The Edtech Dotank co-creates new technical solutions to support active learning activities. Our innovation partners and full partners can start Dotank projects. The focus on a seamlessly integrated solution improves and accelerates the implementation process of new didactic designs.

Higher education is rich in excellent ideas, but clear and effective methods for transforming these ideas into validated technological solutions are in short supply. Even when such solutions are developed, a lack of technological support hampers solutions from spreading beyond a small group of innovators. Our innovation/full partner institutions pinpoint an educational use-case that cannot be met with current available technologies. In collaboration with experts and teachers from other partner institutions, the Dotank builds new technically supported learning activities to the proposed challenges and opportunities. We believe that in our co-creative partnership we can drive innovation at a pace that would be impossible for each partner to achieve individually. 

The Dotank process consists out of five phases: definition, design, development, validation and finally deployment.

Fig. 1: visualisation of the Dotank process

Please find an overview of the current projects with a brief explanation and their phase listed below. The overview will go through the phases from validation to definition. The projects that are currently in validation phase can already be tested by (piloting) partners on request

Validation phase

Nudging and reviewer feedback, in co-creation with Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Students can be nudged by adding feedback tips, as a teacher, which show when students are writing a review comment. They can also be nudged by adding a checklist that appears before the student finished the review. The checklist is made by the teacher and is able to make the students think about their given feedback before finalising their review. The goal of these two elements is to increase the quality of qualitative feedback by students.

The reviewer feedback element of this project is for students to rate the reviews that they receive from their peers. The receiver of the feedback can give a rating to quantitatively rate their peers' feedback as well as qualitatively with the use of a comment to explain the rating given. The goal of rating the received feedback by students is for students to be held accountable for the quality of their given feedback as well as triggering self-reflection.

Participation grading in the review tools, in co-creation with Wageningen University & Research.
Make your students responsible for the quality of their feedback comments by letting them select the comments that they think are of the highest quality. These selected comments are reviewed by the teacher and graded. In this way students can give feedback to their peers and be held responsible for the quality of their feedback. As a teacher you can ask the students to select one, or multiple, comments that you will grade.

Currently in early development stages is to add participation grading to the Interactive Study Material tools, where students will be able to select their best contributions to be graded.

Explanation Cards, in co-creation with the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Instructors can create Explanation Cards with expert knowledge that is validated, to be shared with students. These cards can be created in the Assignment Review and Skill Review tools by teachers, these cards can contain information on for instance, common mistakes/misinterpretations. When the cards are created the teachers in the assignment can easily use the cards in their feedback to students. The teacher has an overview of all the cards used in their feedback and the students can see the reviews with the attached cards. The students also see an overview of the cards they were given in the final step of their assignment 'read and reflect'. With this project we want to make sure that the quality of expert feedback is consistent over different instructors/teaching assistants and student assistants.


Development phase

Improved Review Flow for Teachers, in co-creation with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Teachers have limited time to spend on reviewing of projects and we are working on improving the overviews within the Assignment tools to clarify the status of the students progress in a more visual manner. Allowing teachers to get the most important insights at a glance, whilst being able to navigate through the individual students' reviews easily. Comparing individuals to the group average will also be shown more visually. With these improvements to the review flow in the user experience we hope that teachers (and students) will navigate through the activities in a more meaningful and intuitive way.

The main use cases we want to improve are to get a picture of how a specific student performed on the assigned work and how they reviewed peers. The other case is to get a picture of the entire class and see how they performed on their assigned work and the reviewing of peers. 

Discussion Assignment, grading and incentives, in co-creation with MITx.
The Discussion Assignment tool in its first version has been available to our partners to test since March 2019. Currently in development is the second phase of this project, where we want to increase the number of use cases that can be covered with this tool. The Discussion Assignment tool lets teachers set up an elaborate discussion process in which students debate the assigned issues extensively. Important improvements are needed to use this tool at a bigger scale, that is why we are incorporating the following elements: usage of groups to allow for more in-depth discussions, flagging of submissions and comments by students to teachers to ensure a safe learning environment with monitoring of teachers and grading to incentivise students contributing in a constructive and responsible manner.

Design phase

Chaining of Assignments, in co-creation with Deakin University.
As an instructor or instructional designer, you can easily change assignment setups to support learning objectives and able to combine different assignment types to improve the assignment design within a course. Making it possible to create continuity across assignments, foster wider adoption across faculty and encourage innovative assessment design. As an example, you can chain the self-assessment of work, to a Peer Review, to a Teacher Review and a Final Submission. With the creation of a chain, the analytics, handed-in work, reviews and grades can be shared across the different components.

Team Based Learning, in co-creation with IE Business School.
Within this project we want to make sure to support TBL with our tooling, this means that we want all students to engage in the TBL process but ensuring a simple set up for the instructors. Teams of students must negotiate which answer to choose, they then “scratch off” their answer choice, hoping to find a correct answer. If incorrect, student teams continue to discuss the question and sequentially select other choices. Teachers identify trouble spots easily with real-time detailed data analysis on team performance. Students get real-time feedback on tests, resulting in higher learning outcomes.

For projects in the definition, design or development phases you are able to ask for more information or join the testing in the validation phase by contacting Annika Borgstede

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