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Published May 18, 2016 | Multidisciplinary

From the French Side: How Time Flies!

Many moons have passed since Profweb English Edition provided its last summary of the many rich publications that have appeared on the French Side of Profweb. Chock full of inspiring practices and people, what follows is an ambitious, but relatively complete overview of the best publications that appeared from November 2015 to the end of March 2016.

Inspiring the Development of ICT Skills in Students and Teachers

Many students are comfortable with technology and think they are very tech savvy, while teachers sometimes have an opposing outlook on using technology. The following articles demonstrate ways to support both students and teachers in the use of ICTs.

In the article Centre d’apprentissage en application pédagogique des TIC (CAPTIC) : un modèle d'accompagnement innovant Profweb’s own Andréanne Turgeon introduces readers to an inspirational team of teachers and an Education Advisor from Cégep de la Pocatière, Josiane Martin, Jonathan Bélise, Isabelle Deschamps, Michel Forget and Martin Bérubé. Together this team has created a proactive means of integrating and promoting the use of ICTs in their CEGEP. By offering release time to teachers who want to be part of the CAPTIC team, this group provides information, training and support to teachers who wish to explore and integrate technopedagogy into their teaching approach. A few of the projects they worked on this year were accompanying teachers with: the creation and broadcasting of video content; using the Office 365 suite; using tablets; and creating digital content for courses. The CAPTIC initiative is such a success at their CEGEP that a student version has been developed. These students are available in the library at various different times to offer ICT help to their peers - an inspirational model for other CEGEPs.

CAPTIC team (from left to right): Josiane Martin, Jonathan Bélisle, Martin Bérubé, Isabelle Deschamps and Michel Forget.

In the Real Life Story Étudier les réseaux sociaux pour developper des habiletés TIC Charles Laporte, a teacher at Collège LaSalle, describes the complementary course Réseaux sociaux (Social media) which was created to help students better understand how social media is used and its powerful potential. The course is organised in such a way as to take students from understanding the basics of HTML coding to creating a website of their own. Students also analyse how social media is used in politics and other realms of society, as well as methods for conducting online research, verifying the credibility of sources, and protecting personal identities online. This type of course is ideal for developing certain competencies in computer skills and to hone ICT Profile Skills.

Testing Online Response Systems

The online response system is growing in use, giving teachers another tool to add to their toolbox. Profweb featured several articles about online response systems, 2 of which were published in French since the last From the French Side update. Andrée Roussel, a teacher at Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon experimented withPoll Everywhere which you can learn about in Réviser la matière pour l’examen…en s’amusant! Andrée explains how students can respond to quizzes, surveys or short-answer questionnaires using their cell phones, tablets or computers. She used this platform as a means of reviewing material for exams and making this type of revision more interactive and interesting for students. The platform allowed Andrée to observe the level of comprehension attained by the students, to make the students more active in their learning and to increase the amount her more reserved students were participating. By varying her teaching strategies she was also able to incorporate another element into her teaching, which was to make students aware of how to use their cellular phones more responsibly

Alexandre Dal-Pan, who is an intern at Cégep Garneau, a graduate teaching assistant at Université Laval, and an Editor at Profweb also experimented with an online response system. Unlike Andrée Rousell above, Alexandre tested responses systems at the university level. InSocrative au banc d’essai à l’université, Alexandre explains that his main objective was to solicit the participation of his students during the class in order to determine the degree of assimilation of the content by the students. He choseSocrative, which allowed him to use various types of questions such as multiple choice, true and false, and short-answer. Once the Socrative questionnaire is activated for students, they can proceed to work through the questionnaire and teachers receive real-time feedback data as soon as students have completed the questionnaire. The reaction from his students was positive. As a teacher, he appreciated how simple it was to use, that it was free to use and that it was made for education. He also liked that it gave him direct feedback on how his students were progressing. Alexandre included links to other online response systems which you can find at the end of his article.

Technology in Service of Student Engagement Strategies

Two Real Life Stories recently covered the use of technology to promote student engagement. In Carburer à l’engagement et au plaisir en biologie, Nathalie L’Heureux, a teacher from Cégep Édouard-Montpetit shows how she uses technology in the classroom as part of an active learning strategy. She combines in-class use of the Moodle learning management system with interactive whiteboards and tablet-based applications for an interesting and motivating approach towards teaching that translates to more commitment from students. Her next step will be to incorporate digital badges and digital notetaking into the mix!

In Favoriser l’engagement et la réussite dans le cours Calcul différentiel, Geneviève Bilodeau and Véronique Croteau, two mathematics teachers from the Cégep de Sainte-Foy wrote about the creation of 2-5 minute video modules as part of a flipped classroom strategy to increase student competency in Differential Calculus and improve their results. They noticed that students are increasingly arriving at their CEGEP with greater challenges related to their mastery of secondary level mathematics. After completing a new diagnostic test and referring students to support services, they decided to make some changes to their approach to teaching. The creation of modular videos with refresher material on various aspects of Calculus seems to be having a positive impact. The CEGEP even decided to put their videos on YouTube, with each video being shared under a Creative Commons (No commercial use/no derivatives licence). The students can review the modules as many times as they need, and even take a quick refresher before their course begins. The Creative Commons licences means that other teachers can freely embed the video within their learning environments.

Going the Distance: Managing Relationships and Evaluation at a Distance

The Profweb readership on the French Side was treated to 3 interesting publications that deal with distance education.

Just before the holiday break in December 2015, Profweb’s own Andréanne Turgeon and Cégep à distance’s Stéphanie Facchin submitted the article Rétroaction,réussite et persévérance : résultats d’une étude et partage de bonnes pratiques, which provided a summary of a presentation on feedback, student success and perseverance that was led by Stéphanie Facchin during a conference of the French distance education network known as REFAD. According to Ms. Facchin’s research, the feedback provided by distance education tutors had a positive impact under certain conditions which you can see in the infographic below:

Primary conditions for feedback to have a positive impact on student success.

The article presents many of the nuances for each of these conditions and is a must read for any teachers considering moving towards a blended approach!

A second article related to Distance Education took on the form of an overview provided by the Profweb Team of an article that appeared in the journal Pégagogie collégiale, which was penned by Violaine Page. The article entitled La distance n’est pas l’absence : la relation pédagogique en contexte asynchrone explores the subject of tutor-student relationships within the context of a distance education course. She argues that the instructional material in such a course can project the voice of the subject matter expert, and that communication between tutors and students is different, but present just the same. She calls the mode of communication ‘dialogue décalé’ (dialogue differentiated in time). At the time of writing, Ms. Page has taken the helm as Directrice de la formation à distance at the Université de Montréal, which shows that she knows a thing or two about the subject!

The last article in the afore-mentioned distance education trio was one of the most interesting and just happened to boast one of the longest titles in recent memory: Évaluation synchrone en reconnaissance des acquis grâce à Google Classroom et à la plateforme VIA. What the title lacked in brevity was more than adequately made up for in rich content! The article looked at the VIA virtual classroom in conjunction with Google Classroom as a platform for synchronous (real-time) evaluation over the Internet within the context of a Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) project. The trio of authors rallied around the idea that no matter where their RAC candidates came from, they should not be obliged to travel to the CEGEP (Cégep de Sainte-Foy in this case) to be evaluated. Their new RAC solution had to be secure and their processes needed to take into account the possibility of fraud or cheating. They used the synchronous functions of VIA to break RAC candidates into different rooms and have them share their screen while they are using Google Docs for example. A RAC expert evaluator can then watch what they are typing in real time on Google Docs versus the screen shared in VIA to verify that the candidate is indeed doing the work. Check out the article to read about their lessons learned!

A Healthy Dose of Inspiration

In addition to several publications on digital tools and stories about teachers integrating technology into the classroom, two articles from the Parcours inspirants (Inspiring Portraits) series were published between November 2015 and March 2016. The first of these featured Martin Legault (Parcours inspirant d’un CP qui n’aimait pas l’école). Martin is an Education Advisor (REPTIC) at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy in Quebec City. As the title of the article suggests, Martin wasn’t particularly fond of his early experiences as a student due to the lack of interaction and consideration for students. He promised himself that one day he would change things when he was in front of the class. As a teacher, he used group work and technology as a means of empowering students, and has continued this tradition in his work assisting teachers with the pedagogical approaches. In fact, many of his colleagues provide testimonials of their appreciation for Martin in the comments article following the article!

For the second Parcours inspirant, Profweb’s coordinator Caroline Villeneuve filed an article on Alexandre Dal-Pan, who is a new Biology teacher. Alexandre’s story is interesting since many believe that the new generation of teachers who are coming up are naturally tech-savvy. While Alexandre was relatively at ease with certain types of software, he would almost go so far as saying that he was a technophobe! The problem resides with technology sometimes limiting the pedagogical possibilities (the underutilized Interactive Whiteboards were invoked as an example). Thanks to some of his graduate courses on ICTs, he is warming up to their potential.

Learning More About Moodle – A Multifaceted Digital Tool

In the past few months, several new articles touching on Moodle have appeared in the pages of Profweb. Following the MoodleMoot conference held in October 2015, the Profweb team published an article summarizing the highlights from the conferenceLa place du réseau collégial au MoodleMoot Canada 2015. The new modules available in Moodle took centre stage with more than 200 delegates on hand to learn more. Concrete examples of how teachers use Moodle across various disciplines are also described in the article.

Profweb Editor Catherine Rhéaume explainedMoodle in detail, describing the key features of this learning management system which is available at many CEGEPs throughout the province. Have you been wondering what you can do with Moodle? Catherine elaborates on the uses of Moodle, helping teachers understand the many different aspects of the tool. Moodle allows teachers to:

  • create web pages that can contain videos and hyperlinks
  • upload various file types (pdf, docx, xlsx, zip, etc.)
  • create a chat tool
  • add course documents and include deadlines for assignments
  • receive assignments from their students
  • return corrected assignments to students
  • create forums
  • create questionnaires
  • create summative and formative tests
  • manage a grade book for students
  • add a wiki
  • create lessons
  • create a glossary
  • create a database
  • direct a language laboratory
  • send messages to students, etc.

There are other platforms that can also be integrated into Moodle, as discovered by Josée Debigaré in the following story.

In the Real Life Story Un carnet de laboratoire électronique (CLÉ) avec Moodle, Josée Debigaré, a chemistry teacher at Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon, explains her experimentation with the Wiki Open University (Wiki OU) module, which was integrated into Moodle at her CEGEP. She wanted to move away from the paper and pen version of a lab journal and try an electronic version. Wiki OU gave her different options from the default wiki that is already available in Moodle. She was able to create a laboratory template for each lab class, providing the instructions and an example of how to proceed. Being able to access the students wiki pages, she could also verify in advance that students had completed the pre-lab assignment. Students can add pages, insert pictures, write text and equations, prepare tables, and more. The next update of Moodle should make Wiki OU available to all establishments that are Moodle users.

Students using their electronic lab journal.

The Successful Combination of the Flipped Classroom and Explicit Teaching

The Flipped Classroom has also been a popular topic on Profweb recently. Various platforms have been explored, but the following teachers took the approach one step further. Isabelle Lavoie and Julien Marceaux, teachers in Specialised Education and Bruno Lemieux, Education Advisor, from Collège Mérici, described how they combined 2 different pedagogical approaches inClasse inversée et enseignement explicite en Techniques d’éducation spécialisée. Their experience of blending the flipped classroom with explicit teaching resulted in the development of a 5-step approach:

5-step approach: 1- identify the content that could be used in the creation of tutorials; 2- divide up and organise the course material in order to create tutorials that cover one subject at a time; 3- harmonise the procedures between teachers and establish a model that is clear and coherent; 4- select the tool to be used to create video tutorials ensuring consultation on different devices; and 5- create the tutorials and the pedagogical situations

5-step approach to the Flipped classroom and explicit teaching: identify, divide, harmonise, tools and create.

This approach gave them the desired results for the course they were targeting which has both theoretical and practical competencies to accomplish. They now wish to add other tools to their approach.

Helping Students Identify and Improve their French Language Skills

Living in the province of Québec makes Anglophones very aware of their strengths and weaknesses in French. For La Semaine de la langue française Profweb Editor, Alexandre Dal-Pan produced the articleÀ la découverte d’un nouvel outil pour l’amélioration de l’orthographe française.In an interview with Andrée Dargis, a teacher at Cégep Limoilou, she explained the various tools she used with her students to help them improve their French skills. The first step was for them to take a diagnostic test (Site de diagnostic et d’amélioration de l’orthographe française) which provides results that identify the users weaknesses so that they can be targeted for improvement. The site offers tutorials and exercises in order to help users continue to develop their writing skills. She also refers her students to other sources such asAmélioration du français created by the CCDMD. The diagnostic website, as well as the other tools mentioned in the article, are great resources for anyone who wishes to improve their French writing skills.

Fish On! And Final Thoughts

The Profweb Editorial Team provided some much needed comic relief to the college network on April 1st, 2016 with their article Des appareils mobiles nouveau genre pour l’enseignement à distance. We managed to plant the hook in a few members of the college community with this April Fool’s day (Poisson d’avril) article on the rising use of Pagers as a pedagogical device, citing their ruggedness, low cost and interoperability with walkie-talkies!

Students can ask for help using their Pagers.

On a more serious (and credible) note, Profweb announced the addition of a new video describing the various services we offer to the college network. An Entente Canada-Québec grant request to translate this video to help promote our services to the English college network is pending evaluation. We hope to provide an English version of the video over the course of the fall 2016 semester, and are keeping our fingers crossed!

Congratulations to the French side of Profweb once again for their dedication to providing the college network with inspiring stories and resources!

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