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PechaKucha Session 1: Interaction in Lectures with Mobile Devices -- 238

11:30 - 12:45 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 2.220

It has become clear that introducing TurningPoint ‘in lecture’ interaction software during various revision sessions is very popular with students. We have now used this software since 2009 for large cohorts (350–650), but only occasionally. The reason for this is that the distribution of handsets is problematic (for one session in 2009 with 500 students we needed to use 4 Teaching Assistants, AV Engineers and a great deal of assistance from the Humanities eLearning Team at the University).

The idea to use mobile devices to solve this problem came from the ‘text’ polling used by TV and radio stations. There was a possibility that this could be solved by utilizing the SMS, Bluetooth or Internet technology that most handheld mobiles already possess. The question was, did this software exist, and if so how could it be adapted/adopted to fulfil this new academic purpose? One answer came after suggestions for possible solutions from Will Moindrot, an eLearning Technologist at Manchester. On top of the text software, Will suggested using Google Moderator and Turning Point, both applications using the Web rather than SMS. After careful consideration we decided to set up a pilot using the TurningPoint web based application on an economics module (ECON10042 – Macroeconomic Principles at Manchester) for a cohort of 533 students. Immediately after the Turning Point session we set up a survey on the course web site which runs inside Blackboard 9 to gather data with a view to disseminating the findings of our project.

It was interesting to view the student's perception of this type of learning tool before and after the session. Interestingly only 9 students out of 145 viewed the idea negatively in the survey run before the pilot and of the 42 students who responded to the post session survey, 41 said that they had enjoyed the session. The students also left some very favourable responses in the open comments section. We have disseminated this pilot at the Faculty Teaching and Learning Showcase at Manchester and, as a result, acquired fresh funding for a further 350 licenses for the Turning Point ‘over web’ application for a project to run the following academic year.

It is worth stressing here that the success of Turning Point as a means of improving student satisfaction is becoming well known. This pilot was really about testing the feasibility of an alternative that addressed the physical need for student handsets. The feedback from the students was highly positive, which was expected, only it has now become apparent that we can deliver this satisfaction enhancer for large cohorts for every week of the semester; something that the physical handsets inhibited.


Hi, thanks to all for coming to our session and your invaluable comments! There is a extended edition of our presentation available from here: also a video we produced with clicker users:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012, 18:34