Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Beverlee Buzon, I’m a professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University.
What course did you use Pandos?
I’ve been using Pandos for several of my courses. I used it for a first-year biology course, as well as an upper-year genetics course, and a first-year biology course in the second semester. So, that’s three of my courses in total!
How many students did you have in each course?
The biggest class I taught was 500 students, and the smallest class I taught was only 30.
Problems when managing group work with a large number of students.
What teaching problems were you attempting to solve with Pandos?
For me, one of the big problems is trying to get a group for students. I’ve done a lot of group work before. The problem is that when the groups are unevenly distributed or there is poor group coherence, the group in general tends to do unwell. And so, these group dynamics are really important. So by using Pandos, I was trying to even out those groups, make them stronger groups, and decrease the amount of time that I had to spend counseling groups. In order to give you an idea of it, I had used this for group projects in my genetics course. In that year, I think I had three groups that had problems, 4 groups out of a class of 500 now are using Pandos., I only had 2 groups out of the 500 that came to me having problems. So, that was pretty good.
Did Pandos help you in solving your problems? And how?
One of the awesome parts about Pandos is that there’s group evaluations. And so, we did iterative evaluations. That would mean that, for every assignment, they would do peer feedback. And at that point, they’d be able to look at how well they were doing, a snapshot of their performance as time went on. Because it was for every assignment. That meant it was particularly important because of remote learning. And in that, you don’t have the same sort of feedback that non-verbal communication that you would have if you were in person. And even if you work together, it can be difficult to tell. This was a problem that I had in the course where I didn’t use Pandos and this was a way to resolve that by giving them a point where they could say “Oh I’m not meeting the expectations of my group”, “Maybe something needs to change”. This self-reflection is important for students so that they can improve their performance. And I think that’s been really good for students, and does help prepare them better with an iterative process.
What do you like best about Pandos?
The best things about Pandos App
The thing that I like best about Pandos is the people who work with Pandos and how determined they are to do well for this, to really work for the students and try to make a real experience for them. Yeah, I admire their determination. And, they’ve really made this a positive experience. Not just for the students but also for me. They’ve been quite responsive though. That’s what I like most about Pandos!
What do you dislike about Pandos?
So, with Pandos, the only part that I was having a hard time with was the integration between D2L Brightspace and Pandos. What it meant was that I would have students submit in two different places. If they submit through D2L, it would count for their assignment. But if they submitted through Pandos, it allowed for feedback to the assignment to be seen by all members. And so, it led to some confusion because students had to submit through both and they didn’t know.
What recommendations do you have for others who consider using Pandos?
It’s fairly intuitive in the way that it’s built out. I would just say with any sort of new platform, it does take a little bit of time. Also, let the students know what to anticipate. I think that’s one of the big things that would have helped is having the students anticipate what was happening.
How likely are you to recommend Pandos to a colleague or friend?
I do recommend Pandos to my colleagues for group formation; after all, I believe. It is kind of a pain for some of us trying to work. Especially on an online platform where students can’t see each other or form groups. This is a great tool!
How would you rate Pandos out of 5?
Because of the issue with the integration with D2L, I’d give it a 4.7 out of 5!
Pandos Customer Review – Dr. Beverlee Buzon