CL Newsletter, April 2020 - CL + Distance Learning

This month, teachers continue to do what they do best: adapt. School closures around the world have forced teachers to find ways to connect with their students through digital media, and many of you have chosen Desmos. So in this edition, we’re highlighting three threads showing savvy ways teachers can use Computation Layer to sharpen their distance-learning skills.

Thread #1: Feedback Is King

Q: How do I embed self-checking in my activities?

A: You can embed self-checking feedback into activities by comparing function values or numeric values to an answer key. In fact, we’ve seen so many examples recently from community members like @JennSWhite and @jreulbach. Shoot them a message for more information and resources!

As you’re building self-checking activities, remember that students learn best when feedback is timely (i.e., not necessarily immediate) and when it gives them lots of useful information about their thinking (i.e., more than just “right” or “wrong”). Some of our favorite examples are Match My Line, Laser Challenge, and Make Them Balance.

Watch this video to learn more

Thread #2: Computation Layer + Card Sorts

Q: Is there a way for my students to check if they’re correct on a Card Sort?

A: CL provides you with the basics you need to get really creative with Card Sort screens. Start with these three sources:

  • totalCards: The total number of cards in the card sort.
  • totalCorrectCards: The total number of correctly grouped cards without an incorrect card.
  • matchesKey: True when totalCards = totalCorrectCards and the least number of groups are made.
The possibilities are endless when you use these in combination with other sinks and sources. Check out this collection of activities from last month’s #MatchMyCL community contributions.

Thread #3: Copying Screens Into Your Activities

Q: I’ve copied some screens from different activities and now I’m getting errors. How do I fix it?

A: There are some risks that come with copying or duplicating screens with CL. The most common and easiest mistake to fix is pasting in components with the same name. If that happens, you’ll have to go through each duplicate component and rename the component and the CL connected to that component.

Quick time-saving tip: Create an alias for each component and save it at the top of the window. Use the alias everywhere the component is referenced.

In the case that duplicates occur, you only need to change the component and the alias name to update everything else—a great timesaver for you when duplicating screens and for others when they copy/paste your screens!

We commend you and thank you for your resilience in these unprecedented times and for allowing us to learn and grow with you these past few weeks, especially through the AB clinics. Your innovation and resilience continues to be a strong reinforcement of one of our core principles: Trust Teachers.