Mitigating Student Apprehension using Technology

Project Details

  • Project Overview
    University classrooms are becoming increasingly large as enrollment goes up, and student apprehension towards being involved in such large groups keeps them from fully taking control of their education. Technology integration into the classroom setting is a slow process that in some cases hasn’t even begun; yet, if technology is properly utilized in the classroom setting it is possible to mitigate student apprehension through features such as Anonymity, Accessibility, and Live Feedback. Our work outlines a framework and creates a baseline set of features for tools designed to be integrated into the university classroom. Future work includes designing tools that fit this framework and utilize the features outlined so that more research can be done to refine/refute our findings in order to build better frameworks.
  • SEGAL Members Involved
    Lloyd Montgomery, Guy Evans, Francis Harrison, Daniela Damian

Project Description

In today’s university climate many first and second year classes have over a hundred students. Large classrooms make some students apprehensive about asking questions. An anonymous method of submitting questions to an instructor would allow students to ask their questions without feeling apprehensive. In our work we proposed a Live Anonymous Question Queue (LAQQ), a system that facilitates anonymous question submissions in real time to mitigate student apprehension, increase student participation, and provide real-time feedback to the instructor. To study the necessary features of an LAQQ, we conducted a study of a system, namely Google Moderator, which best approached our concept of an LAQQ. We deployed Google moderator in large lectures and studied its support of a number of features that we envisioned for an LAQQ. Through our class observations, interviews with instructors, and surveys with the students, our results suggest that an LAQQ system must provide support for: notification of question submission to provide awareness for the instructor, and context for questions to allow an instructor to easily answer a question. Additionally our results suggest that an LAQQ system must be accessible and usable on multiple platforms. Finally our results suggest that in order to be successful in the classroom an LAQQ system must be fully adopted by the instructor and the classroom organizational structure must change to accommodate the use of the LAQQ.

Montgomery, L., Evans, G., Harrison, F., and Damian, D. Towards a Live Anonymous Question Queue to Address Student Apprehension. The 20th Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education. (WCCCE) May 2015.

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