• Learning Beyond the Lecture: Engaging Students with Real-time Technology

      Fein, Maya
      How do professors increase student engagement and gain quick feedback on the effectiveness of utilizing course-specific vocabulary? In my Lighting Design course, I've implemented online polling and gamification in a unique way that furthers student engagement and results in students...[having the ability to] develop a more solid, integrated, useful understanding of concepts and their interrelationships and applicability. (Beatty, 2004). I researched and attended conferences about Gamification which aims to effectively utilize game dynamics to increase student motivation and achievement in the classroom (Stott & Neustaedter, 2003). This lead to me creating Descriptionary. It develops students verbal communication skills and enhances their ability to describe and categorize images. Using the website www.PollEverywhere.com, I created several image polls with similar visual qualities. This meant students needed to use more specific language to differentiate between them (Vyduna, Gessler, & Eby, 2007). My goal was to develop students ability to utilize vocabulary and analyze images in a way that provides fun and immediate feedback. Research on in-class polls and voting systems in the classroom provides evidence that these methods promote attention and memory (McGivern & Coxon, 2015). During a heavy vocabulary unit, I start off each class with by playing Descriptionary. The students take turns as the Descriptor, who is secretly assigned an image. They describe the image as the rest of the class is scrolling through the full list of images and trying to guess which one is being narrated. I then show the Descriptor what images the class has selected. This gives immediate feedback about how effective their explanation has been. Then they can revise and expand their language to guide students to the intended image. At the end of each round, we have a short class discussion evaluating what key words the Descriptor used that were most helpful and what additional information could have been provided to aid the class in identifying the image faster. Through my reflection and the positive responses I received from students, this approach helped them playfully master the material. Afterwards, students demonstrated more confidence during class discussions; they also successfully used the vocabulary in other forms of assessment including discussion boards, tests, and essays. I theorize that part of this success stems from taking students through higher levels of cognition as explained in Blooms Taxonomy (Bloom, B. S. 1956). By the end of this activity, students in both roles were able to: 1) Identify vocabulary 2) Describe and analyze images 3) Revise approach 4) Differentiate image characteristics 5) Hypothesize images based on student provided information 6) Appraise effectiveness of chosen terminology I intend to implement and expand this concept into my other courses. This model can easily be applied to other subjects where students benefit from immediate feedback on their ability to analyze images with discipline-specific terminology including all works of art, medical imaging (x-rays, ultrasounds, etc), engineering diagrams, and microscopic pictures. References Beatty, I. (2004). Transforming Student Learning with Classroom Communication Systems. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2004(3), 1-13. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0508129.pdf Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. New York: David McKay. McGivern, P., & Coxon, M. (2015, January 30). Student polling software: where cognitive psychology meets educational practice? Retrieved December 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311550/#__ffn_sectitle . Stott, A., & Neustaedter, C. (2003). Analysis of Gamification in Education. School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University. Retrieved from http://clab.iat.sfu.ca/pubs/Stott-Gamification.pdf Vyduna, J., Gessler, B., & Eby, S. (2007, April). Poll Everywhere: Live interactive audience participation. Retrieved December 12, 2019, from https://www.polleverywhere.com/ .