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Holding the attention of students and getting them to participate in classes is a key part of any teachers lesson planning. mQlicker is a new instant audience / classroom interaction system that allows teachers to gain insight into student interaction and understanding during lessons. It does this by turning any device with an Internet connection into an audience response tool for your classroom (e.g. PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry).
What are audience response tools?
Audience response tools are most commonly seen in gameshows (e.g. Ask the audience in Who wants to be a millionaire?), market research, and now in education. They facilitate interaction between students and teachers using a device (e.g. iPad) which allows groups of students to vote on a topic, or answer a question. For example, in a Science class, a teacher could pose the question ‘How many planets are in the solar system?’, and students must choose between 5 responses on their mQlicker interface displayed on their iPad.
Why are they useful for educators?
Studies have shown that audience response tools improve attentiveness, increase knowledge retention, and create an interactive and fun learning environment. They also allow anonymous responses, and students cannot rely on others to answer questions. For teachers, audience response systems, like mQlicker, provide instant results to questions created by the teachers during class. They get immediate feedback on how students are learning, and the answers can also be used to facilitate classroom discussion. Most importantly, teachers get a critical insight into their classes learning development.
How does mQlicker work in practice for teachers?
Let’s say you are teaching a lesson on the Solar System, and you want to see whether your students understand what they are being taught. You can use mQlicker to pose a question to them that you have previously set up in your mQlicker User Interface (e.g. on your PC or iPad). Students will be able to answer your question on their Respondent Interface (e.g. on their iPad) and you will be able to instantly see their answers on your own device. The students simply go to the mQlicker website and enter in a Session Code that you have given them and they go ahead and answer your questions.
Another good example of how audience response systems work in practice can be seen in this Scenario used for Chemistry students.
What types of questions can mQlicker pose for students?
mQlicker has a good range of different question types including
- Multiple choice (single, multiple and open ended)
- Text response for open ended answers
- Numeric response
What other important features does mQlicker have that are relevant to teachers?
mQlicker allows unlimited responses, so there is no worry of having to limit the number of questions you want to ask in a classroom. The connection is completely secure using SSL, and there is a wide range of languages and and special characters supported. Student responses can be graphed using charts (bar or pie), tables or interactive ‘sticky notes’.
To make life easier for teachers, previous created interactions can be reused or modified and mQlicker is completely free to use.
Alongside the technology, the mQlicker website has a list of excellent resources devoted to the study of audience response systems. They have some interesting academic and industry reports that are very useful for educators to read through and understand how this technology can be beneficial for students.
An excellent simple edtech tool for teachers!
We would really recommend trying out mQlicker in your classroom. We tested it here at AvatarGeneration HQ and we found the interface for programming the responses very easy to use and quick to understand. The use of Session Codes is an excellent way of setting up the response system, and is very easy for students to understand. Try it out with some of your students and let us know how you get on.