Lee Matkin has shared the Science PDC work that he has led here:
1. Using flashcard apps to improve retrieval practice.
The benefits of flashcards are that students are consistently testing themselves, prioritising the weakest areas of their knowledge (known answers go in one pile and unknown answers go in a different pile to retest), and interleaving revision.
Students in Science lessons have explored using flashcards apps to make digital flashcards. The apps allow students to make their own, choose from pre-made cards, or for the teacher and students to share their created cards.
The students have found the apps engaging as the cards can be presented as normal flashcards or as memory games to assist retrieval when needed.
2. Freeing up working memory by presenting key lesson instructions diagrammatically.
Students can become overloaded with information during practical work due to following complex methods, collecting and using equipment, coordinating group work, and obtaining repeat results. The load on working memory suggests that it may be difficult for students to recall the purpose and conclusions from the practical work.
The Science department are exploring the idea of reducing the working memory by providing methods as diagrams when applicable. In this way, students can complete simple steps of the method and attention can be drawn to areas that the teacher wishes to reinforce without overloading working memory. Students have also been tasked to create storyboards to logically and pictorially sequence the methods for GCSE required practicals.