1) When testing, clear direction is essential
In our session, the teacher introduced the new application and explained why the learning activity was important for the students. By first setting the context of the app, the students understood the goals of the testing session and what they would be working on. After explaining the goals of the session she demonstrated on a big screen how the app worked and what the students were to do. This got all of the students on the same page and focused them on the work ahead.
2) Students must get feedback within the app
When designing apps, building in appropriate feedback can be overlooked and under-appreciated. But as I saw again today, kids absolutely need to get feedback and want to see their progress. One of the benefits of software is that we can build in feedback for students - and we must do so with care ensuring they understand how they are doing and what progress they are making.
3) Kids are willing to try something new but it has to engage them
Kids are more than willing to try something new, but it must engage them to hold their interest. To engage kids, it can be easy to default to distracting gimmicks but what I experienced today showed that kids will engage with learning activities that challenge them, give them feedback and show their progress.
These are a few of the takeaways for me from today's session. I'd love to hear your thoughts on testing in the classroom. How do you run your testing sessions? As an educator, how would you test a new application in your classroom?