November 22 Day 624: Increasing Interaction

Attendance was sparse in today’s class. Perhaps because this is the week of Thanksgiving. UW Tacoma only takes Thursday and Friday of this week as a holiday. Since I only teach Mondays and Wednesdays, it feels like a standard week for me. The main difference is that both my sons will be home for the first time since Mark and I started empty nesting this fall.

Of the 28 students in my matrix algebra class only 12 attended in person and 3 joined remotely through Zoom. I had several activities and instead of siloing the remote participants into one online group, I incorporated one remote participant into each of the in-person groups.

One member of each group had an iPad (two were supplied by students in the class and one was supplied by me). The group iPad and the remote participant joined a breakout room with sound and camera on. I heard a lot of interaction happening between local participants and remote participants. Different groups did different things.

  • Two groups shared the iPad screen and used a note taking app so that everyone could see the progress they were making on their problem and prepare for the eventual presentation at the whiteboard.
  • One group worked directly at the whiteboard with the iPad sharing the camera. One group member served as camera person, one wrote at the board, and the three others (including the remote participant) made suggestions and asked questions.

It was a really fun day. Maybe it wouldn’t have worked as well if everyone had been present. But the students really engaged. The remote participants were integrated in the action. It felt more like how I would run class prior to COVID (except I needed more white boards.)

One of the remote participants, known for having a great attitude, remarked that this was so much better than what we had tried before. I agree 100%. Now I have another reason to carry an extra iPad with me to class.

Cover photo by Kiera Burton from Pexels.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

One thought on “November 22 Day 624: Increasing Interaction

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