Managing student responses

March 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Posted in educational, student response systems | Leave a comment

We are piloting the Meetoo web-based student response system which supports in-class messaging as well as polling. Students can send messages which are immediately visible to the whole cohort, and click to ‘like’ messages they agree with. It is also possible for the tutor to moderate messages, but let’s leave that feature aside for now.

I’d like to share and reflect on the experiences of James Wilson, a colleague in our Faculty of Health Sciences, who used Meetoo for the first time this week in a session about mental health issues for around 80 students. His feedback to me included:

During the session I personally found it a challenge to multi-task – it meant juggling my oral engagement with the audience while monitoring the message board. During the session the message board exploded with comments and I simply could not keep track.

At the start of the session he invited the students to share their thoughts and questions throughout, and these mainly appeared as three ‘bursts’ of 10-15 messages around specific themes.  Most of the messages were comments on the content of the session and none required an answer from the tutor, so there was no need for James to ‘keep track’. A total of 81 students answered polling questions using Meetoo, so it seems only a minority were sending (and reading?) messages.

Some typical comments:

Medication can solve a large portion as many cases can be along the route of chemical imbalance in the brain.
Mental illness often involves a combination of medical and therapeutic interventions like CBT, counselling therapies etc.
Giving a tablet to someone does not get to the root cause of the problem!!!!! We should be helping not medicating straight away

Suggested good practice

Tutors could ask for comments at a few relevant points during a session, and just review messages as they come in. Some students will send comments, while others will simply use the ‘like’ feature. Directing students to the message feature like this should lead to a higher proportion of students engaging with it. The Meetoo FAQs indicate that it will soon be possible to sort messages by the number of likes, which would be helpful.

In a recent webinar, Meetoo said that they would soon offer an open-text question type, but those are best suited to one or two-word answers, so I still think messages are the best way for students to share comments. The tutor can mark selected messages as ‘favorites’ and I understand that it will soon be possible to share just these messages with the students via a Projector tab. This would enable the tutor to gather feedback from the whole class and then re-focus their attention on a few of the key points raised. I think there is also an opportunity here for the tutor to ask students to spend a few minutes discussing those key points in small groups.

Perhaps if students have a question they would like the tutor to answer, they could prefix their message with a Q – for example “Q why do you think mental health issues are increasingly affecting teenagers?” The tutor could quickly review the messages towards the end of the session and either answer these at that point, later online or in the next session.

Social messages

Students sent social messages at the very start of the session, but these stopped as soon as the session got underway. There were no inappropriate messages; just jokey ones. I think this is a good example of students exploring how the system works and then getting focused.

I spy beginning with w
window?
To the walls…
Yay window
*leaves conversation

Finally, one student posted a very positive comment at the end of the session about the use of Meetoo which got ten likes:

Awesome app. Should be used for all our lectures! Encourages more discussion for us shy ones ??

This initial feedback indicates that Meetoo offer an easy-to-use and effective medium for in-class comments that encourages discussion, and that further experience will help us develop and strengthen its impact on learning.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: