Following a request from colleagues, we present this quick(ish) guide to creating a live class workbook. With special thanks to Olga Kozar for the inspiration and for perfecting the use of these workbooks in numerous staff development workshops!

What is a live class workbook?

A workbook in its basic form it is a shared online document that allows students to enter responses to individual or group activities so that a teacher can observe the progress of work in real time. An online MS office document or a shared google doc can serve this purpose well.

The document is set out to include questions, relevant resources and importantly, designated spaces for the responses created by students.

The example below shows a simple individual voting activity that also allows students to add a short reason for their choice.

In addition to simple voting, students can compose text, add links or draw very simple diagrams.

All students are given edit access to the same workbook and are able to see other’s responses being written in real time alongside their own. Each student’s edits are designated by different colored cursors. The example below shows an activity receiving responses from multiple small groups.

This approach suits use in smaller live class sessions such as a tutorial, practical or workshop for up to say 50 students. However due to the nature of collaborative document editing the approach is perhaps less suited to larger classes above that number. In larger classes separate workbook files for each group or class section could be created (e.g. each can be made available as a link in iLearn by defining groups and grouping settings) or perhaps tools in Zoom or Echo 360 may be better suited. When used with a manageable number of students, the shared workbook technique can enable the smooth running of online activities in online classes or face to face settings where students utilise laptop or mobile devices.

How can I create a live class workbook myself?

In short you can share an online word document via your MQ online MS office account. The trick is to create a share link that is open to “Anyone”. This avoids disruptions due to access permission problems that may otherwise be experienced by students. But note, please don’t share documents containing sensitive information in this manner.

A step by step “how to” guide is available for download as is an example workbook format template that you can adapt, upload and share yourself.

Posted by Mathew Hillier

Mathew has been engaged by Macquarie University as an e-Assessment Academic in residence and is available to answer questions by MQ staff. Mathew specialises in Digital Assessment (e-Assessment) in Higher Education. Has held positions as an advisor and academic developer at University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, Monash University and University of Adelaide. He has also held academic teaching roles in areas such as business information systems, multimedia arts and engineering project management. Mathew recently led a half million dollar Federal government funded grant on e-Exams across ten university partners and is co-chair of the international 'Transforming Assessment' webinar series as the e-Assessment special interest group under the Australasian society for computers in learning in tertiary education. He is also an honorary academic University of Canberra.

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