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Session 3A

Workshop

Introducing Quodl: An easy and popular homegrown way to increase engagement and learning in lectures with live quizzes

Dr Stian Reimers - Reader | School of Arts and Social Sciences

Quodl is a new learning tool that supports students by giving feedback and guidance.

Lectures are an enduring part of university education, despite many shortcomings. One particular issue with lectures is that the passive, transmissive approach to teaching does not align well with the active retrieval and flexible manipulation of learning material that is required for good performance in many assessments, and to apply knowledge in real-world contexts. Furthermore, students in lectures do not gain any insight into the quality of their own learning until they see the results of summative assessments, often well over a term into their studies. It is therefore very easy for students to spend the first few months at university falling behind without realising it.

Quodl, a made-at-City, professionally-developed, commercial live quizzing and student polling web app for mobile devices is designed to address many of these issues, by:

  • Offering immediate feedback on performance, both in absolute terms and using a leaderboard to compare with peers
  • Giving tailored automated written feedback based on performance metrics, to indicate which areas students might gain most from revising.
  • Giving students the chance to respond to the same type of question as in summative assessments, but in a gamified low-stakes environment
  • Providing analytics to lecturers and programme directors to help identify students at risk of failing

I presented a prototype of Quodl at Learning at City two years ago, and the workshop was well received. This year I would like to give a demonstration of the commercial version, which is professional in appearance, stable and reliable, and has been validated with 1,000 students and their mobile devices. Even people who came to the previous talk will get a lot out of this session, with more opportunity to use the app to set up and run quizzes, and overviews of the new functionality like timing, extra feedback for students, and the entirely new interface.

Based on feedback from my 2017 workshop, this session will focus primarily on hands-on experience setting up and responding to quizzes. Attendees will be split into two or three groups depending on numbers, and each group will have to set up a quiz in Quodl on a relevant topic. They will then share their quizzes so that at the end of the session, and I or they will run the quizzes that the attendees have created, and everyone will be able to join in trying to answer their opponents’ questions.

Delegates will by the end of the session gain an insight into the challenges inherent in linking large-class teaching to summative assessments. They will also gain practical hands-on experience with Quodl, which will be available for any attendees to use in their own teaching the following term.

References

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14, 4-58.

Karpicke, J. D., & Bauernschmidt, A. (2011). Spaced retrieval: absolute spacing enhances learning regardless of relative spacing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 1250.

Reimers, S., & Stewart, N. (2009). Using SMS text messaging for teaching and data collection in the behavioral sciences. Behavior research methods, 41, 675-681.

Werbach, K., & Hunter, D. (2012). For the win: How game thinking can revolutionize your business. Wharton Digital Press.