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Use of Mobile Texting in Student Assessment Feedback



Presentation from Mlife2010 conference

Presentation from Mlife2010 conference



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Use of Mobile Texting in Student Assessment Feedback Use of Mobile Texting in Student Assessment Feedback Presentation Transcript

    Nadia Amin & Clive VassellWestminster Business School
    mLife 2010 CONFERENCES
    27-29 OCTOBER 2010
  • Summary of Presentation
    Project description
    Project team and overview
    Key activities
    Student feedback
    Project constraints
    Conclusions & further considerations
  • Need for the Project
    Providing feedback to students on assessment is the ‘bread and butter’ of what we do as academics
    It is one of the top priorities identified by the HEA (BMAF) baseline study of key issues in T&L
    One of the key issues in the NSS survey as a gauge of institutions
    We seek to provide timely feedback using a blended learning approach via the use of SMS texting
    This initiative is inline with other blended learning approaches adopted by a number of UK and international HE institutions.
  • Context
    Project designed to complement existing SMS provision on Blackboard VLE
    At present the university’s SMS capabilities are limited to uni-directional communication with students
    The project will address the limitation of the existing mode of communication by providing two-way interactive communication with students
    The project will enable the delivery of feedback to student-owned mobile phones
    Students will also be able to reply to their Module Leader/ Tutor
    Westminster Business School:
    Nadia Amin, Clive Vassell
    IT Support:
    Gunter Saunders, John Cronin, Alex Iacconi
    SMS Gateway Provider:
    Connection Software (CSoft)
  • Architecture
  • Project Scenario
  • SMS service from Blackboard
  • Activities
    The project was trialled across UG modules
    LEVEL 4
    2BIS401 Business Information Systems (250)
    LEVEL 5
    2EBU501 eBusiness fundamentals (14)
    LEVEL 6
    2BIS611 Dynamic Systems Development (14)
    2EBU601 eBusiness Strategy (15)
  • Actions completed by the team
    Evaluated the software used with SMS gateways within the university
    Four modules were chosen to be used as a test bed for the new facility:
    2BIS401, 2EBU501, 2BIS611 and 2EBU601
    Student mobile telephone numbers were collected as part of the normal registration process
    A number of test messages were sent to ensure the SMS gateway facility was working correctly
    A number of feedback related messages were sent to students over the duration of the project
    Questionnaires were set up and students were invited to complete them
  • Students can sign up for SMS Messaging
  • The surveys
    For the survey, the students were divided into two groups
    Those on the three small level 5 and 6 modules were invited to take one survey
    Those on the large level 4 module were invited to take the other survey
    The initial response rate was very low
  • LEVEL 5 & 6 QUESTIONS 2-8, 10-15
  • Project Constraints
    Technical limitations
    Integration with Blackboard
    No message storage provision
    Limited technical support
    Two-way channel integration was not possible
    Two-way communication was facilitated instead by issuing staff with mobile phones and informing students of the telephone numbers
    Only specific SMS provider can be used
    Limited funding for cost of bulk SMS
    Reservation of some staff/students
  • Future Considerations
    There are a number of areas worthy of close investigation
    How should the use of SMS be funded
    What kind of training and support is most appropriate?
    What are some of the wider implications of a more m-learning intensive mode of operation?
    What additional security provisions might there be a need for?
    How can we encourage the kind of collaboration that would greatly enhance the student experience?
    What is the appropriate balance between the use of bulk email, bulk SMS and individual SMS messaging?
    What is the impact of new tools, e.g. integration of SMS with Twitter or Google Buzz ?
  • Summary
    Overall the pilot was a success and welcomed by students
    SMS Feedback must be supported with other forms of feedback
    Needs to be universally supported at the university level with funding and technical expertise
    Consider advances in mobile technology
  • Acknowledgements
    We wish to thank the Education Initiative Centre (part of Westminster Exchange) for supporting and funding this project under the Learning, Teaching and Development Fund 2009/10
    all students and staff at Westminster Business School who participated in this project
  • References
    • Brett P (2008), Formative assessment through SMS: the large scale use of mobile phones based objective questions with feedback, HEA conference July 2008.
    • Brown, S & Knight, P (1995), Assessing learners in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page
    • Catley (2008), Online quizzes providing formative feedback: more valuable than seminar attendance and prior study? HEA annual conference July 2008.
    • Riordan B and Traxler J (2005), The use of targeted bulk SMS texting to enhance Student Support, Inclusion and Retention,Proceedings of 2005 IEEE International workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, www.iEEE Xplore.
    • Vassell C, Amin N and Patel, D, (2006), Mobile Learning: Using SMS to Enhance Education Provision, 7th Annual Conference of the HEA for ICS , Dublin, 29-31 August 2006.