Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#MysterySkype reflections

One of the hidden benefits of #mysteryskypes is having students work collaboratively to solve a problem. Students are researching, listening, and synthesizing information to try and reach the common goal of guessing the other class. An important part of working as a group is for each member to reflect on his/her contributions to the group.

In her blog post Assessment of Learning via Skype, Silvia Tolisanio points out that the experience is not about the tool (Skype), it's about the student learning. Because of the nature of a Mystery Skype call (the location is unknown), it's difficult to do pre-activities such as a KWL chart. But you can still prepare students be building geography skills and vocabulary, using Google Maps or Google Earth, and working with atlases and other maps.

Learning can also continue after the call by having students reflect on what they learned and how they performed as part of the group.  

Here are a few forms that can be used to reflect on the experience and their job. 

Self-Reflection: Taking Part in a Group - this one was created by the folks at Read, Write, Think.

Mystery Skype Reflection Form - this was created by a teacher and shared with me last year. I've forgotten who the original author was.

Assessment of Learning via Skype - Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano created this series of forms from her blog cited above that can be used by students before and after the Skype call.

Of course using blogs with your students is another great way to have them reflect on their whole Mystery Skype experience. It's great to have a class blog to share what happened, but also give students their voice and ask them to share individually about the whole experience.

How else do you gather feedback from students?

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