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Written by Bill Pellowe   
Sunday, 29 May 2011 15:35

NewsMOARS, the free, open-source Mobile Audience Response System for students to use with iPod Touch, iPhones, and other mobile browsers, will be featured in three presentations and workshops at the JALT CALL SIG conference in Kurume the weekend of June 4-5 2011.

The three are:

  • Mobile Devices for Quizzes, Surveys and Peer Feedback (Bill Pellowe) on Saturday, June 4, from 9:30-10:10
  • Using a Mobile Audience Response System for Classroom Peer Assessment (Trevor A. Holster and Bill Pellowe) on Saturday, June 4 from 14:50-15:30
  • Hands On in an iPod Learning Environment (Ian J Brown, Bill Pellowe and Robert Chartrand) on Sunday, June 5, from 13:10-14:40

Full descriptions:

Using a Mobile Audience Response System for Classroom Peer Assessment

Trevor A. Holster and Bill Pellowe. Saturday, June 4 from 14:50-15:30

Peer feedback not only helps keep the class focused while a classmate gives a presentation, it can actually engage the learning process. However, actually using the data from such feedback surveys can be so time-consuming for teachers that the process is a detriment to in-depth analysis. In this presentation, the presenters will first demonstrate an open-source student response system (SRS) that includes a peer feedback module. Using this SRS, the teacher creates a feedback survey that students can access through any device that contains a web browser (laptop, iPad, iPod Touch, mobile phone, etc.). The students can reuse this survey to give feedback on each of their classmates' performances (such as speeches, presentations, poster sessions, etc.). The teacher can then use this SRS to create data files that are compatible with many-faceted Rasch measurement (MFRM) software which is also available for free. This allows the teacher to perform in-depth analysis on the data that was collected. The presenters will demonstrate sample data collected from a proof-of-concept pilot study and explain how to understand the results of the analysis. This presentation is aimed at classroom teachers, assumes no previous experience with the software demonstrated, and will be especially useful to those who want to do research on peer feedback.

Mobile Devices for Quizzes, Surveys and Peer Feedback

Bill Pellowe. Saturday, June 4, from 9:30-10:10

The presenter created an open-source student response system (SRS) that creates quizzes and surveys that students can access with portable media devices such as iPod Touch, iPhones and any other device with internet access and a web browser. These surveys and quizzes not only help the teacher evaluate the effectiveness of the lesson, but also help students maintain an active attention and interest during the lesson. An additional feature is "homework windows", which sets a specific starting and ending date and time for students to complete a quiz or survey outside of class. A new development is peer review surveys. Teachers can create a survey for students to provide feedback to their classmates, and then match this survey with a class so that each student has a survey dedicated to themselves. This can be used for student poster sessions, speech contests, classroom presentations, etc. When students take a quiz, they receive instant feedback on their answers, and they have the option of trying the question again (although they lose some points for multiple attempts). The teacher has instant access to records of each student's participation, with the option of storing the students' quiz results in an online grade book. The presenter will demonstrate the surveys and quizzes, and report on the second year of using this system in a university program (five teachers, 230 students across eight classes). The source code is freely available so that participants can use these tools with their own students.

Hands On in an iPod Learning Environment

Ian J Brown, Bill Pellowe and Robert Chartrand. Sunday, June 5, from 13:10-14:40

Come experience an iPod-equipped classroom firsthand. The presenters use a classroom equipped with 40 iPod Touch devices when teaching a multi-media English language course. This workshop will allow participants to actually see and experience the activities of an iPod touch learning environment in action in a live iPod classroom hands on with the iPods. Since the release of the iPod Touch in 2007, educators worldwide have seen great potential for this device in education. Kurume University was one of the first universities in Japan to take up the challenge not only to use them, but also to establish a dedicated iPod classroom-learning environment, which is now going into its 4th year. iPod devices were used due to their lower cost in setup compared to that of a computer based classroom. Furthermore they take up less desktop space and are less intrusive in a class that combines use of online multimedia resources with traditional teaching methods. The core course using this classroom is a Movie and Music class, and this workshop will chart a sample of activities used in this course showcasing how an iPod classroom differs from other classrooms. Participants will also be able to see in action the specially designed quiz and survey program, designed by one of the presenters, that runs on the iPods linking up to a computer database. Further to sampling the activities used in the classroom, the workshop will look at the setup of the classroom, security issues and practical considerations in its operation, and conclude with discussion on further potentials for use of the iPods. By the end of the workshop, participants will have tasted the iPod learning environment, and will have had a chance to experience and understand the possibilities this learning tool can provide in language learning.

 
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