Learning Duet

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Method & Rationale

This methods enables teachers to realize the individual learning speed of their pupils, for the pupils themselves it promotes the motivation to increase the working speed.
 

Description

Starting point of this method is a working assignment with some different examples (e.g. mathematics). It is important, that the examples get more and more difficult. Overall it should not be possible to solve all examples in the given time.
All pupils start with solving the first example. If anybody is ready, he stands up and shows the number of the solved example. He looks for a partner, who shows the same number and check his solution against the other one. If they have the same solution, it is supposed to be correct. If they have hot, they are forced to discuss the differences and find a correct solution together. If they cannot do this, they can either ask the teacher or take a look to the solutions. When they are sure to have a correct solution they sit down and work on the next examples. Being ready the students stand up again, looks for a new partner and so on.
 

Students Outcomes

   -   Improve your knowledge on a particular topic
   -   Work as an individual on problem solving
   -   Collaborate with peers for peer correction
   -   Engage in peer learning
 

Key Skills

   -   Follow Instructions
   -   Problem Solving
   -   Working alone
   -   Working together
   -   Active Listening
   -   Oracy
 

Tipps

The biggest problem of this method are very weak pupils, because they do not stand up after a short time, not to show that they haven’t solved many examples so far. Best solution is to take very easy examples in the beginning.
Although it sounds like a big chaos, my experiences show, that this method is really one of the best one to repeat and train topics. A second possibility is, to use it for simple logic learning. If the group is very inhomogeneous, this method should not be used.
 

Visualisation

Phase 1: solve an example
 
Phase 2: check your solution against the solution of a partner
go back to phase 1 with the next example

Evaluation

Statistics:

Country
Number of pupils
Aged
Number of teachers
Topics
Austria
102
14/18
3
Programming, Accountin, Project-Management, Logic and Algorithm
Belgium
51
14/18
2
English, Projectwork
Ireland
 40
14/17
2
Maths
Sweden
 7
14/16
 1
German
Spain
60
12/18
4
English, Spanish
 

Results of evaluation of students:

Students often liked to work with this method, because they were not forced to work faster than they want. Most of them felt motivated to solve as many tasks as possible.
In generally they did not feel, that this method helped them to better understand the topic (it was only used for repetition and practising in most countries), but they felt, that it was a good possibility to check their knowledge.
Not all students like to get up and look for a partner to go over the exercise. Some of them are ‘lazy’, and want to work with their neighbour (or the same person) most of the time.
The students liked this method because it challenged them to do as many of the exercises as possible. The fact that it starts off very easily gives all the students a good feeling about themselves. The students that want to be challenged, find this a motivating task to do.
All of them could understand and follow the instructions easily. Most of them would like to work with this method again.
Pros:
   -   like to work with different partners
   -   like to work on my own tempo
   -   easy tasks in the beginning
   -   was not bored, by waiting for slower students
   -   method increased motivation
   -   challenging for better students
   -   starting with simple work, gives everybody a good feeling about themselves
Cons:
   -   too much noise
   -   could not concentrate
   -   was afraid not to find a partner
   -   did not like to work with different pupils (would like to work with my friend every time)
 

Results of evaluation of teachers:

Method was easy to explain to the students (in vocational, it took some more time to explain the method).
Most of the time it was much easier to work with the method than we thought. There was not so much disturbance and noise, as we were afraid of, no chaos happened. The biggest problem was, that sometimes they were not willing to follow the rules. Some of them preferred to work together, instead of working alone and comparing the results.
The method helped our students to see, how far they understood the topic. We also gave them a hint, which tasks could have been part of a following test, so they could assess, if they would have pass the test. It was a really good method for practising languages structures among peers or to repeat a procedure without getting bored. The method gives students a chance to evaluate their peers in a safe environment.
Students looked at it as a competition, they wanted to end as many exercises as possible. That is good for motivation, but some of the students worked too fast and not really accurately. Some of them also abused the correction key, saying they were done when they clearly were not. It is necessary to check if the students correct all exercises. Some don’t correct or make the same mistakes as their peer did.
The method was really activating the students: they were motivated to start working.Motivation even increased because the first exercises were easy. Every student could complete them.
The time of preparation was different, depending on the pool of questions we had before. If it was necessary to do all questions new, it took quit a time, especially to decide the order of the tasks. It was very important to have the easier tasks in the beginning.
Most of the time there was no direct evaluation of the outcome, it was used as a possibility of repetition and preparation for a test.
There were no differences in working with this method in different classes, problems and results have been comparable.
 
Pros:
   -   Activating method
   -   Good method for repetition, practising
   -   Allows repetition without getting bored
   -   Worked much better than I thought (comment of a teacher, who worked with a first class)
   -   All students working on the topic!!
   -   Students get to know more colleagues
 
Cons:
   -   Much noise
   -   Some students are lazy and doing only one or two tasks
   -   Some students are lazy and don’t get up
   -   Some students work together instead of alone
   -   Some students always worked together and did not change partners
   -   Could not force them to work alone
   -   Restricted with space
   -   Not possible with too small groups
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