projector or PowerPoint slides on the large screens around the room (depending on what is available). This form of technology aids in creating a rich learning environment in many ways. For one, utilizing the screens around the room to project course material and practice problems increases visibility for the students. Additionally, this kind of material aids in learning due to its ability to increases the accessibility of outside resources pertinent to class. If students find the slides or online resources presented in a help session helpful, I am able to easily forward them those resources for their own personal use.

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This page contains a single entry by brigh042 published on September 18, 2013 11:17 AM.

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