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Learning Enhancement and Development

Session 3A - Workshop

Making lectures interactive with a new, gamified, quiz and survey web app

Dr Stian Reimers - School of Arts and Social Sciences, City, University of London

This proposal covers a new web app, designed and built at City, which supports student success by giving early tailored feedback on performance, and encouraging positive behaviours like attendance and revision. It is of course both a new technology, and a new practice to share.

  • I introduce the latest version of a gamified quiz and survey system, which has been professionally developed, and implemented as a real-time mobile browser-based web-app. Students complete quizzes in lectures, and see their scores increase from week to week, and track their performance on a leaderboard. They can review previous quizzes and read tailored feedback on their relative strengths and weaknesses, which can help build a strategy for revision.
  • I will give hands-on demonstrations of the app, to anyone with a mobile phone, laptop or tablet, to demonstrate the functionality, and illustrate the ways in which it can enhance teaching and learning. Attendees will participate as if as students, and will see how the app works for lecturers. There will be disappointingly small prizes.
  • I will discuss the merits of a scientifically-grounded approach to developing and selecting approaches, technologies and activities to enhance teaching, both in terms of efficacy, and in terms of credibility with academics and students (see Dunlosky et al., 2013; Karpicke & Bauernschmidt, 2011). I will particularly focus on research in learning and memory and gamification (Werbach & Hunter, 2012).
  • I will give a brief overview of the current popular quizzing technologies in higher education, and where this quiz system fits in both in functionality and rationale.
  • I will discuss the background to (Reimers & Stewart, 2009) and evaluation of the system, based on a survey run in a large lecture in Dec 2016, as well as module evaluations and other data. I will talk about issues and next steps.
  • The session will start with an overview of the limitations inherent in lectures, and some of the challenges facing academics who lecture 
  • Hands-on demo participating in a simple quiz, with feedback 
  • Overview of different technologies for quizzing with pros and cons
  • Evaluation of the app from surveys and module feedback 
  • Guided demo of setting up a quiz 
  • Interactive discussion of other ways in which it might be used (e.g. flipped classroom, surveys), and new features that might be useful

Questions: In what kind of learning settings can I use the app? How does it help learning? What future plans are there for the app?


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.