Activating students' interest in lectures and practical courses using their electronic devices

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Interactive teaching with larger groups of students can be a challenge, but the use of mobile electronic devices by students (smartphones, tablets, laptops) can be used to improve classroom interaction. We have examined several types of tasks that can be electronically enacted in classes and practical courses using these devices: multiple choice (MC) questions; open-ended questions; and 3D visualization of (bio)molecules and complexes. We have introduced these tasks dynamically in several educational contexts in our teaching programs. Specifically, attention is paid to applying devices in introductory quizzes at the start of a course, throughout lectures, and in practical courses. Each application has been found by us to offer significant merits in terms of connecting theory and practice, full formative assessment (including an improvement in interactions of introverted students), monitoring progress, engaging students early on in research, stimulating "3D" molecular feeling, and maintaining student attention. From the student perspective, evaluations revealed overall positive feedback on several key aspects of our approaches. In all, we believe that this mutually beneficial way of teaching can be of broader application, also in nonchemistry-related curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830-1837
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume91
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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