APPLYING AND ON-LINE INSTANT RESPONSE TOOL IN DIFFERENT PRACTICAL TEACHING ENVIRONMENTS
The on-line instant response tools are very useful to achieve higher levels of students participation and motivation during the class, however their application as self-assessment tool has been less studied. The aim of this study was to analyze the use of an on-line “clicker type” application developed by the University of Murcia (SIDRA) as a tool for self-assessment under different educational environments. SIDRA was used by 96 students during five practical sessions on the subject of Animal Nutrition, Veterinary degree of the University of Murcia, during the academic year 2013-2014. Five test-type questionnaires were performed, three of them were conducted during the practical sessions developed in a classroom, where students could respond using a desktop computer or a smartphone, and two sessions conducted in the Veterinary Farm, where the students could answer only by smartphone. In the classroom, one questionnaire was carried out at the beginning of the practical session as initial assessment, and two tests at the end of the lessons, as part of the formative evaluation process. In the Veterinary Farm, one questionnaire was conducted at the beginning and at the end of the practice, and another questionnaire was filled after the completion of the practice. Participation was voluntary and anonymous, and the response time for each question was measured. The total number of records obtained was 377. The largest number of records were obtained from the classroom (74.8%) and the rest from the Farm (25.2%). The tests conducted in the classroom had the greatest involvement of students (94.3%) comparing with the participation from the Farm (50.5%) (P<0.001), probably due to issues about the application access from the outside of the classroom (type of smartphone, networking, etc.). Moreover, it was observed that in the classroom the 86.1% of students answered via desktop computer, while only the 13.8% used mobile devices (P<0.001). Furthermore, when the questionnaire was performed before the practical lesson, the response time (18.1 ± 1.02 s) and the students’ marks out an score of 10 (4.9 ± 0.30) were lower (P<0.001) than when it was performed after the practice (24.3 ± 0.78 s and 7.7 ± 0.25 out 10). In conclusion, the application of an on-line instant response tool like SIDRA could be used as self-assessment tool, with higher level of involvement when it was used from a desktop computer than from a mobile device. However the students’ participation using smartphones could be considered acceptable. In addition, it can also be used as a tool to supervise the evolution of the learning process.