Part 2: Fall 2015 Labs

24 Siftr with Margene Anderson — 10.23.2015

Margene AndersonIn the Active Teaching Lab on October 23, 2015, Margene Anderson shared how she uses Siftr assignments to extend her students’ learning. Low risk, simple to create and use, Siftrs help embody learning through student-crowdsourced sharing of examples of course content.

Key Takeaways

  • Siftrs are cheap and easy – instead of making ONE for your class, create a new SIFTR map each week with a new theme (plaques & landmarks, cool thing to do, quiet places, culture, find advisor’s office, a place connected to their identity – or with themes that would provide evidence for your course’s learning objectives).
  • Great way for students to learn from each other’s work, rather than have papers turned in to the instructor only without classmates seeing them.
  • Embed a Siftr map in D2L or Moodle, and student sharing can happen there.
  • Siftr uses the brain in a different way than more traditional assignments, written assignments specifically.
  • Siftrs can be private or public.
  • Instructor and students can learn about all the students based on what they choose to post – allows validation and community building among students.
  • There is a Siftr widget for D2L.
  • Use “categories” within a Siftr map (it’s the tag icon) to break down/sort types of posts.
  • Sort by Categories, or use hashtags in  photo descriptions to sort.
  • Use Siftr as an icebreaker in class.
  • Add other people (e.g., TAs) as editors to your Siftr.
  • What if not all students have phones? Put them in teams – at least one of them will have a phone! Anything with a web browser works.

If you’re interested in learning more to get up and running with Siftr, watch the videos below and try stepping through the Siftr worksheet we created for the session!

The Active Teaching Lab, a Faculty Engagement program, provides a safe space for structured explorations of cool teaching tools and techniques that your colleagues are using to engage students and teach more effectively. During the academic year, labs are held weekly and will be listed on the Active Teaching Lab page.

Margene’s Siftr Story

Cathy Middlecamp also led an Active Teaching Lab session on Siftr in Spring 2015. For more on that session, click here.


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book