Using apps in teaching
Most students have mobile devices, so apps offer alternative tools for teaching and learning. Learners can also engage remotely, so apps are great for online learning or when learners are absent from a session.
There are several apps suitable for teaching and learning in higher education. Here, we present two examples.
The Socrative app is an interactive assessment tool that is easy to set up and teachers have access to the dashboard. Socrative provides a way to gather real-time formative feedback via quizzes, quick polls and exit tickets. Socrative is inclusive as it encourages all learners to participate, but they can remain anonymous to their peers if they choose to use a pseudonym. When using the app as an assessment tool, however, it is advisable that learners share their pseudonym with teachers. Socrative is a perfect way to eradicate unnecessary time-consuming marking because you can create quizzes on any topic, as a result freeing up time to focus on teaching and learning. You can also choose the exit tickets, which enable you to gather more detailed feedback and learners can monitor their own progress.
Kahoot is a similar app to Socrative, but you can draw from a huge bank of ready created quizzes and games. Using a pin, learners join a game or a quiz and play using the large projector screen.
PeerWise is an online repository of multiple-choice questions that are created, answered, rated and discussed by students. Typically, at the beginning of a term, a course using PeerWise begins with an empty repository. This grows gradually as the course progresses and students author and contribute relevant questions. All activity remains anonymous to students, however instructors are able to view the identity of question and comment authors and have the ability to delete inappropriate questions. In practice, instructor moderation is rarely necessary and PeerWise is often used with little staff involvement.
If there are learners who do not have a phone, they can share with a peer.
Such activities might not be suitable for learners with visual impairment, unless they have a modified phone that will enable them to access these apps.
Sources: Socrative, Kahoot and PeerWise