Session 2D - Paper 2
Enhancing teaching through gamification: Testing a new-and-improved system for in-lecture weekly quizzes with mobile-phone based responding
Dr Stian Reimers – City, University of London, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology
The approach I present gives a lecturer-friendly, low-effort, scientifically grounded way of improving students’ learning. Feedback from students suggests it is seen as a very positive teaching tool that enhances the learning experience. I want to share my experiences with people from other schools.
I will introduce the latest version of a text-message based gamified quiz system used for in-lecture revision, currently run across four module in the BSc Psychology programme, presenting a brief conceptual and technical overview, an example of the system in action, and substantial feedback from students. Overall I will argue that the system offers a very simple, lecturer-friendly way of enhancing teaching excellence.
I presented a primitive version of the system at the Learning at City conference in 2014. The current system represents a step change in design, functionality and reliability. It runs completely online, via a simple interface, and provides immediate feedback on the number of students choosing each option for a question, allowing lecturers to focus on concepts that students struggled with. It has now been used with over 250 students, and regularly features positively in SSLC feedback and in module evaluations. I will give an overview of the latest developments, and their impact.
I will discuss the practical constraints in enhancing teaching excellence in research-focused institutions. From my academic perspective, I can give an overview of the pressures faced by academics juggling multiple roles, where teaching excellence is not the highest priority.
I will discuss the use of gamification in higher education, and its potential and pitfalls in terms of enhancing the student experience.
Finally, I hope to give a hands-on demonstration of a new version of the quiz system to give an example of a technology that, in my opinion, addresses these issues effectively.
- Academics and learning technologists will see a home-grown, innovative new way of enhancing students’ experience of large-class lectures, with minimal disruption to current lecture practices.
- People engaged in learning support and learning technology should gain a sense of the barriers that may be faced in persuading research-focussed academic staff to spend time enhancing their teaching, and the situations in which academics could be more amenable to change.
- All attendees will get an overview of the use of gamification in higher education, with its pros and cons, an area that is changing rapidly.
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