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Have we got your attention? Making sure your 
students engage in lectures 
Sarah Honeychurch 
Craig Brown 
Niall Barr 
Vic...
Intro to session and structure 
• YACRS login 
• Uses of EVS 
• At U of G 
• At UCL 
• Peer Instruction 
• Group Discussio...
YACRS 
•(Yet Another Classroom Response System) 
•Niall Barr 
•Niall.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk
YACRS login 
 http://learn.gla.ac.uk/yacrs/join.php?sessionID=34
A question 
• R0 for Ebola (the average number of new infections from 
each patient) is approximately 4. Given this, if a ...
Click happy 
Expected 
Not much thought about questions or 
answers 
Are we awake? 
Are we listening? 
(to click or not to...
7 years 
IR - boxes, lots of cables and up a ladder 
in a French Lecture 
RF – flat batteries, software issues and 
this i...
Some students don’t vote 
Some students make a game of it 
Some students forget to pick up a handset 
or don’t manage to s...
Good way to get immediate feedback 
about students understanding 
Can be used to structure tutorial 
Can be used to start ...
Easy way to capture data 
Allows you to better explain questions 
Students normally already experienced 
with the technolo...
Encourage small group discussion 
Collective group feedback 
Peer evaluation 
Peer learning
Structure and content reflect specific 
learning goals 
Think about them
What’s your goal? 
Explain to students (everything) 
Not too simple or hard questions 
Not too many questions 
Start with ...
It takes time to prepare 
It takes time to get it right 
Be prepared to make changes during 
You will loose lecture time –...
Peer learning 
Instant feedback 
Confidence based voting 
Rethink how we teach especially large 
group 
Use to emphasize a...
Mazur: Peer Instruction 
• First question: How to teach, not what. (Design before 
content). 
• Instruction is easier than...
Mazur: Conventional & Conceptual Qs 
If a heavy truck and a small car collide, which exerts more 
force: 
a) The truck 
b)...
Mazur: Conventional & Conceptual Qs 
• Newton’s third law: For every action there is an equal 
and opposite re-action. 
• ...
Mazur: Peer Instruction 
• Pre class reading 
• In class: go into depth “semi-socratically” (question, not give answers) 
...
Mazur: Results 
Mazur (2007)
YACRS – tales from the front line 
Quintin Cutts
Overwhelmingly successful…!!!!!
Context 
• L1 class in Computational Thinking 
– 90 students, intending & non-intending CS Hons 
– Students need to be wor...
YACRS experience 
• Did a test in the first lecture session 
– 3 test questions 
– supported by Craig 
– took ages to get ...
Peculiar setup 
• Use a PDF of my Powerpoint on an iPad 
– Local WiFi connection to my laptop, which projects iPad screen ...
All in all… 
• A huge thanks to Niall and Craig 
• And to Kerr for allowing Niall to work on this! 
• Please do contact me...
Making lectures more 
interactive using LectureTools 
Outcomes of a pilot study (at UCL) in 2013 
Vicki Dale, Jane Britton...
Rationale for using LectureTools 
• To make classroom-based teaching more interactive in 
a project management course 
• T...
The Dashboard (Teacher view)
Student View
Publish Results
Written Answer Responses
Pilot study evaluation methods 
• Observation of a 1-hour lecture 
• Students 
– Anonymised questionnaire 
– Comments (ben...
Results of pilot evaluation 
• 17 students participated 
• Observation 
– Range of devices used 
• Some limitations with m...
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 
Would be a welcome addition to lectures 
Made note-taking easier 
Helped me engage with the topic 
...
Perceived benefits 
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
Interactivity encourages engagement and concentration 
Easy to use 
‘Cool’ or ...
0 1 2 3 4 5 
Perceived limitations 
Distraction 
[Open] Questions take too much time to answer 
Drag and drop difficult 
T...
Student focus group 
 Recognised benefit to learning 
 Appreciated ability to ask Qs 
during the lecture 
 (Initial) re...
Interviews with staff 
 Able to ascertain what students were thinking 
 Able to provide feedback on student answers 
 S...
Overall findings 
• Successful proof of concept 
– Supported interactivity and engagement 
• Some technical issues, especi...
References 
Mazur, E. (2009). Confessions of a converted lecturer 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwslBPj8GgI 
Mazur, E (...
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YACRS (Yet Another Classroom Response System

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Demonstration of our new classroom response system and the pedagogy behind it.

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YACRS (Yet Another Classroom Response System

  1. 1. Have we got your attention? Making sure your students engage in lectures Sarah Honeychurch Craig Brown Niall Barr Vicki Dale Learning Technology Unit Quintin Cutts Computing Science
  2. 2. Intro to session and structure • YACRS login • Uses of EVS • At U of G • At UCL • Peer Instruction • Group Discussion • Feedback and course evaluation
  3. 3. YACRS •(Yet Another Classroom Response System) •Niall Barr •Niall.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk
  4. 4. YACRS login  http://learn.gla.ac.uk/yacrs/join.php?sessionID=34
  5. 5. A question • R0 for Ebola (the average number of new infections from each patient) is approximately 4. Given this, if a vaccine became available, what proportion of the population would need to be vaccinated to prevent new outbreaks spreading?  A : 25%  B : 50%  C : 75%  D : 90%  E : 95%  F : 99%
  6. 6. Click happy Expected Not much thought about questions or answers Are we awake? Are we listening? (to click or not to click?)
  7. 7. 7 years IR - boxes, lots of cables and up a ladder in a French Lecture RF – flat batteries, software issues and this is the expert BYOD and the joy of University wireless
  8. 8. Some students don’t vote Some students make a game of it Some students forget to pick up a handset or don’t manage to successfully turn it on Some students vote for the wrong answer to get the lecturer to go back over a topic even if they think they know the right answer but are not 100% sure
  9. 9. Good way to get immediate feedback about students understanding Can be used to structure tutorial Can be used to start discussion Anonymous Keeps focus Helps us think about our teaching Peer learning
  10. 10. Easy way to capture data Allows you to better explain questions Students normally already experienced with the technology Good for quantitative but not qualitative Mixed results with text feedback Keeps focus (mostly but keep it short) Easy to export data for analysis
  11. 11. Encourage small group discussion Collective group feedback Peer evaluation Peer learning
  12. 12. Structure and content reflect specific learning goals Think about them
  13. 13. What’s your goal? Explain to students (everything) Not too simple or hard questions Not too many questions Start with a practice question Actually use the feedback as you get it and discuss it with your students Get your students discussing with each other
  14. 14. It takes time to prepare It takes time to get it right Be prepared to make changes during You will loose lecture time – don’t try to cram it all in! Don’t panic if it goes wrong Have a plan B Plan how to distribute handsets
  15. 15. Peer learning Instant feedback Confidence based voting Rethink how we teach especially large group Use to emphasize an important concept
  16. 16. Mazur: Peer Instruction • First question: How to teach, not what. (Design before content). • Instruction is easier than assimilation: Teacher as information transfer – teacher as facilitator of information assimilation. (2007, 2009) • Lecture: “the transfer of the lecturer’s notes to the students’ notes without passing through the minds of either”. • If lecture notes are available beforehand, how to make use of the ‘spare’ time?
  17. 17. Mazur: Conventional & Conceptual Qs If a heavy truck and a small car collide, which exerts more force: a) The truck b) The car c) They are both the same d) There is no force “Professor Mazur, how should I answer these questions? According to what you taught us, or by the way I think about these things?” Images from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/American_truck.JPG; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/KIF_0001_reg.JPG
  18. 18. Mazur: Conventional & Conceptual Qs • Newton’s third law: For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. • Obvious? “…all students can recite Newton’s third law and most of them can apply it in numerical problems. A little probing, however, quickly shows that many students do not understand the law. Halloun and Hestenes provide many examples in which students are asked to compare the forces exerted by different objects on one another. When asked, for instance, to compare the forces in a collision between a heavy truck and a light car, many students firmly believe the heavy truck exerts a larger force.” Mazur (2007) • Conventional v conceptual questions (“plug and chug” v ConcepTests) • “the sage on the stage” v “the guide on the side”
  19. 19. Mazur: Peer Instruction • Pre class reading • In class: go into depth “semi-socratically” (question, not give answers) • ConcepTest: • Question • 1.5 mins silence • Answer with “clickers” • Turn to neighbour and justify response • Revised answer with “clickers” • Lecturer gives explanation (at ~53.54 in video) • Students who have the right answer convince others better than Prof Mazur could. • The better you know something, the harder it is to teach (you forget the conceptual difficulties of new learners) • Active engagement • Better understanding → better problem solving • Good problem solving =/= indicate understanding
  20. 20. Mazur: Results Mazur (2007)
  21. 21. YACRS – tales from the front line Quintin Cutts
  22. 22. Overwhelmingly successful…!!!!!
  23. 23. Context • L1 class in Computational Thinking – 90 students, intending & non-intending CS Hons – Students need to be working to develop their skills throughout the course • not 'getting' a week's work for a weaker student could well mean failure • getting regular feedback on progress is therefore very important • Faithful Peer Instruction implementation – Assigned seating in lecture theatre, groups of 3 • according to self-report on previous experience – Pre-reading / activity prior to every class session – 2-hr sessions – Quiz at start of every session – 3-4 Qs on pre-work – Series of Peer Instruction questions
  24. 24. YACRS experience • Did a test in the first lecture session – 3 test questions – supported by Craig – took ages to get as many people on as possible • crucial to showing that we really cared about them being 'on' • Used in anger from then on – Craig or Niall in the next 2-3 sessions – Valuable to help students with getting logged on – 7 lectures – 105 questions • Using web interface, categorise questions after lecture as Quiz or PI – System automatically tallies output – This is important, since Quiz and PI questions are worth 10% of the course – Can chase up non-responders and those doing poorly • Although this is the hardest to do – to find time in a busy term • Looking at exactly what is required to do this will really help • Ad-hoc Excel tampering isn't going to work – not if we want to prod students weekly…
  25. 25. Peculiar setup • Use a PDF of my Powerpoint on an iPad – Local WiFi connection to my laptop, which projects iPad screen – Can write on the slides – Put clean and inked versions of slides onto Moodle after lecture • Use two-display format from laptop – keep the graph window on my local laptop – I can see this straight after the question ends, to decide what step to take next – Can drag into second, projected, display if I want to show the students the vote • But YACRS has the flexibility to allow anyone to use pretty much any display setup they want
  26. 26. All in all… • A huge thanks to Niall and Craig • And to Kerr for allowing Niall to work on this! • Please do contact me if you have questions: – Quintin.Cutts@glasgow.ac.uk
  27. 27. Making lectures more interactive using LectureTools Outcomes of a pilot study (at UCL) in 2013 Vicki Dale, Jane Britton & Matt Whyndham For University of Glasgow LTU lunchtime workshop, 21/10/14
  28. 28. Rationale for using LectureTools • To make classroom-based teaching more interactive in a project management course • To explore the functionality of LectureTools
  29. 29. The Dashboard (Teacher view)
  30. 30. Student View
  31. 31. Publish Results
  32. 32. Written Answer Responses
  33. 33. Pilot study evaluation methods • Observation of a 1-hour lecture • Students – Anonymised questionnaire – Comments (benefits and limitations) – Focus group • Interviews with educators
  34. 34. Results of pilot evaluation • 17 students participated • Observation – Range of devices used • Some limitations with mobile devices http://www.flickr.com/photos/ rightee/2703215957/ – Good signposting throughout by lecturer – Students using LectureTools to take/highlight notes – MCQs – no difficulties observed – Drag and drop problematic on mobile devices – Text responses – took longer, opportunity for distraction
  35. 35. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Would be a welcome addition to lectures Made note-taking easier Helped me engage with the topic Was easy to use Made the lecture more interesting Stimulated my thinking about the subject Enabled me to measure my understanding of the subject Stimulated discussion in the classroom Helped me to prepare for the APMP exam Made the topic interesting for me Distracted me from my learning Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree LectureTools …
  36. 36. Perceived benefits 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Interactivity encourages engagement and concentration Easy to use ‘Cool’ or ‘great’ Note-taking feature was good Helpful, improves teaching and learning Can flag areas of concern Like the drawing tool Potential to enhance distance learning Texting the answers a good feature Opportunity to ask questions Quizzes It is practical
  37. 37. 0 1 2 3 4 5 Perceived limitations Distraction [Open] Questions take too much time to answer Drag and drop difficult Texting answers problematic Concerns about large class size Worried about missing content in lecture Worried about misspelled answers being displayed in front of peers Dislike staring at the screen Technical glitches Not all students have laptops or mobile devices Activities initially hidden
  38. 38. Student focus group  Recognised benefit to learning  Appreciated ability to ask Qs during the lecture  (Initial) resistance to typing notes in LTs  Not suitable for drawing diagrams  Open questions significantly slowed session http://www.flickr.com/photos/myutb/6355417549/
  39. 39. Interviews with staff  Able to ascertain what students were thinking  Able to provide feedback on student answers  Some UI issues  Underestimated time needed to create presentation  Unable to monitor dashboard during live teaching  Unable to download slides  Changed the class dynamics  Students with different devices had different experiences  Reluctant to use with a larger class Conclusion: Recommend more trials before wider roll-out
  40. 40. Overall findings • Successful proof of concept – Supported interactivity and engagement • Some technical issues, especially mobile devices and classroom wifi • Need to better understand impact on teaching and learning approaches • Full report at: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1402478/ • Glasgow contact: Steven Jack, IT Services
  41. 41. References Mazur, E. (2009). Confessions of a converted lecturer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwslBPj8GgI Mazur, E (2007) Confessions of a converted lecturer http://hans.math.upenn.edu/~pemantle/active-papers/Mazurpubs_605.pdf Mazur, E. (1997) Peer Instruction: A User's Manual (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ)

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