This article was originally published on the Michigan Virtual Blog. The author is Lauren Graham
Some of my students were struggling with specific aspects of taking a course online, as well as certain assignments. They would send me emails that were along the lines of “I need help with the test I’m on right now,” to which I would have to reply, “Which test are you on? What are you having trouble with?” I wanted to cut out this part of the conversation and get right to helping them. So I decided to create a Piktochart that explained where they can look for FAQs and what they should include in a message when they reach out for help.
I also use Piktochart to share and examine examples of some assignments. Students in my classes were struggling with responding to each other over the online discussion board in meaningful ways. So I took a screenshot of a very well written response from a student and I used Piktochart to point out specific things that I wanted students to include in their responses. Students see this infographic every time that they open the Discussion Board page and since posting it I have seen a large increase in the quality of responses students write to each other. This tool would also be great for going over general assignment format, rubrics, citation formats, and much more.
Overall Piktochart has helped me create a way to share important information with my students in a way that they will interact positively with. I found that when I posted information in plain text my students would not read it. Piktochart allowed me to emphasize important information and create eye-catching announcements that students will actually read. Students have such a short attention span when it comes to reading that there is actually an acronym for it: tldr. This stands for “too long, didn’t read.” I create my infographics with this in mind, to ensure that my students are getting the important information they need to be successful in class.
With the help of Piktochart, my students are now clear on what I expect from them and they can focus on content rather than time-consuming class procedures. I have seen a diminished amount of simple questions that take the focus off the class material. I am so glad that I found this tool and I think that it would be beneficial for both online and face-to-face teachers to utilize.