Alongside the standard revision advice we issue to our pupils which includes the importance of not cramming, using cue cards and mind maps, completing practice papers and dissecting the marking criteria, at EDLounge we believe there are great possibilities for utilising more technological methods for exam revision.
In order to help pupils, we need to be able to embrace technology. This means that we need to look at our approach to teaching and adjust accordingly. There are so many online resources that can be utilised as revision tools.
These resources can help to engage pupils as this type of technology is a medium they understand, can relate to and get actively involved in.
We have put together a list of innovative approaches that could benefit your pupils’ revision strategies and what you can do to assist their efforts.
1. Set up a forum
Set up a forum on your school website for your specific subject, class or topic. Encourage your pupils to access the forum to discuss points of revision. Let pupils know that you will be monitoring the forum’s discussions and can clarify anything you feel necessary.
Although pupils would have constant access to this, you could even plan times for the whole class, or certain groups, to log on for group discussions. Let your pupils take the lead on this; you can act as an overseer and be there to contribute to any questions they need you to answer.
You could also use the forum to initiate discussions by asking questions for your pupils to answer, or post any resources and links to websites you think they may find useful.
Although this technique doesn’t necessarily use technology, it is such a useful strategy that we just couldn’t leave it out.
Encourage your pupils to repeat the information they learn to ten other people. If you wanted to tell somebody a joke, for example, in order to get it right you need to repeat it. Once you have repeated it numerous times to different people, you know the joke and you are able to tell it to new people confidently.
It makes sense to adapt this technique for exam preparation. Encourage your pupils to repeat what they have revised to ten other people. This should help your pupils remember the information they need for the exam.
Many teachers have set up blogs; see this list in The Guardian for a few examples. Why not encourage your pupils to do the same? Pupils could set up their own blog page and you could ask them to write a little about the topics they are revising for.
Blogs are informal, therefore your pupils may benefit from processing information and rephrasing it so that it makes sense to them. Make sure they realise the different styles for writing and although in blogging they can write in whatever way seems natural to them, they shouldn’t write in such an informal manner when it comes to taking the exam.
The idea of sharing their views and processing the information in a familiar and memorable way isn’t restricted to forums and blogs. This technique could be used on Twitter (using a specific hash tag for certain discussions), setting up a Facebook page, or writing a book review on a website such as Goodreads.
Reading what others have to say on the subject is a great way gain greater understanding of a subject. Maybe somebody identifies something you hadn’t thought about or maybe they say something you disagree with, which can be equally useful in gaining a greater depth of understanding about a subject.
4. Let the pupils teach
Let your pupils take the lead. Getting your pupils to prepare PowerPoint presentations isn’t a new idea when it comes to education, but how about making their own YouTube videos? Encourage pupils to post their own instruction videos.
This doesn’t just work for practical subjects, as videos explaining how to work out certain problems and sharing opinions are equally useful for your students to create and share with other pupils.
Just as you can advise your pupils to create their own tutorial videos, why not create some yourself? Each pupil learns in a way that is unique to them, therefore it makes sense to provide a variety of resources such as videos and audio files, rather than just paper based resources.
Providing these resources so that your pupils may download the content to their mobiles or other devices means they can listen or watch them on the go, utilising travelling time for revision.
Please remember that all the websites listed in this article may have their own age restrictions which should be taken into consideration.
Caution should always be used when using any social website and ensure your pupils know what actions to take if they feel at risk. For most of the websites mentioned such as YouTube and many blogging websites, we would recommend you set your privacy settings to only allow specified people (e.g. your pupils and school staff) to access the information posted.