Staff profiles

Project lead
Dr Shannan Maisey
Position
Former Lecturer
School/area
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Faculty/area
Science
Team members
Dr Dino Spagnoli

Project outline

Within the context of chemistry laboratories and practical skills attainment, this projects purpose is to propose a concept trial using the UWA Learning Management System (LMS), email and QR codes to provide instant video feedback to students in the laboratory or classroom. Linking this feedback to a tiered badge system to motivate and assist students to develop core skills to a high standard. The two primary aims for this project are creating a usable, motivating online feedback system to assist students to develop and track skills attainment over the course of their degree. Whilst improving the consistency and efficacy of feedback in small group teaching.

This project proposes to include an element of 'Gamification' in the development and mastery of skills that are desirable graduate attributes. The project will develop a system embedded in LMS designed to integrate an assessment-feedback loop for developing skills that are usually difficult and time consuming to assess or give feedback on. It does this by allowing instructors to directly link student performance in the classroom to learning resources. Demonstrators, using an ipad or smart phone, will be able to use this platform to give instant feedback to the student via LMS and email. In some cases a QR code could be stuck into the student's lab book to allow direct access to resources in class.

Primarily the project intends these learning resources to be videos with instructions for improvement and refinement of skills. Students would be required to view/interact with these online tools in order to be awarded a badge or unlock an achievement level for that skill. The skills that the student 'collects' can then be collated and used as evidence of their achievements which can then be used to show prospective employers, thus increasing their competitiveness in the workforce.

Project findings

The project was successful in the creation and deployment of a proof of concept trial for using online resources and digital badging as a form of feedback for developing the practical skills of students in Chemistry. Based on the results of surveys given throughout the program, the number of students able to recall and describe key elements of knowledge pertaining to practical skills in the chemistry laboratory doubled when comparing student responses before and after completing the program.The key area of success for this project was showing that using online learning resources as a form of feedback can provide additional opportunities for feedback and development of practical skills beyond the restriction of set class times. Furthermore, based on the findings of the surveys administered in the study, student recall of the theory pertaining to these practical skills can be improved using this approach. We feel that beyond this pilot study, this approach to tracking and feedback of generic and practical skills has significant potential at UWA.

Disseminations

Spoke as a panel member at the 7th Wave July Conference, UWA, Perth 2016.

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