Using Student Response Systems to build student’s Academic Self Efficacy

November 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Posted in student response systems | Leave a comment
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Today ILIaD hosted a session by Dr Fabio Aricò, a lecturer in economics at the University of East Anglia who was awarded an HEA Teaching Development Grant to disseminate some really interesting practice – full details of the project including resources and presentations can be found on his website.

As I understand it, at the heart of Fabio’s project is a desire to improve his students’ Academic Self Efficacy (ACE) – in other words their confidence in their own ability and understanding of the subject, as well as their capability as independent learners. The way that he does this is to provide them with lots of feedback about their performance on in-class conceptual questions, answered using the Turning Point Student Response System. In an extension of Mazur’s Peer Instruction method, Fabio also asks the students how confident they are in their inital responses to the conceptual questions.

The data from Turning Point is processed  and the results form the basis for a written report that Fabio posts on the course website within a few days of the session. See below for an example of how the feedback makes good use of the data:


He also asks the students how difficult and interesting they found each session, and can track this over the course. The difficulty rating enables him to adapt his teaching, but also provides feedback on the amount of independent study that the students are engaging in. And of course the data also allows him to track attendance – with the students’ consent of course.

For me, the key messages were that the use of a Student Response System enabled ASE to be measured during learning throughout the course (rather than just at the end when the exam results are known) and that students really valued the regular, prompt and specific feeback that this method affords.

A bonus was Fabio’s strong recommendation to read this extremely useful article:

Nielsen, K.L., Hansen, G., and Stav J.B., (2013), “Teaching with Student Response Systems (SRS): Teacher-centric Aspects that can Negatively Affect Students’ Experience of Using SRS”, Research in Learning Technology, 21, accessed 27 June 2014, 14:00.


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