About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1473-1481
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CROWD SOURCING THE CLASSROOM: INTERACTIVE APPLICATIONS IN HIGHER LEARNING

R. Littauer, A. Scheidel, M. Schulder, S. Ciddi

Saarland University (GERMANY)
The traditional university classroom paradigm leads to fragmented knowledge dispersal; each student creates, collates, and curates their own notes individually. Here, we present a more holistic approach to student participation, based on experience from a student-initiated experiment using interactive applications, - such as Etherpad, Google Docs, DropBox, and others - in higher education. We present several suggestions for university students:

Simultaneous note-taking using an online, interactive notepad: Note-taking as a whole involves: transcribing, summarizing vocal instructions and comments of the teacher, recording references, adding comments, and formulating questions. Normally, a student's attention is split between each of these five areas, and individual sets of notes will all display varying deficiencies due to multitasking. Simultaneous note-taking by several students has several advantages over this approach. It enables students to divide up the tasks among them, making the best possible use of individual skills. Each participant can more effectively stay focused on the lecture discussion because their collaborators will step in if one individual finds their attention being taken up by, e.g., asking a question to the teacher. Collaborative note-taking can also provide a peer-to-peer question and answer forum, as well. Knowledge that the same question is shared by others can help foster an environment for students to bring up better questions for the whole class discussion.

Student-run centralised storage in the cloud: Each student essentially has to store the same material. Rather than fragmenting this storage, collation and curation can be done efficiently using a cloud-based repository, with access for each student. Collaborative cloud storage means that all documents can be accessed not only in a short-term scenario, but also by future classes. Access to the cloud can be moderated depending on privacy concerns.

Centralised issue tracking and class information using a dedicated wiki: As opposed to a static webpage run by the school, a dedicated wiki allows for greater flexibility of formatting, for immediate uploading of files and linking of diverse content, and for easy student participation, while establishing a logical content structure. A wiki encourages the creation of a knowledge-base whose focus can be on topics instead of courses.

Immediate querying using a dedicated email list: Students often have questions outside of the classroom, for both the teacher and for other students. By being able to crowd source answers from the rest of the class and the teacher simultaneously, repetitious and unnecessary work can be avoided for all parties.

In this paper, we elaborate on these points, and draw upon relevant previous literature, as well as our experience with implementing this system in several classes with diverse subjects in a graduate level Computational Linguistics degree. We also suggest future avenues to explore, such as course-relevant blogging, slide-and-note integration, and using simultaneous notes in other settings such as group meetings, seminars, conferences, and paper writing.
@InProceedings{LITTAUER2012CRO,
author = {Littauer, R. and Scheidel, A. and Schulder, M. and Ciddi, S.},
title = {CROWD SOURCING THE CLASSROOM: INTERACTIVE APPLICATIONS IN HIGHER LEARNING},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1473-1481}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Littauer AU - A. Scheidel AU - M. Schulder AU - S. Ciddi
TI - CROWD SOURCING THE CLASSROOM: INTERACTIVE APPLICATIONS IN HIGHER LEARNING
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 1473
EP - 1481
ER -
R. Littauer, A. Scheidel, M. Schulder, S. Ciddi (2012) CROWD SOURCING THE CLASSROOM: INTERACTIVE APPLICATIONS IN HIGHER LEARNING, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 1473-1481.
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