Friday, 1 May 2015

Using WhatsApp to give feedback

On Tuesday this week I decided to take a few notes on things I wanted to help my students with when they finished a speaking activity in pairs. I had drawn a primitive map of England showing London, Peterborough and Leeds on the white board at the back of the class, where I usually write my notes, so as there wasn't room, I wrote the short sentences on a message on WhatsApp for the class group. I used the notes to remember what to talk about, but students didn't see what I had written. Here is a screen shot:

After saying the sentences and making some comments I send them to the group, and as you can see, I did this twice in the last half hour of the class. 

Normally I would have written these on the whiteboard at the back of the class while the students were working, but by not having to go to the board, it was much easier to take notes as I moved around the class.

When the class finishes, I always take a photo (or two) of any board work I've done using WhatsApp, and then record myself reading out the sentences and send it to the WhatsApp group for the class. This time I didn't need to take a photograph: I just made the recording:

On Thursday, I took notes again in class while my students were doing one of the speaking activities and used a WhatsApp message to the class group again, but this time perhaps because there were  more things to talk about I set up WhatsApp Web in Chrome on the interactive whiteboard. I had to increase the size of the text a bit, but then I was able to show the sentences and talk about them to the class. Of course, I realised that I could record my explanations using WhatsApp. Below you can see the sentences and listen to my explanations:

As you can see, I split the recording into three sections of about 90 seconds each:

This morning I saw that two students who had missed that part of the class had already listened to the recording the same evening!