eAssessment conference : Using Padlet with a large audience
Yesterday I had the privilege of providing one of the keynote presentations at the eAssessment conference in Scotland
This presentation started with an introduction to Learning analytics, followed by a critical eye on using learning analytics on VLE engagement data. The guts of the talk however outlined how the data related to assessments collected from three different projects within DCU and then analysed with the aim of improving the student learning experience. Each project has two common threads; making life easier for the lecturer and improving the experience of the student.
The response from the audience was very positive and afterwards I received a lot of positive comments about our modifications to Moodle and how we have used them to capture data on assessments and how we follow up on the data with specific student interventions. More details will follow in the coming weeks on the various Moodle modifications but in the meantime I just want to share my thoughts on yesterdays experience.
It was my second time attending this conference and will certainly not be my last. Organised by Kenji Lamb, David Walker and the rest of the team at Dundee University this conference is free to attend thanks to the sponsorship from a wide variety of stakeholders in eAssessment. With close to 300 participants the event offers a great opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. From my perspective I had big shoes to fill because the keynotes from last year were the amazing Catherine Cronin and Helen Keegan so I much admit I was a little daunted when I initially got the invite.
I hope to write a paper over the coming weeks on the content of my presentation so this post will instead concentrate on my reflection of the engaging with the audience. I decided to introduce the use of Padlet.com to help engage the audience. I must admit what sounded good in theory didn’t go as well as I wanted in practice. The main benefit that I got from using Padlet was I got more than 30 audience members asking questions or making comments on Padlet. This is something that I feel would not have happened if I just asked people to raise their hand if they had a question. I only realised this morning the additional benefit, I now have a record of all of the questions/comments made during the question, which I now can follow up at my leisure -http://padlet.com/markglynn/cxbh3efm9e0z
There were two main drawbacks both of which with the benefit of hindsight could be easily fixed:
- There were several comments posted where people obviously made mistakes, typing only their name with no comment or posting unfinished sentences. So the next time that I use Padlet I will spend more time providing instructions in advance.
- The second drawback was that as the participants were all posting comments simultaneously, a lot of comments overlapped one another making it difficult for me to refer to during the presentation. Next time I will just ask for a volunteer in the audience to rearrange the comments every few minutes so they are easy to read.
It was an interesting experiment that I will repeat in the future and one that I only realise now how useful it was.