DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

WHAT IS DIGITAL POLLING?

Digital polling software is a quick and easy way to engage and gather immediate feedback from cloud and campus-based students; and then you can choose how to present the feedback to your cohort.

It allows you to pose questions and record student responses that can then be presented back to the cohort in a synchronous manner. This can be used to get immediate feedback on where students are at, stimulate their reflections, and identify where support is required.

WHY WOULD I USE DIGITAL POLLING?

Connected learning enables the co-construction of knowledge and helps shape facilitate a learner’s thinking through the connections they make real-time (Siemens, 2005). As educators we can motivate learners to fuse the gap between their experience and formal education, by connecting with others and encourage reflection to cultivate a productive learning community (Ito et al., 2013). This can be done by applying digital polling in your teaching.

Interviews with Deakin academics revealed a number of pedagogical reasons that motivated the use of digital polling in their teaching. Digital polling has been found to engage students through considered questions; reinforce threshold learning concepts; and foster a shared learning experience and conversation between students and teachers (Hoekstra and Mollborn, 2012).

The design of digital polling questions is critical to maximise engagement and challenge students. If the questions are constructed correctly then, digital polling can be used to create a learning dialogue between the students and the teacher. 

WHAT IS DIGITAL POLLING?

Digital polling software is a quick and easy way to engage and gather immediate feedback from cloud and campus-based students; and then you can choose how to present the feedback to your cohort.

It allows you to pose questions and record student responses that can then be presented back to the cohort in a synchronous manner. This can be used to get immediate feedback on where students are at, stimulate their reflections, and identify where support is required.

WHY WOULD I USE DIGITAL POLLING?

Connected learning enables the co-construction of knowledge and helps shape facilitate a learner’s thinking through the connections they make real-time (Siemens, 2005). As educators we can motivate learners to fuse the gap between their experience and formal education, by connecting with others and encourage reflection to cultivate a productive learning community (Ito et al., 2013). This can be done by applying digital polling in your teaching.

Interviews with Deakin academics revealed a number of pedagogical reasons that motivated the use of digital polling in their teaching. Digital polling has been found to engage students through considered questions; reinforce threshold learning concepts; and foster a shared learning experience and conversation between students and teachers (Hoekstra and Mollborn, 2012).

The design of digital polling questions is critical to maximise engagement and challenge students. If the questions are constructed correctly then, digital polling can be used to create a learning dialogue between the students and the teacher. 

WHEN WOULD I USE DIGITAL POLLING?

The following faculty use cases outline when you might use digital polling in your teaching, what benefits come of using this technology, what challenges you might face and the strategies you can use to navigate these challenges.

1 - CREATE A SENSE OF COHORT

2 - REINFORCE THRESHOLD CONCEPTS

3 - INCREASE ENGAGEMENT

An academic from the Faculty of Arts and Education used digital polling to create a sense of cohort. In a large lecture, the sense of cohort can be lost and digital polling can help facilitate more active participation. To enhance a sense of cohort between on-campus and cloud students, digital polling was used by this academic.

Digital polling was found to be beneficial to their teaching practice as it provided insights into the student’s thought process and enabled more immediate feedback loops from students. Student responses informed his ability to adapt the content and enabled him to reflect on his teaching approach. In doing so, he was able to use this feedback to iterate the interactivity in the future.   

Top tip: Enable responses to be ‘anonymous’ to generate a more active discussion from students. 

In the Faculty of Health, an academic used digital polling in a first-year unit with 700 students. Previously, he had organised activities mid-way through the lecture for students to engage and check their understanding of the threshold concepts, but he found students rushed through these activities.

He noted that the ‘free text’ option was a useful way to generate discussion, however, it was challenging as it required him to think on his feet and respond to students. Regardless, they has continued to use this question type as he has been able to address common misunderstandings and clarify concepts based on their responses.

Through actively using the software, he found multiple uses for digital polling including exam question revision where he responded to students in real time. He found students really engaged in this process and more interested to discuss both correct and incorrect responses and logic behind them.

Top Tip: Questions need to be constructively aligned to the content and be fit for purpose. Digital polling is much more than structuring multiple choice questions so be sure to use a variety of questions to engage learners. 

In this scenario, an academic from the Faculty of Business and Law used digital polling in a first-year unit with 1600 students to enhance student engagement and to seek feedback on the level of course content difficulty. Digital polling enabled him to seek feedback from students and make informed decisions about what was essential to include in future iterations.

By using digital polling, he was able to get a sense of his cohort and consequently design questions for impact. That is, it is essential that students see how you have used the responses, whether that be to support learners, or discuss key concepts based on their feedback – namely making the feedback loop explicit. As students realise their ability to influence teaching, this can encourage them to more actively engage with digital polling.

Getting started with generating questions aligned to course content was time consuming. To overcome this challenge the academic posed questions from the textbook and iterated these over time.

The academic didn’t think much of digital polling at first, but has since changed his mind after student feedback and eValuate results favourably reflected their use of digital polling in classroom.

Top Tip: The reasons why you are using digital polling in teaching and the benefits from student perspectives are important factors to consider. Be sure to demonstrate this by showing the impact of their responses in real time and tailor your approach.

CREATE A SENSE OF COHORT

An academic from the Faculty of Arts and Education used digital polling to create a sense of cohort. I In a large lecture, you can lose the sense of cohort and digital polling can help facilitate more active participation.  To enhance a sense of cohort between on-campus and cloud students, digital polling was used by this academic..

Digital polling was found to be beneficial to their teaching practice as it provided insights into the student’s thought process and enabled more immediate feedback loops from students. Their responses informed his ability to adapt the content and enabled him to reflect on his teaching approach. In doing so, he was able to use this feedback to iterate the interactivity in the future.   

Top tip: Enable responses to be ‘anonymous’ to generate a more active discussion from students. 

REINFORCE THRESHOLD CONCEPTS

In the Faculty of Health, an academic used digital polling in a first-year unit with 700 students. Previously, they had organised activities mid-way through the lecture for students to engage and check their understanding of the threshold concepts, but he found students rushed through these activities.

They noted that the ‘free text’ option was a useful way to generate discussion, however, it was challenging as it required him to think on his feet and respond to students. Regardless, he has continued to use this question type as he has been able to address common misunderstandings and clarify concepts based on their responses.

Through actively using the software, they found multiple uses for digital polling including exam question revision where they  responded to students in real time. They found students really engaged in this process and more interested to discuss both correct and incorrect responses and logic behind them.

Top Tip: Questions need to be constructively aligned to the content and be fit for purpose. Digital polling is much more than structuring multiple choice questions so be sure to use a variety of questions to engage learners. 

INCREASE ENGAGEMENT

In this scenario, an academic from the Faculty of Business and Law used digital polling in a first-year unit with 1600 students to enhance student engagement and to seek feedback on the level of course content difficulty. Digital polling enabled him to seek feedback from students and and make informed decisions about what was essential to include in future iterations.

By using digital polling, he was able to get a sense of his cohort and consequently design questions for impact. That is, it is essential that students see how you have used the responses, whether that be to support learners, or discuss key concepts based on their feedback – namely making the feedback loop explicit. As students realise their ability to influence teaching, this can encourage them to more actively engage with digital polling.

Getting started with generating questions aligned to course content was time consuming. To overcome this challenge the academic posed questions from the textbook and iterated these over time.

The academic didn’t think much of digital polling at first, but has since changed his mind after student feedback and eValuate results favourably reflected their use of digital polling in classroom.

Top Tip: The reasons why you are using digital polling in teaching and the benefits from student perspectives are important factors to consider. Be sure to demonstrate this by showing the impact of their responses in real time and tailor your approach.

HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH MENTIMETER?
Mentimeter is both a digital polling and a presentation tool that can be used for both purposes. To find out more find detailed pedagogical and technical guides on our digital polling resources pages by clicking the icons below.
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RESOURCES

SITE REFERENCES

Hoekstra, A., & Mollborn, S. (2011). How clicker use facilitates existing pedagogical practices in higher education: data from interdisciplinary research on student response systems, Learning, Media And Technology, 37:3, 303-320.

Ito, M., Gutiérrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., … & Watkins, S. (2013). Connected learning: an agenda for research and design, The Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, Irvine, CA, 1-99

 Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies, Routledge, London, pp. 1-284

 Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, 2:1, 3-10.

WHO DO I GO TO FOR SUPPORT AND ADVICE?
Technical issues
Email eSolutions: deakin@service-now.com
Phone support: 1800 463 888

Hours of support:

  • Monday to Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm
  • Saturday to Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Design issues
Email eSolutions: deakin@service-now.com
Phone support: 1800 463 888

Hours of support:

  • Monday to Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm
  • Saturday to Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
FACULTY
  • Faculty of Business and Law 
  • Faculty of SEBE 
  • Faculty of Arts and Education 
  • Faculty of Health 
Technical issues

Email eSolutions: deakin@service-now.com
Phone support: 1800 463 888

Hours of support:

Monday to Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm

Saturday to Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

Design issues

Email eSolutions: deakin@service-now.com
Phone support: 1800 463 888

Hours of support:

Monday to Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm

Saturday to Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

FACULTY

Faculty of Business and Law

Faculty of SEBE

Faculty of Arts and Education

Faculty of Health