I wanted to write a short piece on how I have used Unio by Harness in my classroom setting. I won’t write much, well anything at all, on how or what Unio is because Mark Anderson (ICTEvangelist) wrote an excellent blog that covers all things Unio here so please do give this a read too!
Edtech has swept across the land and many teachers are using some of the more well-known edtech tools for quizzing purposes (such as Google forms, Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizalize etc), however, there are tools out there that provide a greater depth and insight into your pupils learning while also housing the lesson itself and Unio is one of them. You can design your lessons within their platform to suit your learners needs so it is as dexterous as it is insightful.
Within my classroom, I use Unio as a tool for assessment and feedback purposes. I know that my pupils enjoy using technology to enhance their learning and they will always give me constructive feedback from their perspective; I think this is crucial as they are the ones who should be gaining from the experience more so than I. If the tool doesn’t work for them I want them to tell me. There are clear expectations however and the pupils know that if they are caught deviating from the lesson there are consequences, so they know where the boundary is and my message is clear – their focus on the lesson is key. I currently work in an all boys school where, much like in other schools I’m sure, they are rather attached to their technology. We do have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, where we don’t specify a particular device, so the tools we use need to be agnostic with respect to software and Unio meets this criterion.
So how can you use Unio for assessment purposes I hear you ask? Well, in many ways is the honest answer. Via quizzes, video content, worksheets, documents, annotations and now audio files, so you really can take your pick as to how you’d like to provide assessment and feedback opportunities. The platform has a built-in quiz function so you can make quizzes, you can upload pre-made documents (such as word docs and google docs) for pupils to complete, you can ask pupils to narrate or annotate key diagrams, complete an exam question and many more. I have used the platform as a formative assessment tool to monitor ongoing learning during lessons and provide immediate feedback to move their understanding forwards, while also highlighting and dealing with any misconceptions at their point of origin. I’ve also used it as a summative assessment tool by uploading parts of exam papers as an end of topic test and marking them there and then, which eases workflow. How you use it is really up to you! I was asked by Unio to present how I have used Unio in my classroom for assessment and feedback purposes at BETT 2018, you can see in my presentation below how I have used Unio for assessment and feedback purposes.
What I like about the product is that it’s user-centred so pupils can not only work at their own pace but they can also be given real-time individual feedback, which not only informs you as the teacher but also enables the pupil to make faster progress thanks to opening up the dialogue channels and providing pinpoint feedback. It can also help to curate a culture that is it ok to fail and learn from your mistakes, as each pupil is working on their own and their work isn’t shared with the class (unless you ask them first) so they are more inclined to have a go at the more challenging work knowing that there is a safety net there and you are supporting them.
Regardless of the tool, it can be a challenge at times to pick up any passengers and those who are very quiet, Unio allows the teacher to see how every pupil is progressing at any stage in the lesson. This is achieved thanks to being able to view all individual pupil screens so you can give immediate real-time feedback instantly to any pupil. Should you wish to, you can live mark pupils work for all to see so that everyone can see how you are matching your marking against criteria; from my experience, this has a positive impact on learning as pupils have a deeper insight into how to make progress. You can also do whole class live quizzing, which gives you whole class data and individual data so you really can see where everyone is in their learning journey and adjust your lesson(s) accordingly. Give it a go, you can get a free trial here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.