Tag Archives: smart phone

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 Great extpectations: exploring the potential of text messaging to support students

Claire Craig and Neil Mayne, Salvation Army

Mobile phone technology has transformed how we communicate and interact with each other.  For many students texting is the means through which they maintain contact with friends manage their social lives.   This paper presents the findings of a small pilot project that explored the potential of mobile phone technology and text messaging to support students during their transition to university. 

Fifty three students participated in the pilot and were sent weekly uplifting text messages during the first eight weeks of their first semester at university.  The content of the messages, developed in partnership with third year students aimed to offer reassurance, practical advice and signpost individuals to support mechanisms within the university. 

Qualitative data was collected at the end of the pilot.  Analysis of this data showed that students found the texts to be motivating, helped to manage expectations, build confidence and offered reassurance particularly during assessment weeks. 

Within this paper I will describe some of the key lessons learned and share plans for the future development of this work.

C1 EX13 Presentation

C1 – (EX13, EX04, EX15, EX18) 14.20