More on whiteboards in class

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how whiteboards rock in the class I’m teaching on Analysis and Design. Things have progressed since then.

The first step started from a conversation in the “vista” portion of our hallway where the hallway opens up into a commons area with tables and a wonderfully bright and beautiful view of the wetlands that compose 60% of UW Bothell’s campus. I was grading papers when a fellow Computing and Software Systems faculty member stopped by to chat. I mentioned my use of whiteboards in the classroom. He liked the idea, and the next day had his students use the 2′ x 2′ whiteboards in his class. When I saw him the next day, he gave me a thumbs up and told me how thrilled he was with how the whiteboards had enabled better conversations and collaborations in the student teams. Cool!

His next question was why don’t we stash a stack of these whiteboards in every classroom? Hmm. Interesting idea!

The next step occurred last week when I presented a poster at the University of Washington Bothell’s first annual Teaching and Learning Symposium on the use of whiteboards in my class. Here is a photo of it:

Want to see what the students in my class said about using the whiteboards in class? Click on the photo, above, and zoom into the quotes in the lower right. Those are all screen shots from the blogs my students have been producing as a “Learning Log” to record meta-cognitive aspects of what they have learned in this course. Not just the “What” but more importantly what was surprising to them and why. Using screen shots allowed me to keep their chosen font, colored background etc so that I could keep as close to their voice as possible.

Most of these entries were written in response to an optional prompt to write about the use of whiteboards in this class. About two thirds of the students wrote about the whiteboards. A couple noted how whiteboards can be awkward at times. The rest ranged from liking the whiteboards to very much liking them. As the large white-on-black quote says, “Whiteboards – Have they worked? Short answer – yes, long answer definitely yes.”

And did you notice the sticky notes? These were comments posted by students from Diane Gillespie’s BIS 435 Interactive Learning: Theory and Practice class. Diane and the students had come to the symposium to explore what teachers here at UW Bothell are doing relating to “interactive learning-including constructionist-, critical-, and experientially based views” of teaching.

I love how they become co-creators of my poster, evolving it to reflect their thoughts.

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About davidsocha

In autumn 2010 after spending 19 years working in a variety of software organizations as a programmer, architect, manager, teacher, ScrumMaster, product designer, change agent, and agile coach, I finally listened to what everyone had been telling me I should be doing and joined the University of Washington Bothell as an Assistant Professor in Computing & Software Systems. My interests are how to create and maintain great teams, particularly those in software development organizations. I am most interested in distinctions that dramatically increase the effectiveness of teams, such as systems thinking, design thinking, biomimicry, and human centered design. I am a pragmatist, a collaborator, and an optimist.
This entry was posted in Design, Modeling, Software, Teaching, Teams and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More on whiteboards in class

  1. Pingback: Yet more on whiteboards in class | David Socha's Blog

  2. Pingback: Whiteboard use spreads at UW Bothell | David Socha's Blog

  3. Pingback: Another test of team whiteboards | David Socha's Blog

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