Experiences from the Mobile Learning Seminar in Østersund, Sweden

2011-10-26

At October 24-25, 22 experienced teachers from Norway and Sweden met in Østersund in order to exchange experiences with usage of  online response system technologies like in the LLP-Transfer of Innovation project Done-IT. The first part of the seminar demonstrated how Student Response Systems (SRS) have been used in a range of ways in higher education, as well as in vocational education in Norway and Sweden during the last 2 years. The second part of the seminar discussed the design of a SRS II. The picture shows John Erik Hennissen summing up his expeirences with use of SRS.

The last part of the seminar addressed emerging response technologies, and in particular how it is possible to develope, test and suggest a new type of evaluation system that provides immediate feedback to students (by using their own Smartphones) as a creative learning tool.

Educational research shows that students learning is enhanced when they get (regularly) feedback to their own understanding of the subject. Many students consider lack of feedback as unproductive! Furthermore, it was pointed out that tests and exams have litle effect or influence of students learning process. It is indeed a paradox that our educational system on the one hand is interested in students learning, while the educational system at the same time frequently uses the less effective feedbackmechanism which a test is.

The KA3-ICT project Done-IT (2011-2012) addresses the possibillity of changeing the test context, from the current mode where it is often synonumous to measureing the students performance, into creating a learning situation where students learn from the errors they have just done.

Gabrielle Hansen-Nygård and Trond M. Thorseth explained how the new services are going to provide automatic marking of students tests, including an evaluation of their score. At the same time the system will provide immediate feedback to students performance, and indeed localize the areas where they have problems in such a way that the teacher in an easy and fast way may provide dedicated feedback to the class - when the problem it is still fresh in their memory. 

One way of doing this, is by developing a method that combines verification based feedback, with use of elaborative feedback solutions utilizing mechanisms like

  • indept explanations from the teacher
  • on the fly informal student collaboration in groups
  • in class discussions and/or debate
  • inclusion of hints, and solving the task once more by for instance using peer instruction and online SRS for Smartphones

At the end of the seminar the participants were "certified in technical and methodological use of response technologies" by solving a test that used mobile devices to collect the results. Fortunately, since the group only manage to answer one question 100% correct, the new verification- and elaboraton method could be imediately applied into practice.

The seminar was successfull, and will be arranged next time in the fall of 2012.

SRS 2.0, PELE 1.5, Eval 1.0 and iLike 1.0 are available for use.