Teachers around the world are developing strategies for deeper learning as they use Verso in their classrooms. We’ve gathered some examples and share them below—these were chosen because they have all been successful in promoting high-quality engagement, carefully considered student responses, and deeper levels of thinking and peer-to-peer discussion.
This list is by no means complete. However, these strategies demonstrate what can be done with a little bit of question re-engineering. What they all have in common is a desire to push student thinking from one idea to many, through visibility on collective original thinking.
The teachers who contributed these have used peer-to-peer commentary to require students to begin to reflect on, and make, connections between ideas and diverse viewpoints.
We look forward to your feedback and welcome additional strategies you might be willing to share as part of an ongoing discussion.
1. MORE THAN ONE RESPONSE
Here, the teacher is asking for two responses from students.
When building your activity, set ‘Minimum number of responses per student’ to two. Each idea is entered as a separate response. The required number of responses will unlock the wider community.
2. Ask for more than one type of response from your students
Having seen all ideas from their classmates, students will add their original idea to the community before constructing a question.
Response 1: Share an idea
Access all other ideas
Response 2: Ask a question
This approach really requires students to engage more deeply with the activity and connect with the ideas of others.
For this strategy, the teacher wants students to access each other’s ideas before developing their question, so he/she set up the required responses at 1. This means that only the students’ first ideas are required to unlock the Verso community. Their questions can be crafted from the point of know that it comes from visibility of many ideas.
It may help if students begin their second response with the word, Question, as the grouping tool can be used to separate the questions from the ideas.
3. Using Likert Scales
To What Extent Do You Agree or Disagree with This Statement?
This is a great way of provoking deeper learning. Removing the midpoint (neither agree or disagree) forces students to make and justify a particular choice.
It is a useful approach for collecting arguments for persuasive writing, debates, and discussion, and allows the grouping tool to be used to connect similar ideas together. This is made easier if students begin their responses with their rating (e.g., agree) before explaining their choice. Student comments can be directed at opposing viewpoints in a bid to persuade.
Ask students to comment on each other’s responses, starting their comments with “Ah, but…”