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Engaging Large Cohorts with Technology event report

1 May 2018 Posted in: Articles, News By: Liam Atwood

On Tuesday the 24th of April, the E-Learning Unit and Educational Development teams held an event to explore the advantages and challenges of using learning technologies to enhance student engagement and learning, particularly in large cohorts. Guest speakers Jayne Dennis (H&E), Guiglielmo Volpe (HSS) and Mark Roberts (SMD) explained their practice for engaging large cohorts using technology and shared both the benefits and limitations of these systems.

We were pleased with the turnout for the event which featured many academic and professional staff across the various faculties at QMUL. Thank you to those who attended. To those who didn’t manage to attend, below is a summary of the discussion of the event. We will be looking to post recordings of the event in the coming month. We also look to follow up with a blog post which further explores the use of audience response technologies for teaching and learning.


Discussion summary


At the end of the event, a panel discussion was held with the presenters of the event. The discussion consisted of questions from the audience via the engagement system Mentimeter and which were offered to the panel and audience to discuss further. Some of the most prominent questions included the following:

  • What audience response systems does the university have licenses to? Is it considering any site wide licenses?
    • Fielded by the E-Learning Unit, the answer was that although some schools have licenses for Turning Point, but there is no site-wide license for a particular audience response system. The ELU-Learning Unit will seek to gauge interest from staff who are currently using them or would like to use them in their practice. If there is strong feedback for any particular systems, the ELU would look to gather support for buying a set or site-wide licenses for them.
  • Are these tools suitable for other situations than larger group teaching? I.e. small groups or for summative purposes?
    • For small groups, the resounding answer was yes. All of the presenters had found that the technology worked with small groups, with the Kahoot (link to Kahoot site) tool being used by one presenter to create small groups who then compete in a ‘pub quiz’ style activity which she has found particularly effective. However, most presenters felt that for any summative assessment, it was difficult to ensure authenticity and thus cautioned against it.
  • What are the implications of the use of this technology in relation to the GDPR?
    • This was a very good question which no-one had a particularly comprehensive answer to. The ELU will be further investigating so that it can inform the wider community about the impact of the GDPR on teaching practice.

Below are a collection of the tools that were gathered from the event that you might like to try. We will be discussing some of these further in our blog post to come.

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