Using Rich Media Technology to Support Peer Interaction in Large Lecture Courses

A. Cuthbert, M. Kubinec, M. Douskey, and F. Ieong (USA)


Education, Collaborative Learning, Streaming Multimedia Technologies.


A critical challenge faced by education technology specialists and policy makers is how to develop effective strategies for using new technology. One way to address this challenge is to create a tighter connection between educational research, technology design, and teaching practices [1]. Towards this end, we present research findings from a large-scale undergraduate general chemistry course at UC Berkeley which used a peer interaction model to actively engage students by having them discuss instructional topics at strategic points throughout a lecture. During the lecture, students were presented with concept test questions (ChemQuizzes) that required them to synthesize the lecture content, cast individual votes using handheld devices, discuss their choices with their peers, and cast a second vote following the discussion. This form of peer interaction called "concept testing" was investigated in one section (N=311) of an undergraduate general chemistry course at UC Berkeley. A central goal of this investigation was to improve the technology that supports interactions around ChemQuiz concepts both during and after the class. We provide an overview of the learning environment, a summary of research findings, and an example of the next generation of web-based peer interaction tools informed by this research.

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