One of the real pleasures of my role as a Learning Technologist at the University of Bath is that I sometimes get to go along to undergraduate lectures. Usually, I am there to support the use of the Audience Response System (ARS), though I also take it as an opportunity to observe and later reflect on others’ teaching practice.
Generally speaking, I am happy to support a lecturer’s first use of the ARS to support their teaching, though on occasion, will go along to their teaching sessions on several occasions if there is a specific issue or item that needs resolving.
In one particular case, I was invited by Hedley Bashforth, a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, to a SP10001 Social policy, welfare and the state lecture. The title of this weeks lecture was Social citizenship and the postwar welfare settlement and students were due to use the ARS.
Hedley has used the hardware on several occasions previously, given that a few weeks had passed since his last use (and there had been a Active Directory profile issue with the TurningPoint 2008 software), he wanted me to be around in the background, just in case I was needed.
In 2005, the British Government launched a citizenship test for foreigners who wanted to become British.The idea was that if “you want the passport, then you’ll have to read Life in the UK, a special book, and sit a 45-minute test on society, history and culture.” (BBC News, 16 June 2005).
Following the short presentation of a video which outlined the issues that accompanied Windrush, the students were given an outline of the citizenship test, and told that they would be answering 18 sample questions using their clickers over the coming minutes. The idea was that after each question, Hedley would give some feedback, as illustrated in the photo below.
One of the key drivers for the use of the ARS was to further engage the students in their learning, and to enable them to become more actively involved in their learning.
As a formative exercise, and with the ARS being using in an anonymous form, the students could give answers in a risk free manner, knowing that their responses were not being individually logged. It was also clear that the students enjoyed this particular exercise, with the activity creating a stimulus for discussion and debate, which Hedley facilitated.
If this is a type of exercise that you would like to repeat or adapt for your own context, and within your own learning and teaching related activities, please do get in touch either on 01225 384 392 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh – and for the record – I got three answers incorrect. Must try harder! ;-)