Use of Mobile Texting in Student Assessment Feedback
USE OF MOBILE TEXTING IN STUDENT ASSESSMENT FEEDBACK<br />Nadia Amin & Clive VassellWestminster Business School<br />mLife 2010 CONFERENCES<br />27-29 OCTOBER 2010<br /> THE GRAND HOTEL, BRIGHTON, UK<br />
Summary of Presentation <br />Context<br />Project description<br />Project team and overview<br />Key activities<br />Outcomes <br />Student feedback <br />Project constraints<br />Conclusions & further considerations<br />
Need for the Project <br />Providing feedback to students on assessment is the ‘bread and butter’ of what we do as academics <br />It is one of the top priorities identified by the HEA (BMAF) baseline study of key issues in T&L<br />One of the key issues in the NSS survey as a gauge of institutions<br />We seek to provide timely feedback using a blended learning approach via the use of SMS texting<br />This initiative is inline with other blended learning approaches adopted by a number of UK and international HE institutions. <br />
Context<br />Project designed to complement existing SMS provision on Blackboard VLE<br />At present the university’s SMS capabilities are limited to uni-directional communication with students <br />The project will address the limitation of the existing mode of communication by providing two-way interactive communication with students <br />The project will enable the delivery of feedback to student-owned mobile phones <br />Students will also be able to reply to their Module Leader/ Tutor <br />
PROJECT TEAM<br />Westminster Business School:<br />Nadia Amin, Clive Vassell<br />IT Support:<br />Gunter Saunders, John Cronin, Alex Iacconi<br />SMS Gateway Provider:<br />Connection Software (CSoft)<br />
Activities<br />The project was trialled across UG modules<br />LEVEL 4 <br />2BIS401 Business Information Systems (250) <br />LEVEL 5<br />2EBU501 eBusiness fundamentals (14) <br />LEVEL 6<br />2BIS611 Dynamic Systems Development (14)<br />2EBU601 eBusiness Strategy (15)<br />
Actions completed by the team<br />Evaluated the software used with SMS gateways within the university<br />Four modules were chosen to be used as a test bed for the new facility: <br />2BIS401, 2EBU501, 2BIS611 and 2EBU601<br />Student mobile telephone numbers were collected as part of the normal registration process<br />A number of test messages were sent to ensure the SMS gateway facility was working correctly<br />A number of feedback related messages were sent to students over the duration of the project<br />Questionnaires were set up and students were invited to complete them<br />
The surveys<br />For the survey, the students were divided into two groups<br />Those on the three small level 5 and 6 modules were invited to take one survey<br />Those on the large level 4 module were invited to take the other survey<br />The initial response rate was very low <br />
Project Constraints<br />Technical limitations<br />Integration with Blackboard<br />No message storage provision<br />Limited technical support<br />Two-way channel integration was not possible<br />Two-way communication was facilitated instead by issuing staff with mobile phones and informing students of the telephone numbers<br />Only specific SMS provider can be used <br />Limited funding for cost of bulk SMS<br />Reservation of some staff/students<br />
Future Considerations<br />There are a number of areas worthy of close investigation<br />How should the use of SMS be funded<br />What kind of training and support is most appropriate?<br />What are some of the wider implications of a more m-learning intensive mode of operation?<br />What additional security provisions might there be a need for?<br />How can we encourage the kind of collaboration that would greatly enhance the student experience?<br />What is the appropriate balance between the use of bulk email, bulk SMS and individual SMS messaging?<br />What is the impact of new tools, e.g. integration of SMS with Twitter or Google Buzz ?<br />
Summary<br />Overall the pilot was a success and welcomed by students<br />SMS Feedback must be supported with other forms of feedback<br />Needs to be universally supported at the university level with funding and technical expertise<br />Consider advances in mobile technology<br />
Acknowledgements<br />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<br /> and <br /> all students and staff at Westminster Business School who participated in this project<br />
References<br /><ul><li>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. </li>