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Blended Learning Examples

Student discussion in class through response pads

Student discussion in class through response pads

See it in action:

  • Turning point in action with Nuria Yanez-Bouza

    Turning point in action with Nuria Yanez-Bouza

    Turning point in Action with Nuria Yanez-Bouza, as used on her Linguistics course.

Schools
Arts, Languages & Cultures, Arts, Languages & Cultures
Courses
LELA30101 History of English Language, LELA10101 Attitudes to Language
Themes
Personalised Learning and Academic Advising, Assessment
Service
Enhance face to face teaching with Classroom Clickers

The course director's aim in these Linguistics modules was to engage students in class to 1) reflect on the 'disputed' nature of language usage, 2) express their own attitudes to language in terms of correctness and acceptability, and 3) become aware of their peers' attitudes to language use as well as new disputed usages.

These aims are difficult to attain particularly with large cohorts: not all students feel at ease expressing their attitudes openly even if purely using the 'hands up' method; some students would not participate; students might fail to observe their peers' views; and overall peer discussion may easily become restricted to a few keen students.

The course director attempted to overcome these difficulties using voting pads. To do so, she turned her Powerpoint Lecture slides into an interactive Turning Point presentation delivering the lecture with the support of response pads. Voting pads, or clickers, are devices that allow the audience to provide an electronic response to a question when prompted.

A voting pad was distributed to each student at the beginning of the class. At different points during the lecture, quizes and surveys were used and students were prompted to note their attitudes to language use using their voting pads. Turning Point collated responses at once and group answers displayed on screen.

The results were very positive, students engaged with the content: noticeably students turned round to their peers to discuss the results of the class votes.

While clearly the degree of engagement clickers are able to deliver is limited, with adequate lead from the lecturer, response pads can facilitate peer discussion and peer learning.

Benefits:

  • Impact on student engagement in class: raising student interest and attention through class delivery
  • Triggering peer-to-peer discussion: both before and after students select their answers - especially when cohort's reponses were displayed on screen
  • Student satisfaction: introduction of a novelty, promoting class attendance
  • Self-assessment: quizzes promote student awareness of their own knowledge of a topic and well as retention of course materials
  • Supporting student revision and understanding of topics
  • Time saver: specially when collecting responses to survey. Responses are saved
  • Useful feedback to academic: Academic is able to survey level of understanding of topics
  • Re-usability: Slides can be re-used in future years
  • Requires low level of technical expertise