Tag Archives: smart device

2012 Question time: stimulating participation in lectures via mobile devices

Ben Abell

Students used their web-enabled phones to answer questions during lecture sessions, and worked as small groups to maximise participation and peer learning. The main tool tested was Google Docs Forms, which can be accessed via the internet and is easy to set up, although other tools such as Polleverywhere and ConnectTxt receive input from SMS texts, and offer an alternative way of capturing student answers. 

Questions were mostly in multiple-choice format, and were integrated into the presentation to promote immediate engagement. Answers were collated to generate an overall group response, which was presented graphically, and used as a discussion point to deal with common misconceptions. 

The need for such technology arises from the difficulty of promoting active learning in lectures, especially with larger student groups, a problem acknowledged in science teaching (Handelsman et al. 2004. Science

304: 521-522) and more widely. Although responses can be received using specialised devices, the logistical difficulty of obtaining and distributing these devices has reduced their use. Instead, the extensive ownership of smart-phones provides an opportunity to increase direct student participation throughout lectures, so this trial was implemented specifically in the Biosciences module ‘Plant Physiology and Anatomy’ (Jan-April 2012), but the approach has the potential to be applied to any subject area. 

Student feedback was very positive, with perceived benefits of engaging more actively with the lecture content, particularly via peer learning. Problems with the approach centred on access to mobile devices and class management, which could be addressed with greater support.

Presentation:  Mobile learning

D7 – (EN28, EN11, EN22, EN56) 15.30

2012 iPhone feedback to develop student employability in sandwich engineering degrees

Anne Nortcliffe

Work based and placement learning opportunities have been recognised as a critical importance for future graduate employment, as a third of graduate posts are filled with students who have already worked for the organization, Highfliers (2011).    Placements have been a feature of the curriculum design for engineering courses for a number of Higher Education institutions since the 1960s, (Osbourne-Moss, 1968;Silver, 2007) .   However, the number of students undertaking placements are declining, Wilson (2012).  Equally modern recruitment processes require students to provide evidence of key competencies, though students do successfully develop these key competencies whilst on placement, Hall et al (2009), however in our experience at Sheffield Hallam University in the placement team; large employers are increasingly using techniques similar or the same as their graduate recruitment processes to filter the applications.    The employers require the engineering students to demonstrate in their placement applications a level of competency in key technical and employability skills.  Therefore any student employability development and feedback in engineering courses needs to provide appropriate support that continues to empower students to self identify, reflect, and articulate their relevant technical and employability skills for placement and graduate roles.   Is audio feedback via iPhone the solution to the problem and if yes, how effective is such approach?   What is the longitudinal effect of the feedback?  Do students continue to use the feedback in their final year?  This paper will present an example of an embedding iPhone feedback into computing and engineering courses and will provide critical analysis of the evidence from the qualitative and quantitive studies of the student reflections as to their perceptions of the impact of the audio feedback upon their employability and whether it has had a positive contributing factor in assisting them to secure a placement/graduate opportunity.

B8 – (FU09, EN25) 11.50

2012 What happens when you don’t have time for Blackboard? Engaging busy professional Post Graduates using mobile learning technology

Alison Hramiak

The technological advantages provided by mobile technology are currently being explored in Higher Education with institutions investigating and implementing new ways of reaching students through their mobile devices (Rose, 2008). This paper describes a pilot study that was intended to capitalise on the culture of exploration in this exciting area, and also to try and capture good practice in doing so. It describes a small study that examined how ‘SmartPhones’ could be used with trainee teachers on placement in schools, to communicate with them, and to disseminate course information to them.

After setting up a BlackBoard© (BB) site for the trainees a review at a university session revealed that they did not find accessing the site convenient either from home or school but all had and used SmartPhones on a daily basis. A decision was then taken to utilise their mobile phones to replace the functions that would have been covered by the BB site. For the remainder of their course, the tutor used text and email to communicate with the trainees rather than posting announcements and resources on the BB site.

Trainees were questioned about the use of these mobile devices using surveys and a group interview at the end of the course. An initial quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis of this data using suggests that trainees strongly prefer being able to access course information and communicate with their tutor via their phone rather than through a VLE. The mobile technology provided a more convenient and accessible means to gain the information they needed, and because they could access course information when they wanted, rather than having to find a PC or laptop from which to log onto the VLE, they felt much more connected with their tutor and the other trainees who were placed in other schools geographically separated from them. 

Rose, (2008) Switch that phone on! Extending higher education opportunities for the iPod generation at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/search/search?qt=mobile+learning&sb=relevance

C6 – (EN03 and EN34) 14.20

Presentation:  It’s easier to use my phone’

2012 QR Codes in action: a ‘revision wall’ to enhance engagement

Peter Walder, Andy Barnes, Robin Gissing, Tom Jolley

A level 4 core module has consistently generated low assessment outcomes. The teaching team therefore implemented a series of actions, to specifically encourage engagement with the core content of the module. Two distinct strategies were adopted. These were: A) a reconfiguration of the assessment schedule to allow more opportunities for feedback and B) the development of a ‘revision wall’ which would allow students to access summary key content through the use of posters which incorporated Quick Response (QR) codes. This abstract focuses on the second of these two strategies. 

Appropriate representations were made for the purchase of a poster board to support the project; these were successful. A series of approximately 10 A3 posters were created by the teaching team. Each of the posters had an embedded QR code which, when scanned with a mobile device equipped with appropriate software, displayed a movie of one of the module team explaining the content of the poster. Each of the movies was uploaded to YouTube and assigned a goo.gl URL to enable monitoring of access to the movies.

Students were sensitised to the use of QR codes from the outset of the module via the display of a QR code at the end of every lecture which led directly to the online reading associated with the lecture. Further instruction, regarding the use of QR codes, was provided as part of the Revision Wall content. 

Access to the Revision Wall is to be monitored via Google Analytics and the value of the approach evaluated. It is recognised that an analysis of the assessment outcomes will not be directly attributable to engagement with the revision wall as the approach used to encourage engagement has also involved a change in the assessment schedule. 

Potential Discussion Topics

  • Accessibility to the learning resources in terms of the density of smart phone ownership within the student group.
  • The potential of using the creation of QR encoded posters as a student learning/assessment activity.
  • The potential of using QR encoded posters as part of a ‘flipping the classroom’ learning strategy. 

Note that this project is part of the University’s Mobile Innovations scheme.

 

B5 – [EN02, EN07, EN14] 11.50