In which ways has OneNote supported our educational development work?
OneNote Class Notebook is a programme that lets teachers create individual and shared work spaces for students. A Class Notebook includes a Content Library where teachers can post materials such as handouts, videos and lecture slides, a Collaboration space for group work in and outside class, and individual Notebooks where each student can take notes, work on tasks, and submit homework and assignments.
Several of the students in our project reported that OneNote gave them the feeling that they were working on drafts, rather simply uploading finished assignments to a Learning Management System. This work-in-progress aspect lowered the threshold for producing content in and outside of class and lends itself more naturally to collaborative writing and to process portfolio work.
Furthermore, OneNote invites the creation of individual learning portfolios (Student Notebooks). This provides the course lecturers with insight into individual students’ work and progress. Students were made aware that these individual Notebooks were only visible to their teachers (not to their peers) and that their teachers would occasionally look at their homework to get an impression of their progression and perhaps leave some feedback. This also meant that we, as course lecturers could use this evidence of students’ progress to plan our own teaching, addressing any issues and misunderstandings that might have cropped up and that we might otherwise not have had insight into.
The Collaboration space, which can be edited by all students and teachers, invites collaboration in class and out of class. The Collaboration space was particularly useful for giving and receiving peer feedback. It was also used for note-taking during group discussions in class.
The Collaboration Area in OneNote Classroom
It should be noted that OneNote for Classroom is not a Learning Management System and was not intended to replace such platforms. Students in the project had to navigate two platforms at once, the LMS (It’s Learning or Canvas) and OneNote. The LMS was then used to send out messages to all of the students, whereas OneNote was used for drafting and notetaking, collaborative writing, and submission of assignments.
Finally, OneNote has been a useful tool for collaboration between project group members, as it has helped us systematize our own professional development work.