20 August 2011

Spontaneous Recording Challenges (SRC-SeAm)

Assalamualaikum (before your read this entry, please play the above videos, haha, hillarious animation, between me-an elephant, and my student-the zebra), today I am going to write about my experiences when conducting a spontaneous recording challenges in my class. There are 2 class involved in this activity. I have done this 3 to 4 weeks ago but now I think it is the suitable time for me to share the story here. Before I begin I would like to explain the answer for this question, what drives me to do this kind of activity ? It is simply because I personally feel that answering the tutorial question does not help the student to understand the topic that they've learn in lectures. Furthermore, the tutorial question is a straight forward question that student can easily find the answer in their printed handout. When a teacher try to discuss about what the student learned in lectures, student will always refer to their handout, not the book or not even bother finding the answer on the Internet (unless they've being ask to do so).This is because, the subject is new to them, and some content in their handout is not well develop. This makes me feel that I need to do something for them. So, for a start, I want to know what did they know about the term that they have learn in Chapter 2 Computer Science (consists of sub-topic such as Hardware and Software, it begins with Motherboard, Input Output Devices, Storage and Software). I think I need to call them one by one (one at a time), and then I'll read them a question (each student will get a unique question) and they need to response to the question in not more than 30 seconds time frame. For example, what is Information Technology ? Student will define and elaborate on the topic in 30 seconds max.

So I gather up my gear (I'm using my DSLR Nikon D7000, a tripod) and ask two volunteer among the students to help me with the activity. One of them will be the timekeeper and the other one will be the bell-boy. All is set to go.

Before I start, I did a briefing on the activity. This is to make sure that student clearly understand what they need to do. It took only 5 to 10 minutes to brief the whole idea to them. Right after that, I conducted the session with patience. It tooks about 1 hour plus to complete two round. In the first round, student need to answer the question in 30 seconds time frame (academic question) whereby in the second round, student have to answer the question in 15 seconds (general question). To my shock, there are only 2 candidates that succeed. The rest did not match the quality that I've set to them. I don't want to think about it just yet. I continue the same actitivies with another group (at a different time interval and location, but still in computer lab). Again, I get the same result. There are only 2 candidates that succeed.

From the activity, I can see that most of the student doesnt know how to explain because they did not understand the term at all. Eventhough they did well in two quizzes before this, they just like to memorize all the term to get full marks. This is just wrong !

Okay, now let me share the recorded videos of students who didn't manage to answer the question and students who succeeded.

There are 5 videos that I embed here (originated in my YouTube account). 
  1. First Video :Q-What is Information Processing Cycle ? (you can hear my voice MySpace because that student in the vids asking me - in shallow voice, to repeat the question, although I've read out loud at first)
  2. Second Video :Q-What is Output Device ?
  3. Third Video :Q-What is GUI ? (graphical user interface)
  4. Fourth Video :Q-What is UI ? (user interface)
  5. Fifth Video :Q-What is Computer System ?
*video #1 - #3, group F1T1a (location Computer Lab 1), video #4 - #5, group F2T11a

What is Information Processing Cycle

The student show a reaction that she did not know the answer from the beginning (trying to hide her face on the wall I think ! :O ) And after doing that, she did ask me to repeat the question. I did what I've being ask, so I did read the question again, and she keep on smiling and hanging around waiting for the time to end. And one more thing, she did said "saya tidak baca yang ni". For me it is ok ! I just want her to find the answer in his mind, not memorizing the answer that she could easily find in the handout.
What is Output Device

She try to find the factual term inside her head. She looks like to give an answer when she start voice-out about  " .. Output Devices is a .. " and that is it. Again, from time to time, she try to find the answer but couldn't reach it. I can see that her face expression tell that she know this term, but something went wrong and she couldn't pick the exact word and start the explanation. Same with the first video, she wait until the time end.
What is GUI

Ah, finally. I've found the succeeded student. Although the definition came straight forward from his experiences (I did taught that GUI, what user sees on-screen < at that time, in practical classes, where I show a lot of examples of UI - web browser UI, Gmail UI). He continue to explain, in his own word (ignoring the grammar error or what so ever). Credit to him for completing the task, although it did not reach 30 seconds, but it is okay for me because he can deliver and he do it confidently (but it is not General User Interface-lah, it is Graphical User Interface < something he will remember forever)
What is UI

Ah, again ! This student manage to reach 30 seconds. Although she used his mother-tongue language, it is still okay for me because I did told them use your own prefer languages, so that I didn't put much burden for them. Although she reach the objectives, she always repeating the same point. It is okay, for starter. Next time, I hope she'll be even better.
What is Computer System

This is the last videos, and she's totally meet the objectives. She continuously talking and giving out a fresh ideas. Each ideas she manage to explain details and connected with each other, from general to more specific. Although she looks like a bit 'kalut', she deliver the content well and yup exceeding the time limit given. The bell-boy need to ring the bell 10 times until she stop talking. Good one ! 

Okay, to summarize up. F1T1 score, 2/29= 6.9% and F2T11 score, 2/28=7.2%. From the result, it shows that, students (from both groups) unable to explain in their own word, the computer science (specifically Chapter 2) terminologies. If they chose to memorize the factual (written in handout) is much easier than to explain the term without looking back to the handout, they will be in trouble in the near future. Knowledge need to be learn not just by reading, but by practicing and delivering it back (by relating the term in what we do in daily life). Without connecting it, you'll maybe can memorize it, but you will never understand.

Got to go now, have a lot of thing to do from now on, in preparing this young boys and girls to meet their challenges, their true challenges, not the exam, but the future !MySpace 

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