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USE OF AN APPLICATION FOR MOBILE PHONES TO EVALUATE STUDENTS´ SKILL IN PHYSIOLOGY LABORATORIES

The rise of new technology and its acceptance among the youth made us think that the active use of such technologies in the classroom might be beneficial for us to evaluate the competences acquired by the students. We have developed a Teaching Innovation Project based on the use of a classroom app (www.socrative.com) that allows a direct interaction between the teacher and the students during the class and enables the assessment of students’ skills in the physiology laboratories. The system allows the instructors to carry out on-the-fly assessments in the classroom by using individual cell phones and getting the results quickly; this way, the immediate feedback enables the analysis of the results in a rapid and efficient manner. We observed a satisfactory response in the use of this new tool by the students, although some were reluctant to substitute online evaluation systems for traditional assessment methods. The use of the application resulted in a decrease in the academic performance for those students with no previous experience in its use, whereas it did not affect or even meant an improvement of those with prior knowledge of this tool. We conclude that the use of these interactive systems could help maintain the attention of students in class and improve their ability to retain newly acquired concepts and skills rather than being used for the evaluation of student competencies.