Using Carousel for remote learning
Obviously, in an ideal world, you’d get a little more than zero days’ notice of a sudden switch to remote learning for all schools. But here in England (where Carousel is based) we‘re not living in an ideal world, and so teachers around the country are frantically adjusting their teaching strategies to suit the new “locked down” normal.
To help, we thought we’d write a blog summarising some of the ways Carousel can help with remote learning. The blog assumes some knowledge of how Carousel works, but if you’re a newbie, fear not: our help site has loads of resources and videos to get you up and running. Huge thanks to our ever-awesome community of 4,000+ users who contributed thoughts and ideas.
1. Use a quiz as a lesson starter.
Let’s call this the “classic” approach, as used by @purplechemist, who refers to Carousel co-founder Adam’s Retrieval Roulettes. Typically, this might involve creating a short (5–10 question) quiz that’s relevant to what will be covered in the lesson.
Alternately, you might choose to set a 10 question quiz with 5 questions relating to do a “retrieval starter, as favoured by @jmcdougallwelch:
We also like combining both approaches by setting a 10 question starter quiz with 5 questions relating to the lesson and 5 harking back to previous topics. This way you make sure you build in some spaced repetition to your routine with the minimum of hassle.
2. Set a pre- and post- quiz.
@DanJRich uses Carousel both before a unit (to establish prior knowledge) and at the end (to see what students have learnt). We like this approach — and Carousel’s DUPLICATE QUIZ feature makes it easy to reset an identical (or similar) version of an earlier quiz.
3. Set weekly task (in lesson or as a homework)
Adam blogged recently about how Carousel can help you to set meaningful homeworks (and also about how homework historically has just generally been a bit rubbish). One useful tidbit in the blog is the importance of establishing quizzing as a routine with your class: “By the time we are a couple of weeks in they know what to do, meaning they are less likely to fail to follow instructions or give up after a couple of attempts.”
@Dr_Castelino is also a fan of this approach. She sets a weekly task which combines flashcard study using Carousel’s “REVISE” feature with a short (5–10 question) quiz:
4. Discuss difficulties
While quizzes are great for asynchronous learning (e.g. self-paced lessons and homeworks), Carousel’s analysis features also give you rich information for in-lesson discussions, whether you’re doing that via video streaming or using the chat features of your learning platform. @CharleAugust looks for the Carousel questions where students struggled the most to kickstart an in-class discussion:
5. Stretch students with more complex questions
In our experience, quite a few Carousel users also have experience of using Microsoft and Google tools for Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). And that’s great — we’re big fans of MCQs, particularly for diagnosing understanding of new content, as we blogged about here.
At the same time, Carousel’s focus on short and medium length answers will help you if you want to stretch students with more demanding questions. @basnettj has written a whole blog on this subject for Carousel which is going live in the next few days, so keep an eye out for that — as you’ll see from the following tweet, she’s an enthusiastic user of more open-ended questions.
One neat aspect of Carousel is that students self-mark their answers before teachers moderate, so you needn’t fear the workload implications of this kind of question.
6. Set up links to flashcards for revision and retrieval practice
It’s very hard (and often not advisable) to have students in “live” lessons all day right now — particularly when students may not have the devices of bandwidth for streaming. That means a larger part of the school day is self-directed. Revision flashcards can help fill these gaps, as @jennifermcclun4 has found.
Carousel’s REVISE features can be activated when setting a quiz, and can play an important part in setting work for these asynchronous stretches. Even if you don’t have a big question bank of your own making, there are now over 400 question banks across 28 subjects in the Carousel Community, so hopefully you’ll find one that’s suitable for your classes’ revision needs.
7. Mark work together in a remote lesson.
A final suggestion from Adam: “Sometimes it can be worth independently letting students mark their answers one-by-one during the lesson, and then looking at the analysis together. Alternately you can can go through the quiz question-by question and cold-call students — e.g. ‘Read your answer for me, David’ — as a basis for discussion and embedding understanding.”
8. Use Carousel in conjunction with Oak
Here’s Adam again:
To summarise, set a Carousel quiz with REVISE MODE turned off to establish how well the concepts of an Oak lesson were understood. Then, after you’ve addressed any misconceptions, set the exact same quiz one week later with REVISE MODE turned on to ensure that the knowledge has been embedded. You can keep setting retakes for students who score 70% or less.