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In-class Quizzes to get Students’ Attention

11 December, 2010

I’d love to hear some comments and viewpoints about this approach to learning.

The synopsis is that, in an attempt to get students focused on listening to the lecturer, the lecturers will use technology in order to monitor students – like, for example, setting a quiz every 15 minutes, with the mark actually going to the final grade.

Source: Varsity tutors, “Using Technology to Engage Students“, posted November 30 2010.

I’m not totally sure how I feel about this.  As a teacher, I can certainly understand the frustration in having students just plain not pay attention in class – a common sentiment for some teachers is that they work out which of the few students are listening, and teach them, and figure that the rest will listen when they want to.

Yet, taking a step back from that, I can’t help but feel that technology can be used in more effective ways than, essentially, shepherding students to learn in the same way we did 50 years ago.  Perhaps there are better ways of using technology to involve students – to develop their own knowledge of a field, or to refer to academic articles, rather than thinking of the lecturer as the fount of all knowledge.

What do you think?  Post your replies in the comments!

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