Upon the release of the Slice annotation tool, a team of academics at UNSW Australia trialled the functionality in eight class activities. In this series, we’ll be sharing what worked, what didn’t and how you can try this in your own classes.
Overview of activity
For two histopathology classes, Dr Betty Kan had previously created annotation layers with questions for students to answer using the annotation tool. With the development of the new annotation tool, these activities were repurposed as collaborative exercises. For two different student cohorts with class sizes of 40 and 110 students respectively, the activities encouraged:
The class exercise focused on the histopathology of colonic adenocarcinoma. In the smaller classes, students formed groups of approximately 8, based on the tables they were seated at and discussed the features before annotating answers. All members of the group had access to the same layer, annotating on their own screen, while able to simultaneously view their colleague’s annotations.
Students working together to complete the group activity
In the larger classes students self-organised into groups of 2-6 with one member of the group duplicating the annotation layer by clicking the drop down arrow and clicking DUPLICATE. They were instructed as to how to invite people to join the annotation layer and links were shared via a Google document.
Example group layer
The exercise has been extended as part of an honours project to compare the benefit of collaborative annotation to individual annotation. After completing both activities students worked individually through a quiz designed to test the grasp of concepts explored in the class. This will help to determine the differences in learning gains between the two teaching methods.
Tips for conducting a similar exercise:
General Advice: Register all of your students on Slice first and then teach them to annotate. This makes trialling a different style of class much easier. To register your students or to use collaborative annotations in your own classes, watch our short video or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.