Glasgow Caledonian University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 3948-3957
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The use of smartphone technologies by students in the education environment, is becoming more sophisticated, more pervasive, and potentially more important to teaching and learning. Many academics spend large amounts of time attempting to increase the motivation of their students based on the premise that highly motivated students will learn more. This first pilot case study explored the use of an in-house system that utilised the smartphone and Audience Response System (ARS) ideas to explore the engagement and motivation of student use of such technologies to enhance their own learning.

According to Boyle and Nicol “Deep and lasting learning is fostered when students actively engage with the concepts they are learning and construct their own understanding of them”. Activities which show support for such active learning in the lecture environment include debating, questioning and explaining. These activities provide immediate feedback situations and help with student engagement by providing discussion opportunities. Essential to this study are the concepts of formative assessment and immediate feedback to students.

The use of ARS allows the academic member of staff to collect and share “real-time” data with students. The system used does not collect any personal data and so anonymity of responses is guaranteed, this allows for immediate feedback from all students and not just from the more extrovert class members. Due to this anonymity of responses with typical multiple choice question and answer sessions in the classroom, the students are more likely to respond even if they don’t know the answer.

The immediacy of the feedback is crucial to the understanding of the topic as the positive impact of suitable and timely feedback on learning is undisputed. The use of such feedback, both summative and formative, could become an essential part of the students learning process and should help them to achieve their full potential.

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the use of the in-house system with students in a number of educational contexts. The in-house system encourages students to interact during, primarily but not exclusively, lectures. Available technology renders the concept of passive lectures obsolete. However, sound pedagogical principles should be applied when integrating technology within the learning environment. The technology can act as an enabler but it is up to the lecturer to find the most educationally sound moment to introduce and use it. To this end the in-house system has undergone preliminary evaluation in both lecture and tutorial scenarios. This paper seeks to examine the students’ receptiveness and engagement with the in house system as a means to understanding how best to integrate the system within the education environment.
Interactive lectures, smartphones, pedagogy, ARS.