We’ve designed Stile to complement and enhance your teaching practices as a blended learning tool. Blended learning is basically education jargon that describes what you’ve probably been doing successfully for years. That is, using a range of face-to-face and online resources and activities to provide individualised, student-centred learning experiences for your students.
The key benefits of using Stile as a blended learning tool include:
- improved student outcomes
- increased student engagement
- more opportunities for collaboration, both within and beyond the classroom
- inclusion of more differentiated and personalised instruction
- the ability to provide more regular and timely feedback
- the ability to target and address student misconceptions more readily
- exposure to a wide range of technologies and acquisition of digital literacy skills
- integrated formative and summative assessment mechanisms for students and teachers
Although most teachers use Stile as a blended learning tool in the physical classroom, distance educators have been using Stile remotely for years through video conferencing. Stile projected over video conferencing creates the virtual classroom where distance educators can incorporate classroom teaching and learning practices such as direct instruction, collaborative learning and independent study.
Zoom, Google Hangouts, WebEx, Big Blue Button and Skype are common video conferencing software used by distance educators to project Stile to their students.
Teaching with Stile
Stile is great for facilitating direct instruction, or explicit teaching. When video conferencing with your students, you can share your screen in Teach Mode. Teach Mode is a presentation mode in Stile that also gives you per question analytics allowing you to see where students are up to and what they’re having difficulty with.
Each lesson has clearly defined learning goals at the top of the page. These provide an opportunity to talk through the purpose of the lesson and make the learning outcomes transparent to students. We’d recommend introducing and exploring new content through the written text, video and worked examples in Stile to help build student knowledge and skills.
With your guidance, the mixture of short snappy videos, clear diagrams and interactive simulations really help students grasp the scientific concepts you’re teaching them.
The content and features in Stile are designed to promote collaboration and productive class discussions. Tools such as Live poll, Live brainstorm and Class discussion can be great ways to get students to contribute their thoughts and ideas both in-person and in a remote setting.
Live brainstorms allow students to contribute their ideas where the responses can then be used to facilitate a class discussion. This article goes into further detail.
Live polls, in a sense, are like students raising their hands and voting on one or more answers. It’s a fast and effective way to gauge your learners’ opinions or understanding. For further information, read this article.
Class Discussion is a fantastic way for students to collaborate, ask questions and discuss points raised in the same class at the same time. Class discussion is a lesson-specific chat room that you have complete control over — you can open or close it any time and can delete any comments that go off track. Have a read of this article for more information.
Teachers commonly set certain questions in Stile lessons to be done independently in class once the concept has been introduce to students.
As students work through the questions, Teach Mode allows you to monitor how they are progressing through the lesson, make sure they’re on track, catch any misconceptions and, if time allows, give them targeted feedback. This allows you to focus your efforts and address knowledge gaps with students in groups or one-on-one through written or audio feedback or break-out rooms in the video conferencing software.
Monitoring real-time progress and leaving timely feedback is particularly important when you aren’t physically in the classroom with your students.
Once your students have had enough time to work through the question block, responses can be discussed as a class. You can project individual student responses anonymously or with student names displayed, and even compare and contrast against the model answer.
It’s worth noting that we don’t recommend using Stile as a “set-and-forget” resource. Unlike most other online resources, Stile was designed with you, the teacher, at the centre of the classroom (in-person or virtually!). We believe that a good resource should enhance your current teaching style, not replace you with volleys of automated lower-order questions!
Additional Stile features for remote learning
You can release a single lesson or multiple lessons to your students. Depending on your plan, you can release lesson-by-lesson as your students complete them, or all the lessons you plan to cover in a set period such as a week. Read this article for further information.
Set due dates
You can set due dates on each lesson so that students know when certain lessons are due. Once you assign a due date, this will appear on each student’s home page and any overdue lessons will be highlighted. This article describes how to set due dates.
Add video and audio clips
To add a personal touch to your lessons and highlight key points, you can include your own video and audio clips. This article details recording audio clips directly through Stile and this article describes uploading videos from your laptop onto Stile via the video widget.
For detailed instructions on how to set up and run your classes remotely in Stile, click here.