Reaction Lecture: Text Messaging to Increase Student Engagement in Large-Scale Lectures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

By helping to be active during large scale lectures, students remember better what is presented, and can better connect new knowledge to entry knowledge. In large scale lectures with more than 150 students, it is nearly impossible to manage personal, face-to-face discussions and interaction. Based upon positive experiences with enabling interaction via mobile phones a new form of interaction was tried in a second year Bachelor's course (722 students). Students could send in open comments and questions via SMS, Twitter or via mobile Internet. The lecturer built in blocks of time to respond to these questions and comments. Unanswered but relevant questions are forwarded to the forum of the electronic learning environment (Blackboard), enabling an online response. An experimental design was set up, dividing the lectures of the same lecturer between "reactionlectures" and traditional lectures. Three primary questions for this study were defined: Would students learn better in a reactionlecture than in a traditional lecture? What are the opinions of students on giving direct reactions during a lecture? What forms of providing open comments during lectures can be used? A difference in learning results (as perceived by the students) was not found. Although students indicated that by giving open comments, the lecturer could better adapt to their entry knowledge. Further, questionnaires showed that students were happy both with the options for interaction, and with the connection between the lecture and the discussion forum in Blackboard. Students indicated they would like to have more blocks of interaction during the lecture, so that responding via their mobile phone doesn't distract from listening to the lecturer. Contrary to expectations about the "Facebook generation", students did not respond or comment often. To make the reactionlecture more effective, blocks of interaction on key lecture topics should be scheduled.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPROCEEDINGS OF THE 10TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON E-LEARNING, VOLS 1 AND 2
EditorsS Greener, A Rospigliosi
Place of PublicationNR READING
PublisherACADEMIC CONFERENCES LTD
Pages878-885
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-908272-22-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event10th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL) -
Duration: 10-Nov-201111-Nov-2011

Other

Other10th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL)
Period10/11/201111/11/2011

Keywords

  • backchannel
  • audience response systems
  • student interaction
  • large-scale lectures

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