• Student Perceptions of a Low-Tech Option for Engagement and Assessment

      Schmuck, Heather; Cook, Joy; Schmuck, Heather; Cook, Joy
      The focus for the IRB approved study was to explore whether utilizing a simple ‘low-tech’, inexpensive option in the classroom provided higher perception levels of engagement and assessment (average rating of agree or strongly agree) from both the student and faculty perspective. The research question for this study was ‘What are students’ perceptions regarding the use of dry erase whiteboards in the classroom as it relates to engagement, formative assessment and learning?’. There is ample literature supporting the use of high-tech ‘clickers’ or student owned technology to increase student engagement. Oftentimes, these high-tech options require increased cost burden on the student. Low-tech options can be relatively inexpensive and potentially create a similar engaged environment demonstrated in literature without additional financial burden. Small dry erase whiteboards were used by students in multiple imaging science classrooms to answer course review material during lecture delivery. Two cohorts of students utilizing this method were surveyed over assessment, engagement, and learning with Likert scaled items and open-ended questions. The researchers learned that this low-cost, low-tech method of student assessment was well received by students who were in overall agreement with every surveyed item. Faculty perceptions for the study included positive results including active engagement from all rather than a few students. Statistical analysis demonstrated a strong correlation between two survey items related to student assessment indicating that students perceived a positive benefit from the use of this teaching pedagogy related to self-reflection. A suggestion for future research would include measurement of actual student learning outcomes when employing this pedagogical practice rather than just perceived learning and a comparative analysis between this option and other ‘high-tech’, more expensive options.