Using comics in teaching?

My colleague (you know who you are) and I brainstormed our classroom instruction last year. It is an experiment. However, since the course that I teach is offered alternately (ONLY in semester 1), I did not get to collect data for two consecutive semesters, unlike my colleague. She teach an undergraduate course which is offered on every semester. So, the data collection for our mini research is incomplete due to the way my course is offered.

Alhamdulillah, we had a post mortem a few months ago about the instruction and what can be improved. This is one of the things that I will do in my class.

This is a comic that I created using Canva. I had created a comic before which I used for a final examination.

For the students who really want to learn about this course, please be prepared with the assignments. Unlike previous semester which I instructed students to find existing comics and they just analysed the issues etc., but this semester, the instruction is different.

Students need to identify issue(s) related to a specific stage of development. Then they have to describe the issue(s) by relating it to relevant theories (this involves their HOTs which are analysis and evaluating skills). Then they have to craft/create a comic using the issue(s) using Canva (or any other platform) (this involves their HOTs which is creating skills). There. The highest level of Bloom’s taxonomy. What we want is our graduates to be independent, creative, analytical etc. thinker, right? (tongue in cheek remark!)

IUCEL 2022

We had no grant, no product nor any commercialisation value for this project. Nope. But what we have is something that we want to share with others about our teaching practice. This is our little experiment. So, Dr Doria Abdullah and I brainstormed last year about the things that we want to do for our class. It was a new session (session 202122) so I want to try out something new for my class. Dr Doria has used comics in her class for few semesters. I like the idea and I want to try out for my class but since I only taught one course which I did not pair with others, I could only experiment this idea in this course. It is a bit tedious to discuss and involve others whom I do not have any experience collaborating with.

Dr Doria was my former student and she likes the idea of some of the things that I did when I was teaching her (I have forgotten what I did back then – it was more than 10 years ago). To cut the story short, we had data from our little experiment. It is might be not enough for publication yet as it might need few cycles of data collection to have solid and sufficient data. So, as a start, we share our findings in IUCEL 2022.

Alhamdulillah, we got Silver medal. Well, our intention is not for the medal but we want to share and get feedbacks from others which we can use to improve our teaching. So our project is nothing fancy. It involved just the two of us because the process happened in our classes (Dr Doria used her undergraduate class and I used my postgraduate class). My students were informed about this.

Last year, I submitted my own project which I conducted alone for my class (the data collection took place three semesters). Somebody asked me why I did such project alone. Well, Alhamdulillah Allah Gives me someone to collaborate with. Even though, Dr Doria is a junior but she has lots of ideas that I find interesting to replicate in my own class. I hope our collaboration will not stop here.


COVID-19: FSSH FREE 2021 video competition

I know that I can be a bit bossy. Yup. So when the faculty organised a competition last May, my initial reaction was “Ok. It is just another competition“. Then, someone messaged me and reminded me that I need to submit a video. What a heck! In a midst of doing something else and now I had another thing that I required (semi-forced) to do, I was hesitant to submit a video for the competition.

Then I remembered a video (at that time, it was not finished yet) that I was creating for my class. A short video as another version of a class note. Rather than giving normal slides and whatever, I convert the notes, recycle some points here and there from the class notes and turn it into a video.

But I need pictures and second opinion. I was desperate. I asked some of the group members and most of them said “I didn’t use that in my class“. But, I know two people who use Gallery Walk in their class. So, I bugged them to give me pictures. Of course, they were hesitant. I told them something like this “You have nothing to lose. We need to do this as you will be the next in line to be bugged by you-know-who if we don’t get the video done. We need to help each other in this“. So, they shared the links to their Padlet. I screen shot it and cropped it and the video was done. Phew!

Of course, one of them feel guilty because as if I am the one who do all the work. Well, since I am using (paid some more, right?), I might as well use it to the max. What I need is someone to give me evidence in a form of pictures and someone who can double check the written texts in the video (context, grammatical mistakes, sentence structure and stuff). So, their contribution is in terms of giving me materials for my video and FOC of proof reading (tongue in cheek!).

Making a video is easier if we have materials, content that needed for a video. With my minimal skills of video editing, I use which does not require “technical” video editing skills. I do not need to know the “layers” of contents which can be found in Moovly, Powtoon and other apps when I use There is nothing wrong with Moovly or Powtoon but for me, it takes me longer time to produce a video using it.

Note: There are only a few people who are responsible in creating the video though and RM80 is for me to cover half the cost of the annual fees I paid (tongue in cheek!). Without the support of my Sub Group Leader (Dr Doria who happened to be my former student long time ago), the video which was used for the competition will remain as my class material in which I don’t use for whatever competition. Thanks to her, I was motivated to finish the video.

Am I becoming a Youtuber?

It is never in my wildest dream to be a Youtuber.  Nope.  But with COVID-19, I was challenged to learn new skills or to upskill my existing knowledge and skills.  I was feeling hopeless, helpless and frustrated with myself.  Indeed.

But, I take a baby step.  Some of the video editing is learned from training.  But I also learn from watching countless hours from Youtube.  I follow the tips and step by step process.

Here are some of the videos that I have created so far

  1.  Think-Pair-Share (Moovly)
  2. Sternberg’s theory of intelligence (Moovly)
  3. Cattell’s theory of intelligence (Moovly)
  4. Thurstone’s theory of intelligence (Powtoon)

Poster… poster….

I gave my students an assignment to create an infographic poster.   Wow… I am really impressed with them.  They use Adobe, Canva and so many other apps and software.  Me?  I only know how to use Canva but those who have seen my posters, they know that I need to improve and upgrade my skills and techniques.  I have a long way to go.  Indeed.

These students?  They belong to a different league.  It is hard to choose which the best.  I have my favorite though (tongue in cheek remark).  But I let them to vote two posters (not their own).  The criteria of evaluation: 1) accuracy of information, 2) interesting design/color, 3) attractive (the Wow factor).

Here are the posters (not rank into any specific order):

Technically, my class has ended?

It took me more than a week to prepare my audio notes.  It is not easy.  I woke up early to record (before the kids wake up) and continued to record when they are semi-active.  But once a while, I still went on recording regardless of the background noise.  So, some of my recorded notes the sound of bird chirping, kids screaming/crying/singing and my cat meowing.  Work from home?  Indeed

On top of that, I also explore Quizziz and all as an alternative method to give my students quizzes.  So Quizziz has new features and I am so excited to try it out.  So, what is the best way to explore it?  Yup.  By creating quizzes using the new features.  But some students messaged me privately and said that they don’t like the features.  Well, it is ungraded quiz (for goodness sake!).  So, I just take note of that.  At least I know their perception about the new features.

New Academia Learning Innovation (NALI) Active learning: Carousel or Round Robin or Gallery Walk

Carousel or Round Robin or Gallery Walk?  Which is which?

Technique Task Movement from one place to another
Carousel Group Yes
Round Robin Group/pair No (student stays at their own place and takes turn to give ideas in a group)
Gallery Walk Individual Yes

For Carousel and Gallery Walk, it involves movement, discussion, and reflection. But in a Gallery Walk, students independently and move around the room to complete a series of tasks alone.  But in a Carousel, students have to discuss in their own group as they move around the room to complete a series of tasks together with team members.

For Round Robin, basically each member take turn to give ideas in a group.

New Academia Learning Innovation (NALI) Active learning: Using Tarsia

We discussed about teaching and learning approach (pendekatan pengajaran dan pembelajaran).  So, I demonstrated that in one session of teaching and learning, we can combine the elements of teacher-centered approach with student-centered approach and material/activity-centered approach.

In the first hour, I gave a lecture on the types of teaching and learning approach (this an example of teacher centered approach) and later on I did an activity using Tarsia puzzle (this is an example of material/activity-centered approach). Then, in a small group of five students, I gave them a set of Tarsia puzzle and they need to solve the puzzle together.

The concept is similar like peer instruction, but in this case it involves more than two students in which they have to work in group to solve the puzzle (this is an example of student centered approach).   In my class, there are six groups (since I have 31 students in my class).  So, there are six sets of Tarsia puzzle that I have prepared earlier.  Well, I only have to prepare one, make a copy of that and cut the pieces before I give the students to solve the puzzle as an activity in class.

The students were in group to solve the puzzle i.e. Tarsia

Tarsia in the making

A template which I made few copies later on

It works!!!!

My Tarsia pouch

Using Collaborative Tools and Gamification in my class (2019): MPPE 1353 Personality Psychology

I admit that I am a bit “slow” to catch up with technology and whatsnot.  But, I challenge myself to improve my teaching to incorporate online assessment and also more interactive class notes in my class.  After all, the quiz in Kahoot! or Quizziz has this interactive features that I could not provide if I use paper-and-pencil test.  For my class notes, I find that Prezi has this unique features.  It is almost like a game in itself as students can choose to pick which bubble that they want to uncover first.

Here are some of the class notes that I have using Prezi

I don’t give quiz as part of the course requirement for my MPPE 1353 Personality Psychology class, but I give students options to self-assess their understanding.  Since they are adult learners, they use this as an opportunity to improve their learning and enhance their learning experiences.  Some of them are teachers so when they have experiential learning using Kahoot! or Quizziz, they have an idea about how to incorporate online assessment in their class as well.

Here are some of the quizzes that I give to my students

Using Collaborative Tools and Gamification in my class (2019): SPPP 1012 Educational Psychology

I learned about Gamification back in 2016.  But, I was really struggling back then to learn using online assessment such as Kahoot!, Quizziz and others.   For my class note, I struggle to use Padlet and Prezi.

But, I challenge myself to improve my teaching to incorporate online assessment and also more interactive class notes in my class.  After all, the quiz in Kahoot! or Quizziz has this interactive features that I could not provide if I use paper-and-pencil test.  For my class notes, I find that Prezi has this unique features.  It is almost like a game in itself as students can choose to pick which bubble that they want to uncover first.

I first came across Kahoot! in my Educational Psychology class from one of the group presentations by my SPPP 1012 Educational Psychology students back in 2016.  Yep.  I learned about Kahoot! from them.  Not long after that, I attended a workshop about gamification.  Only then I learn more about gamification and various types of online assessments.

Since then, I have started to create quizzes using Kahoot! or Quizziz.   Here are some of the quizzes that I use in my class.