This activity lends itself well both to in-person and digital instruction, and the digital version can bring a group of students together to work on one project. I created the activity as an O&M activity, but it could also be used in other types of instruction. My students and I started the activity in person, then continued it during the period of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both academic and special education teachers use a variety of online quiz websites or supplemental instruction, such as Kahoot, Quizzes, and Quizlet. On each of these sites, teachers and students can use existing quizzes that have been posted online or create and post their own quizzes on various topics. My students and I have explored and used these sites, and we have found existing quizzes to have a range of usefulness. Some of the quizzes are specific to the geographic region where the creator of the quiz lives; others have answers to the questions that do not align with the way in which I teach a topic or skill or, in some cases, are just patently incorrect. We have found these issues to be particularly true with online quizzes on O&M topics, so my students and I decided to create one or more online quizzes with factual O&M-related information that is applicable in multiple environments.
Please note that the activity described is specifically based on the creation of quizzes to be uploaded to the Kahoot website. This is not an endorsement of Kahoot, but it was one of the favorite quiz sites of my students, so we decided to start with that site.
Google Drive backpack: Our school district uses the Google platform, so we used Google Drive to store and share information. In My Drive I created a folder called “O&M Kahoot,” and within that folder I created a folder called “O&M Kahoot Images” and a Google Doc called “O&M Kahoot Ideas” to share ideas for the quiz. I then shared the entire folder with several middle- and high-school students.
Ideas: Attached to this post is a PDF of the Google Doc with ideas contributed by me and several students. When we are working face-to-face, I enter the information into the document; when we are working digitally, the students can enter ideas on their own.
Images: After downloading them, the students and I add images to the “Images” folder. I encourage the students to use non-copyrighted images whenever possible in our quizzes, and I provide instruction and resources for my students to search for these types of images. However, I have found that there is a limited number of downloadable images that are copyright-free, and it can be difficult to find images that effectively illustrate O&M concepts. So, I allow the students to use other types of images as long as they provide the URL of the image. In the Images folder for the activity there is a document demonstrating how the students will add the URL by pasting the image and URL into a document and sharing it with me. The demonstration document is attached to this post, and it also shows examples of the types of images we look for.
At the time of this writing our quizzes are still a work in progress, so we have not yet finished creating and posting them. I am planning to create several quizzes, because there are many concepts I would like to include, and we have found that online quizzes that have too many questions are not enjoyable for students. Once we have sufficient content (including ideas and images), we will work together to craft the questions and answers and then upload the quizzes. I have told the students that I will have the final say-so in terms of editing the final quizzes, because I do want them to be accurate as well as sufficiently challenging for other students who will take the quizzes online.
This has been a great activity for students because they really have to think about the O&M concepts when they are formulating ideas for questions and looking for images that illustrate the concepts. During the pandemic it has been very challenging to plan O&M instruction that can effectively be delivered in the virtual environment, but this activity has worked well in both in-person and virtual settings. As noted earlier, the same procedure could also be used as part of a vision class with vision-related topics.