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Teaching activity

Visualise This: Using Technology to Model Research Method Answers

Sam Ashraf

27th January 2017

Last year I read about using visualisers in the classroom to model essay writing. Having spent some time thinking about how I could use visualisers to support A-Level students in Psychology, I decided to give them a go…but to model the thinking behind Research Methods questions.

I must note that you have to go through the paper beforehand and be confident with all the questions, as you could easily find yourself in a tricky situation if ill-prepared!

So I used the visualiser and projected an exam paper onto the whiteboard, and all students were given a printed copy too. As I read through the scenario, I highlighted and annotated the STEM as if I were a student sitting in the exam. For example, when I could see the IV and DV I would draw a line and write in the margin IV/DV, etc…

Image by YN120 is licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

When I used this method the first time, I talked through each question and explained what the question was asking for and how I would refer to the STEM, without actually answering the question.

The students then took the paper home to complete the questions. While visualisers are not a miracle fix, they do give the students an insight into how to understand the requirements of the question. Sometimes an explanation is not enough and modelling this process works quite well. It does take a fairly long time, but it was the best thing I did to support my students before their mock exams.

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Sam Ashraf

Samira is Head of Psychology and Literacy & Numeracy Co-ordinator in an outstanding academy in Slough.

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