On Using Cell Phones to Enhance Engagement and Feedback in a Large Enrollment Course

23 Oct

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!  That became Brian Mosher’s strategy for getting more interaction in his large math classes.  Mosher, the UMinn Director of Undergraduate Studies and math faculty member,  devised a plan to put student cell phones to good use!

At the Fall 2013 Academy of Distinguished Teachers Conference, Mosher describe a recent pilot he conducted to see if cell phones could be used to encourage interaction between students and teacher during class sessions.  Mosher reports taking on complications in converting keyboard characters to mathematical operations, and in making use of the strategy to help students “transition from carrying out algorithms to constructing arguments and independent mathematical expression.”  The program was a success and resulted in additional opportunities to clarify things students found confusing.

Survey results were positive and, as Bryan, says, “If one student uses it, then it is successful, because there is very little overhead for the instructor. “

Presentation slides with more background and comments from students are shared below via a link to our slideshare.net page:  

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