5.1 Activity Evaluation

Week 5, Part-A

Learning Objective: Inorganic Nomenclature

Students should be able to write names of ionic and molecular substances.

I taught inorganic nomenclature to my grade 11 chemistry class last week. Generally speaking, it is quite a boring topic because students have to remember many rules and have to do many worksheets to practice naming of ionic and molecular substances.  But this time, before teaching this topic, I took some time to introduce idea of mind maps to them. Moreover, I introduced some websites like bubbl.us to make mind maps and how to share with them. First I direct students Wikipedia to learn about IUPAC nomenclature’s history. Later, I assigned them task to make mind map and add more nodes to the mind map as we explore deeper into the nomenclature in three days. A rubric was given to them. It took three days to complete this topic. Every day, they added many new nodes and expanded their mind map.  They also shared it on the school blog to have it peer reviewed. They enjoyed learning the topic and did very well on summative assessment of the topic. Here are links to their mind maps.







The above activity reaches the level of redefinition according to SAMR model. This task is inconceivable without use of technology. I understand that students can make mind maps on paper but they cannot reedit without starting from scratch.  Buubl.us provides mechanism to move nodes to new places. It provides opportunities to build on with newly learned knowledge. Moreover, it engages students into rich learning experience  Not only does it enhance their learning experience but it also targets higher thinking order by providing chances of critical thinking by redesigning their concept map , collaboration with peers and communication on the school blog. Therefore, it goes along with revised bloom taxonomy’s standards as it provides means to apply, evaluate and synthesis.

One drawback that I found with bubbl.us is that it does not provide a way to share with public and thus student work is not searchable. So my students had to make screenshot to put it on their blog for peer review.

If I analyze the teaching design using SECTIONS model then I believe it students enjoyed leaning the inorganic nomenclature in groups. As to the ease of use, student found it hard to understand how bubbl.us works in the beginning but that as not shock for me. So I spent sometime in the beginning to introduce the mind map website even before I introduced them inorganic nomenclature topic.  There was not any cost associated with this design because bubbl.us gives three free mind maps with free signup. Moreover, communication part took place on an open source vanilla forums web application which is installed on our local school server. Mind maps are great tools to build connections between fragments of information. They are very natural because that’s what our neurons are doing in brain to learn. It was a group work so student collaborated with their peers to improve and build their mind maps. As to the organizational issues of this activity, I believe a well thought-out and planned lesson has greater chances to succeed.  I didn’t find any organizational issue with this lesson. It is quite easy technology to use. Students went to Wikipedia to learn about IUPAC nomenclature’s history. That helped them network with the experts in this field. All student signup data of Bubbl.us is saved on US servers, which means that privacy is decided by patriot act. Bubbl.us TOS claims to keep student data safe. Moreover, students in China, usually, do not provide correct info to web services.  Vanilla forums are hosted on our local school server, which ensures that students’ data is safe.


Week 5, Part-B


Learning Objective: Properties of elements of periodic table

Students should be able to draw conclusions about the similarities and trends in the properties of elements, with reference to the periodic table.

Prior knowledge: Students had already learned about properties.  Moreover, they have learned video editing in film and media course.

I am planning to teach properties of elements to my grade 11 chemistry class in few weeks now. First I will introduce learning objectives to students and explain the key terminology.

Activity 1: Then I will split the class into small groups of two students each and will give them task to go to http://ed.ted.com/periodic-videos to learn about properties of elements. Watch elements’ video and pick any five elements which have similar four properties.

Activity 2:  Make a five minute video using youtube and other online resources to explain those properties. Their video should

  1. Define each property
  2. Show some experimental demo of each property
  3. Should compare each property with some other element’s property.

In addition, following http://www.olejarz.com/arted/digitalvideo/interviewrubric.pdf rubric will be used.

Activity 3: Upload the video on some video sharing website and put the link on school’s blogging system.

Activity 4: Watch other’s videos and comment on following aspets

  1. Three things learned
  2. Two things that you found interesting
  3. One question you still have.

I plan to use SAMR model to teach the properties of elements. This learning activity redefines the learning design. Activity-1 connects to experts of respective fields because all videos of elements are made by Ted experts. Students learn from right source and learn how those properties of elements are demonstrated in those video. At the same time, they communicate and collaborate with one another and back in their mind they are working on Venn diagram as they are expected to find few elements with four similar properties. It is expected that they will watch quite a few videos before they can find out right group of elements with similar properties. At the same time they will be discussing with one another, which help them reconstruct their thoughts. All this is going to enhance their learning experience about elements’ properties. Moreover it targets higher thinking order as it provides opportunities of critical thinking, collaboration and communication.

Later students will collect their information about the shortlisted elements. They will talk to each other to present it in a logical order according to the given rubric.  They will search online and find videos that demonstrate those properties and then put them together. Finally, they will embed link of their video on the school blog to have their videos peer-reviewed. This learning design has completely redefined the learning process to target higher thinking order of students.


4 thoughts on “5.1 Activity Evaluation

  1. Hi Muhammad,

    Thank you for your thorough evaluations and your analysis of your learning activities. Bubbl.us is a great tool for mind mapping and the open source vanilla forums sound like they would be very useful.
    I found your Part B learning activity surrounding videos and small groups to be very useful. Do the videos include student’s faces or identities? Would they be shared on a secure school server or any video website? I only ask because especially as a primary teacher I would need to ensure a safe online presence. Overall it is a fantastic and creative lesson plan that I can see myself applying to primary curriculum-specific topics. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Videos do not not include any identity information of student. Videos were shared on Chinese video streaming website but their were embeded into students’ blogs on local secure school server.

  3. Well done!! You’re using the theory in practice and in real time. So do the students have access to their created mind maps eventhough they cannot share it, or do they have to sign up to Bubbl.us to access in the future?

    And would you use the bubbl.us again for class?

    • Unfortunately, bubbl.us requires login to access the mind maps. I know that login function discourage people from using the services but we need to keep in mind that bubbl.us is a commercial website so they force user to signup for their paid services. They allow only three mind maps for free.

      Another thing that discourage us about bubbl.us is that its servers are not in China, which makes render very slow in China. Moreover, bubbl.us uses google’s analytic engine and jquery. I hope that you know that access to google services is banned in China, so that further worsens the situation.

      I often use mind maps in class but may not use bubbl.us again due to slow loading of the website in China.

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