One of the functions of my Moodle that I’d not explored much before is the Choice activity. I used it in the Amazing Race that I blogged about last year, and it suddenly struck me how powerful a tool this really is. In the Amazing Race we used the Choice Activity to allow students to vote for the group presentation that they liked the best. We were then able to display the results of the vote, and declare a winner on the spot, obviating the need for any lengthy post-task paper-work! What a pleasure!
I have been giving some thought about how I might apply this activity to my regular classes, and it seems to me that the Choice module on Moodle might well be used as a regular replacement for polling hardware. Because the choices are so easy to set up, they can be used in any lesson without much preparation, and allow for students to give instant feedback on any issue.
One of the things I’d like students to give feedback on is on presentations made by groups in class. Using the Choice Activity to allow students to grade their peers’ work seemed a pretty neat idea.
There were 5 groups presenting, and the idea was that the other groups would all vote on a grade to give them. I set up 5 Choice Activities then, each one allowing for four possible grades to be awarded. The rest of the class could then vote on a score to be awarded for each presentation, with the results being instantly available on the screen.
What attracted me to this set of procedures was firstly that it involved no paperwork, and in my experience paperwork has always been the bug-bear in setting up peer assessment opportunities. Secondly it was transparent, a group would immediately know which score it had been awarded, and know that it reflected a peer assessment. But perhaps most importantly of all, the whole thing took only ten minutes to set up, less time than it would have taken to type up and print peer assessment forms, let alone tabulate the results!
I think that I will be using this module quite a lot in the future!