151 paper

Fun and feedback at the press of a button

Debbie Richards
Computing Department
Macquarie University

Catherine Braiding, Alan Vaughan
Physics Department
Macquarie University

A common phenomenon across disciplines and universities is that students complain that they do not receive enough feedback, even when student evaluation forms indicate satisfaction in other areas such as teacher competency and enthusiasm. On the other side, but less considered, is the lack of feedback that teachers receive as they struggle to get students to participate and engage with the learning process. While technology does not offer an automatic solution, keypad-based automatic response systems do offer the potential to let both parties know how well the learning outcomes are being achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner. We have just completed two years of pilot trialling of such technology at our university in the Computing and Physics Departments. This paper reports our experiences together with the findings of others.

Keywords: feedback, collaborative learning, socratic learning, keypad-based technology, personal response system, computerised audience response systems (CARS)