A few weeks ago I ran a session on collaborative learning techniques as part of the Casual Academic Forum in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. At the event I was chatting with Eve Spence; another IF-AT user here at UTS. Eve attended my active and collaborative learning workshop last year and has embedded the IF-AT cards into her in-class design. As Eve was telling me how she uses the cards, I thought this would make a great addition to my IF-AT user blog series. Thankfully Eve agreed to participate. To set the context, Eve is a casual academic who has taught within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS since 2009. She teaches post and undergraduate subjects, most recently Screen Ideas, Modules, Writing for Genre, and Fictions. Here’s what she had to say to my questions.
Adam: Hi Eve, thanks for your time. You have used the IF-AT cards a few times now. Can I start by asking why do you use them?
Eve: I’m always looking for an activity that gives the students a chance to work with each other and provide active learning. The IF-AT cards are great for helping to create a quick, interactive quiz between the students.
Adam: It’s great that you use the cards. Do you remember why you originally decided you use them? I mean, not every person that attends my workshop requests some cards to trial. Why did you?
Eve: When you did the demonstration in the workshop, I found it a good ice-breaker with the others sitting at my table. I thought it was a good way to start a session, and I usually use the cards in the first class.
Adam: Are you able to tell me how you use the cards? There are lots of ways in which people use the cards as part of their learning design. How do you use them?
Eve: I use them in a number of ways; for myself to gauge the level of the classroom knowledge on the basic terms and concepts of screenwriting, to provide an opportunity for the students to share knowledge with each other, and I also put in a couple of questions where there isn’t a correct answer to provoke debate.
Adam: What’s the response from students? What do they say about the cards and/or your learning design?
Eve: I think they enjoy the meaningful interaction with other students, and it gives them confidence, as they realise that they do already have quite a lot of general knowledge about screenwriting.
Adam: That’s it from me. Many thanks for your time. Any closing comment about the cards?
Eve: No, but thanks for the workshop and supply of cards!
Use them to suit your needs
If you have been reading my IF-AT user blog series (see links below), you would have seen that each user profiled employs the cards in different ways and for different reasons. For Eve, the cards are used early in the semester. Part of our UTS learning.futures framework is that students engage in active/collaborative learning experiences and get early feedback. The IF-AT cards are a great way to make this happen. They also help to make for a great ice-breaker activity, just like Eve uses them. It’s fantastic that Eve ‘took that next step’ after my workshop and gave the cards a try. They clearly worked and have now become a part of Eve’s in-class learning design. Eve recognises the power of these little cards, you could too!
If you wish to see how others use the cards, I suggest taking a look at my other IF-AT users blogs:
You can also look at my original blog: The power of the IF-AT ‘scratch card’.
The official IF-AT website is also a good site to look at.