STUDENTS EXPERIENCE WITH USE OF RESPONSE TECHNOLOGY ON THEIR SMARTPHONES

Today, students and teachers may integrate mobile technology and learning both in and out of the classroom, due to portability of mobile devices and their ability to connect to Internet almost anywhere. They are ideal as a store of reference materials, learning experiences, and general-use tools for fieldwork. Mobile learning is indeed dramatically shaping the nature of teaching, learning, and social interaction. Assessment methods, however, is still frequently often done by use of traditional evaluation methods.

Mobile technology provides a new active collaborative learning approach, which let students set the in-class terms for communication and interaction in order to get a clearer view of their instant knowledge and perception. The new online Student Response Services (SRS) for Smartphones, Pads, Pc and Mac, are flexible, intuitive, easy and fast to use. The SRS may be used together with any kind of software systems, and for in-class, laboratory and distance training purposes. Use of SRS easily display complex interrelationships between opinions in class, including most relevant or marginal choices, or what is most difficult to understand. It interconnects the teacher and student in a new way by highlighting learning impact, which it is impossible to do so quickly by using traditional methods.

This paper reports achievements obtained and discusses recent developments that bring mobile learning to the next level by using open web-based solutions for cheap Smartphone’s in education, keeping in mind the pedagogical challenges in the new mobile learning environment. Mobile devices can be used almost anywhere, they are perfect platforms for situated and context based learning activities, where real life is used to provide stimuli and activity for learning. They are constructed for use in vocational education and training, and in higher education courses. This is achieved through easy and flexible integration with interactive touch screen blackboards by utilizing Flash in combination with AIR and FLEX technology. The European Commission cofounded the R&D during 2008-10 as a pilot project under the KA3-ICT program. At the end, the article outlines new, emerging online Peer Learning Assessment Services (PeLe) that are based up on the latest mobile technology. This will extend the usability of the SRS by construction an assessment solution for mobile devices.

Our results include the first experiences achieved by use of online SRS in teaching of mathematics and physics in 2011. The online SRS is flexible, intuitive, easy and fast to use. In total 4 classes and more than 200 students are involved in an experiment at HiST that runs until May 2012. After 3 months of use, 95% of the students recommend using SRS in combination with peer instruction process, in all their courses for their next year of study. Our results show that experienced teachers that have long experience in using SRS methods obtain better evaluation results than teachers that are using SRS in their first class.

The development of the SRS and the online assessment system is co-funded by the EU-Commission through the Lifelong Learning Programme and KA3-ICT. SRS and PeLe may be used in high schools, vocational education and training, as well as in higher education.