Truth, Lies & Voting Systems ESTICT, Edinburgh, April 2010 Engaging Students Through In-Class Technology Engaging Students Through In-Class Technology (ESTICT) is a UK network of education practitioners and learning technologists interested in promoting good practice with classroom technologies that can enhance faceto-face teaching. Let’s Think About Voting Systems Little White Lies? Or The Real Truth? “... EVS encouraged active learning ... but this was only apparent when questions were being posed during an EVS lecture ... In the previous year’s final MCQ examination ... there was no difference ... for students attending EVS or traditional lectures and by this measure there is no learning advantage of the EVS over traditional lectures ...” “... Research studies show that the use of clickers results in measurable increases in student learning in some cases and inconclusive results in other cases. In every published report of student improvement with the use of clickers, the course included student collaboration of some form ...” “... Students perceive value in the use of clickers and would recommend their use in future classes. Contrary to expectations, learning outcomes of students using clickers did not improve more than the traditional active learning approach of using class discussion ...” “ ... Students in clicker sections (compared to traditional sections) did not report feeling significantly more engaged during class. We suggest that future researchers might combine clicker technology with other, established pedagogical techniques ...” Truth or Lies? What’s Going on Here? What Has Changed? Is Our Pedagogical Research Pseudo-Scientific? A Simple Truth Much, much, more meaningful classroom research, based on modern educational psychology, is needed to understand what is the ‘good practice’ that can enhance face-to-face teaching through in-class technology (& voting systems in particular) Have the Students Changed? Another Simple Truth We teach today’s students, not yesterdays Has the Technology, or Our Use of It, Changed? A Well Known Truth “… for the computer to bring about a revolution in higher education, its introduction must be accompanied by improvements in our understanding of teaching and learning …” Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate, 1986 So ... what about our understanding of teaching and learning as it relates to the ‘technology’ of voting systems? Classroom Communication Systems (CCS) Personal Response Systems (PRS) Audience Response Systems (ARS) Electronic Voting Systems (EVS) Clickers (!) ClassTalk & PRS were developed as Classroom Communication Systems, NOT Voting Systems Another Truth? “ ... both the challenges (why use slideshows & how is good teaching re-used?) imply we don’t want a slideshow support like PowerPoint but a palette-like toolbox for creating activities on the spot) ...” Steve Draper, ESTICT, Leicester, 2009 “ ... at the ESTICT event yesterday, Steve Draper threw out some challenging comments, as expected. For me, the most interesting was not about electronic voting systems (EVS), but about PowerPoint. One of the main reasons I’m not terribly interested in EVS is because most of the systems I have used are so tightly integrated with PowerPoint that inevitably they fall down because of the limitations of PowerPoint ...” Genetics News Blog 27th November 2009 One of the main contributors to student boredom is the use of PowerPoint Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster February 1st 2003 “ ... it is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak to the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented ...” “... the addition of redundant information can have strong negative consequences ... If one form of instruction is intelligible and adequate, providing the same information in a different form will impose an extraneous cognitive load ...” “... Cognitive Load Theory has been designed to provide guidelines intended to assist in the presentation of information in a manner that encourages learner activities that optimize intellectual performance ...” So, if you’re using EVS through PowerPoint, what needs to be changed? A Final Truth Dee Fink’s Foundational Knowledge Learning How to Learn •Becoming a better student •Inquiring about a subject Understanding and remembering: •Information •Ideas •Self-directing learners Integration Connecting: Caring •Ideas Developing new: •People •Feelings •Realms of life •Interests •Values Application Human Dimension Learning about: •Oneself •Others •Skills •Thinking: Critical, creative and practical thinking •Managing projects What’s the IMPACT during class? Sweller et al: A change to long term memory Fink: A significant learning experience So, how should a lesson be designed for EVS to help make that IMPACT?