UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Implementation and evaluation of a classroom synchronous participation system Beshai, Peter


In large university classes it can be difficult to provide an engaging environment for effective student learning. Many instructors have turned to using student response systems (e.g., clickers) to mitigate this problem, with the i>clicker brand common in North America. However, usage of such systems is typically limited to administering multiple choice questions to the class, with real-time feedback displaying only an aggregate representation of the result distribution. We developed an architecture for Classroom Synchronous Participation Systems (CSPS) to extend the use of such systems to support a wider variety of activities. We implemented a working system called Rhombus CSPS which allows clickers to be treated as generic five-button controllers that can be used as inputs for interactive, multi-player applications. Several game-theoretic exercises were implemented using the system and tested in a classroom setting with students enrolled in a third-year university cognitive systems course. The evaluation took place across two consecutive terms, with the researcher assisting with using the system in the first, and the instructor using it alone in the second. The results indicate both students and the instructor had a positive experience using the system. Students reported high levels of engagement and valued the activities' effect on their learning, although there were differences between the two terms. The instructor praised the system for enabling him to teach the curriculum of activities he desired to, where he was previously limited by lack of technological support. Displaying individual feedback to users in a CSPS can be challenging when there is only a single shared display all students are viewing, especially if it is desirable to keep responses private. To tackle this problem, we developed a display technique for providing semi-private feedback to users based on exploiting limitations in visual perception. We ran two experiments to test the efficacy of our technique, with results indicating that our technique provides a high degree of accuracy for interpreting one's own feedback, while limiting the ability to simultaneously interpret another's feedback to near random chance.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada