Interaction in lectures/classroom

These tools can help foster interaction in the classroom, particularly lectures and large-group sessions. For example:

  • Ascertaining what students know at the start of a lecture to direct your teaching for that session
  • Breaking up long didactic sections with a bit of interaction
  • Getting students to think and commit to a decision
  • Indicating students’ understanding towards the end of a lecture to see if they are taking in the learning objectives
  • Getting feedback on an aspect of the course or your teaching

Poll Everywhere is an online voting system that uses responses from your audience to answer questions and/or provide feedback in real time. Audience members use their mobile devices or laptops as a way to vote instead of having to hand out clickers. Students can respond via text message, mobile app, Twitter, or the web. Presenters can pose different types of questions including multiple choice or open ended questions.

Quick summary of Poll Everywhere for BSMS teachers

Official University of Brighton guidance

Pros

  • Versatile and robust polling tool
  • Wide range of response formats
  • Quick and easy for students to respond (app, web, SMS)
  • Free licence provided by University of Brighton

Cons

  • Dependent on phone signal or internet connection (caution in non-University locations)

Nearpod is a mobile app and web tool by which a teacher can ‘push’ their presentation to appear live on students’ own mobile devices (laptop/phone/tablet) in the classroom. It has several in-built interactions (polls/text/click-on-image) to increase the engagement and interaction in the session. It is particularly helpful if there isn’t any lectern PC or projector.

Quick summary of Nearpod for BSMS teachers

Official University of Brighton guidance

Pros

  • Integrate slides and interactions in one place
  • Wide range of interactions
  • Free ‘pro’ licence provided by University of Brighton
  • Use it anywhere – Doesn’t require a PC and projector
  • Best for small groups

Cons

  • Dependent on internet connection (caution in non-University locations)
  • Need to have fully-prepared content in advance – no changes on-the-fly.
Kahoot is a quick-fire quiz tool with points and a scoreboard. It is more of a light-hearted interactive tool that can be great in small or large group settings, individually or in teams. Pros

  • More playful, competitive quiz format
  • Engaging visuals and sounds
  • App and website platforms
  • Fully free of charge

Cons

  • Dependent on internet connection (caution in non-University locations)
  • Some situations may not lend themselves to this more playful format
Socrative is a similar alternative to PollEverywhere – polls in a variety of formats for students to respond by mobile device. There is a ‘freemium’ account (with limitations). Pros

  • Wide range of response formats
  • Quick and easy for students to respond (app, web, SMS)
  • Search for other people’s quizzes

Cons

  • No institutional licence available – only the free account
  • Dependent on phone signal or internet connection (caution in non-University locations)
Quizizz is similar to Kahoot – a playful, race-against-the-clock, quiz game with points. You can search for, and use, other people’s quizzes across a wide range of subjects.
Pros

  • More playful, competitive quiz format
  • Engaging visuals and sounds
  • App and website platforms
  • Fully free of charge

Cons

  • Dependent on internet connection (caution in non-University locations)
  • Some situations may not lend themselves to this more playful format
  • No feedback opportunity in the game so have to provide it verbally
The following tools are more focussed on self-directed interactive tools outside the classroom:
Formative is a more comprehensive formative assessment tool. Assignments are provided for a group of students to respond in class or outside of class. Teachers monitor their progress live and provide feedback. Pros

  • More than just a quiz tool – provide assignments and monitor student group progress
  • A range of interactive tools
  • Fully free of charge
  • Produced by active teachers

Cons

  • More set-up time to get to know the tool and features
  • More small-group based over a longitudinal period (e.g. term or year) and school level
Synap is a revision quiz tool created by medics for medical students. It is for students to use outside the classroom. They can create their own quizzes and share them with others.
Pros

  • Undergraduate medicine focussed
  • Students can share and find peer quizzes
  • Freemium account available (limited features)
  • ‘Pro’ level content is reviewed by experts

Cons

  • Peer content limited in quality assurance
  • Pro level content costs money
  • Revision-focussed
Vizia is a video-based tool that seeks to add interaction to educational videos on YouTube by creating stop-points at which students are asked questions to answer before continuing. Pros

  • Helps to stimulate thinking and interaction with normal online videos available on YouTube
  • Simple process to create

Cons

  • Limited to YouTube videos
  • Only one question can be asked at a time
  • Limited feedback opportunities to maximise learning
Playposit is similar to Vizia but with more comprehensive features. You can upload your videos as well as online videos and it includes marking and feedback. Pros

  • Helps to stimulate thinking and interaction with video
  • Comprehensive features including scoring and feedback
  • Freemium account with good features

Cons

  • Will take some time to get to know the features
  • Only one question can be asked at a time

If you would like some help in trying any of these out, get in touch with the BSMS Learning Technologists Tim Vincent or CJ Taylor.

Print Friendly