Monday, November 30, 2015

Swaying Away in Humanities

This is the second month that my Humanities students have been using Sway.  Primarily, it has been used to facilitate group consensus statements. 

First, I should probably define a consensus statement.  In Humanities, we do a great deal of group discussion before we "answer" open-ended or critical thinking questions.  The groups then developed a consensus statement, which is a well-written glimpse at the discussion.  It is almost as if this statement is a window into the discussion.  All group members should agree on the statement and everyone's ideas should be represented. 

I've had students create consensus statements and submit them in a variety of formats: a single paragraph answer that is read to the class, a class Verso discussion, and a Sway.  My favorite, when doing a novel study, is using the Sway.  Students are always amazed at how easy it is to make a well-designed response.  They add to their group's Sway so that by the end of the selection/novel, they have some culminating answers that will help them prepare for the assessment and will capture the most important aspects of the piece.

Pros of using Sway for this activity:
  • Simplistic
  • Easy to share
  • Many authors can manipulate the content, but it appears cohesive due to the layouts

Cons of using Sway:
  • Difficult to change groups
  • Limited in the types of responses at this time (voice recording would be AMAZING)