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Interactive Lessons
Topic Started: Apr 17 2017, 03:57 PM (303 Views)
Geovanna Volt
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Metamorphmagus ✶ Electric ✶ Former Ward of Court ✶ Member of the IC ✶ Conceptualising Law

So I had a couple of suggestions for our current interactive lessons to make them a little easier. I'm not sure about others, but personally I find interactive lessons the most difficult to keep up with due to them being split up. I love the concept of them but feel they could be amended slightly as to make them clearer. Therefore I would like to suggest the following:

  • Each part (Whether it's 2 or 3) of a lesson gets it's own notification. It's easy to follow which lessons are outstanding once I've been notified it's available, however with interactive lessons I have to remember how many parts there are, and to check back on the original lesson for any updates. Occasionally later parts will also be posted late, which further makes it difficult to keep up with whether I should be expected to reply that day.
  • Each part could have a longer reply time period. As with usual lessons we have a week to respond, and even then if it's been a busy week, we will have to post in a make up topic. Therefore when we only have 48-72 hours to respond to a part it can be very easy to miss that section completely.
  • Following from the above, the grade is not dependent on completion of all parts. While I understand it's useful to be required to reply to all parts to recieve the final lesson grade, this also makes it x2 or x3 times more difficult to ensure that the character can recieve the grade that in other classes is done in one package. This is also made tricker when paired with the previous points.
  • For interactive lessons, the first post could be removed from the automatic top page listing. While this is helpful for most classes, it can be a bit confusing to read on page 2 or 3 (Which is likely given how many times we need to post) at the top of the page a recap of the original first part lesson post. If this can be turned off for interactive lessons it may be less confusing to find which part is the latest.
Of course I know that there are very few interactive lessons on the site at the moment, and that Geo just has them all as a first year Hufflepuff this semester, but I wanted to throw out some suggestions at how they could be made generally a little bit easier =)

Thanks!
Pheeb
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Nicolas King
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Hi Phoebe,

Thanks for the suggestions!
Interactive lessons are fairly limited right now, and still very much experimental - so we especially appreciate the feedback on them.

To address your first couple of concerns: you should be able to respond to all the parts of an interactive RP at the end. This eliminates some of the fun of interaction (so maybe a better way would be once at the beginning of the week, then a final one at the end responding to any other parts), but it is possible and you shouldn't be penalized for it.

Notifications for lessons are done through the gradebook, which does not know which classes or individual lessons are interactive. It would be a technological challenge to create this feature which would need a profound amount of flexibility to work for all possible course formats, especially given the experimental nature of these classes, that I think would not be worth my time for the help it would offer. One possibility is for professors to post bulletin board topics, of sorts, for their classes which students may subscribe to receive either a PM or email alert for, then when the professor posts in the topic to say another lesson part has been posted their interested/enrolled students do get some kind of alert.

To your second suggestion: given that it is experimental, the reply time professors give before posting the next section is up to them - but, again, you should be able to respond to parts you've missed in any later posts just fine. Some professors have experimented with lessons every-other-week to try to drive down some of the onerous nature of the lesson style (though, I hope you do find they're more fun!).

As to grades for completion of all parts - I think we should be able to agree that "you must respond to each section to receive an O" is a fair policy, especially if other students do so. However, as indicated above, you may be able to respond to all three parts of an interactive lesson in a single post if you're having a crazy week. (And make up lessons are always required to be available, so even if you do have the craziest week and miss a lesson's post, there's still opportunity to make it up!)

Finally "Show first post of topics on every page" is a forum-level setting, which means it cannot be enabled/disabled per-topic. I've disabled it for the Flying Lessons forum, but no other class has all of its lessons in the interactive style, so it would not be appropriate to disable it elsewhere. I think this is quite minor and easily ignored.

I'm confident that the professors who are experimenting with interactive lessons will read your suggestions, and this reply, and may slightly adapt themselves. We'll also likely discuss this in the next professor's meeting to see if there are other ways to help facilitate interactive lessons which would allow for flexibility for students, too.

Thanks again!
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*Professor Justin Cliffeton
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As I teach an interactive class, I felt it would be appropriate for me to reply here & explain a bit of how I teach my class and then you guys can reply to me directly if you feel the need. :)

I post the first part of each lesson on the day that they're meant to go out (sometimes a little bit late depending on how busy I was on that particular day) and then 48 hours later I'll post the next part, 48 hours after that the next, and 48 hours after that I post the next. This usually brings me to the day before the next lesson (unless I was late in posting).

If someone posts in one part of the lesson, I give them an A, 2 and EE, and all three parts they get an O. So obviously if they complete the entire lesson (even in one post) they still get an O. If they contact me asking for a chance to make that an O, I'm normally happy to offer them an extension or (as you know) give them the chance to PM me or use the makeup section to get the full grade.

I hope that explains how I handle the lessons a little bit better. Though I like the idea of a 'lesson bulletin board', would that be something you would be interested in? I can post there each time I post a new part of the lesson and as long as you subscribe to the post you'll get a PM or an email (like Nick said).
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Minerva Khulik
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Socially Awkward Hufflepuff

Thanks for this, I've been wondering myself about the interactive lessons as I am always afraid Minerva will end up missing parts which I did for the end of one charms lesson so she got an E instead of her usual O. I must say I was gutted for her because I had completely forgotten about the interactive 3 part lessons and busy week or not in RL it is difficult to keep track of the various class posts ... and I only have the one character xD

I think the solution put for it is very good, I'd definitely subscribe.


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Samuel Phillips
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I'd just thought I'd quickly chime in to show my interest in this idea of 'lesson bulletin boards' :D
In the past I have subscribed to receive PM notifications for each specific interactive lesson. While this did let me know when the next parts of the lesson were posted by the professors, it did get very messy after a while, because I would always get a PM whenever a student posted as well as when the professors posted. It made for a lot of clutter in my inboxes and kind of defeated the purpose of subscribing to the lesson topics to begin with.

Through this experience, I think that suggested idea of a separate 'bulletin board' kind of topic for interactive lessons would be really useful, and I'm totally for it! It would make me more willing to respond to interactive lessons on time (and in general) if I received some sort of notification whenever a new part of the class was posted.
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*Professor Justin Cliffeton
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I went ahead and posted a bulletin board for Flying. :)

http://hogwarts.nz/topic/30220141/1/

P.S. lesson 4, part 2, is being posted after I reply here!
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Professor Cyndi Kingsley
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Professor Justin Cliffeton
Apr 18 2017, 08:57 PM
As I teach an interactive class, I felt it would be appropriate for me to reply here & explain a bit of how I teach my class and then you guys can reply to me directly if you feel the need. :)

I post the first part of each lesson on the day that they're meant to go out (sometimes a little bit late depending on how busy I was on that particular day) and then 48 hours later I'll post the next part, 48 hours after that the next, and 48 hours after that I post the next. This usually brings me to the day before the next lesson (unless I was late in posting).

If someone posts in one part of the lesson, I give them an A, 2 and EE, and all three parts they get an O. So obviously if they complete the entire lesson (even in one post) they still get an O. If they contact me asking for a chance to make that an O, I'm normally happy to offer them an extension or (as you know) give them the chance to PM me or use the makeup section to get the full grade.

I hope that explains how I handle the lessons a little bit better. Though I like the idea of a 'lesson bulletin board', would that be something you would be interested in? I can post there each time I post a new part of the lesson and as long as you subscribe to the post you'll get a PM or an email (like Nick said).
If you don't already have this posted in your lesson area, I think this is a great idea to post as well. It's a great explanation of your expectations for interactive lessons.
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Stefan Archer
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[justify]As one of the other professors of interactive lessons, I thought it'd add a few thoughts,

The first, to extending the period of time, it's 48/72 hours so that the lesson can fit within the week, and so the lessons don't run constantly into one another, so you have lesson one still going as you head into lesson 3, so as to not end up with one lesson maybe missing out because the semester is ending and to keep some of the uniformity with the other lessons taught. I also largely do believe that it is a rather fair system of doing it. If people miss a section which results in a lower grade and want to catch up to get a higher grade, theres no real reason really why they couldn't do it in the make-up lessons, as long as they state the lesson it's for, and the grade at the end can be changed with no real difficulties.

The way I split the grades is in the same way as Zach. But, I don't limit it to that, occasionally, if someone writes a really involved post but then not again within the lesson, I would be inclined to give them a slightly higher grade. So, though there's a system to it, it's still flexible.

The idea of a bulletin board is pretty good, which people could opt into. If people wanted that to happen for Charms I will set it up.
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Nicolas King
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Nicolas King
Apr 18 2017, 08:41 PM
Finally "Show first post of topics on every page" is a forum-level setting, which means it cannot be enabled/disabled per-topic. I've disabled it for the Flying Lessons forum, but no other class has all of its lessons in the interactive style, so it would not be appropriate to disable it elsewhere. I think this is quite minor and easily ignored.
Turns out I forgot the main reason this is enabled for classrooms is so that professors have access to quick-marking in lesson topics. The information which tells the code that a topic is a lesson and what class it's associated with is embedded in that first post - and so to quickly mark submissions on later pages, the first post must be visible.

I'll perhaps look into some clever ways of styling the first post (which is in a separate table on later pages than the rest of the topic) to make it even more obvious that it's something else and, perhaps, easier to ignore.

But it's re-enabled in the Flying forums so Zach doesn't cry. :P
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