Showbie is an app and website that can be used by teachers to create class groups, upload and collect assignments which can then be marked and feedback given. Feedback can be given in a variety of ways including comments and voice notes. It also allows you to upload supplemental material to support learners when completing assignments.
Once you create the assignment, the app will create a shared folder and then individual folders for every single learner. The teacher can see everything, but the learners can only see their personal folder and the shared folder. The teacher can then add resources to the shared folder (for the whole class to use) or individual resources to a single learner’s folder (like additional notes or supplementary materials that only a single child needs.
Most features are free to use on the web or Showbie’s iPad app, the only restriction is that you can have a maximum of 100 assignments at a time (you can archive as many old assignments as you want; they can be archived and unarchived easily and repeatedly). The free version also limits your annotation colours, voice message lengths (1 minute), video length (1 minute) and a file size limit of 25MB.
Within Showbie there are a number of ways of giving feedback:
- Written (type) comment: can be done in two ways, firstly as a comment directly on their uploaded work, and secondly as a comment in their assignment folder.
- Written (pen) comment: on a learner’s uploaded work you can use the pen tool to annotate or mark directly onto their work.
- Voice record – This feature allows you to record your feedback verbally which can give the teacher the chance to explain their grade in a way that isn’t always reflected on paper.
- Lastly, you can choose to open the assignment in a different app on your iPad so that you can annotate it and give any feedback you want, then upload it again back to Showbie for the student to see.
Edmodo works in a similar way to Showbie when creating classes and uploading assignments. Feedback in Edmodo is by text comment or by annotation on the students work. At the same time the work can be graded and given an emoticon by both learner and teacher and both can make additional comments. An additional feature on Edmodo is that all of these marks appear in a cumulative class Progress or Grade/Mark book which can be exported.
Benefits to learner
Learners can work with a variety of apps to display their learning in multiple ways or if they would rather work on paper can photograph their work to upload. This variety caters to multiple learning styles and encourages learners to think outside the box and demonstrate their knowledge in ways other than traditional paper or slideshow presentations. When finished, they can submit work easily and, in many cases, receive feedback quickly.
Because teachers can upload support material, learners will have access to all resources in one place, they can also submit any questions they might have by text or voice recording and get support from their teacher outside of learning session time.
Learners’ needs and learning styles can also be used to guide feedback, with teachers determining whether individuals would benefit most from written notes, typed notes, or voice recordings.
Teachers can save time and paper by using Showbie to create and mark assignments for all of their teaching groups. Showbie will send notifications to learners whenever you add an assignment or change a due date.
Assignments can be marked and feedback given easily through the app or on the website, this means teachers do not have to carry around heavy books or worry about losing work and there is a clear record of all feedback given.
Teachers can also use the app to provide learners with new ways of demonstrating their learning. Teachers can select tools for learners, or allow them to choose the tools that best suit their interests and learning styles. When learners submit their work, if at all possible, they should submit documents as PDF’s (so you can annotate/grade them in-app).
Showbie keeps track of when learners submit assignments, so you will know if it is on-time or late. Once the due date passes, the app will email you a list of how many students submitted the assignment. Students can keep submitting revisions or late work until you archive the assignment.
This Showbie PowerPoint presentation provides a quick introduction for teachers on how to use Showbie.
This content was written by Amy Rochford of Honywood School.