Student engagement in the classroom

Posted by Ralph  |  October 6, 2011

(photo credit: flickr/velkr0)

Coinciding with the “back to school” season in many parts of the world these past few weeks, we’ve happily noticed some usage of polltogo by educators. Some notable hot spots have been universities in Ontario, Indiana and Texas.

Though there is little consensus among academics as to how to define engagement, one thing is easy to agree on: participation — asking or answering questions, sharing opinions, etc. — breeds better persistence and performance in learning. [reference]

This is one area where we think polltogo can be quite useful: a weapon in the teacher’s arsenal to help combat disaffection in the classroom.

Here are some ideas of how to use polltogo to increase student engagement in the classroom:

  1. A pop quiz to check if students are understanding new material [e.g., a multiple choice polltogo]
  2. A tool to get honest feedback, such as “Do I need to spend more time on this topic?” [e.g. a yes/no polltogo with comments]
  3. A method for students to ask questions without fear of embarrassment for asking a “stupid question” (since their votes & comments are anonymous) [e.g. a feedback polltogo]
  4. A way to promote cognitive reinforcement of material taught in class. For example, one could give a polltogo at the end of class for students to take with them on their phone as they leave to go walk to their next class, to lunch, etc.

What are some of your ideas? Have you used polltogo in your classes? Leave a comment below or tweet us your usage tip.

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