An investigation into the use of applications on personally owned devices to enhance student engagement in large lectures
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Increasing student numbers and reduced government funding have seen a trend towards there being larger numbers of students in lectures, with this having an impact on the extent of student interaction, participation, and engagement in lectures in many institutions. The impetus for this research came from a desire to retain much of the interaction, participation, and engagement that takes place in smaller classes when changing from small lectures to lectures with more than 100 students.
A pilot study demonstrated that the use of applications on personally owned devices (APODs) in the form of a text messaging based system or an application running on a smart phone could create a marked increase in student interaction, participation, and engagement.
This was followed by a more formal investigation using a pragmatic paradigm and a mixed methods research approach that was consistent with design-based research. This included interviews of lecturers and learning advisers, student surveys and student focus groups.
The findings conclude that the use of APODs during lectures has the potential to increase student interaction. The participation and engagement through the creation of a two-way feedback channel between lecturers and students, allows for student misconceptions to be identified and addressed in a manner that can make learning more enjoyable, authentic and effective. This potential benefit can be realised by addressing the pedagogical and technological issues involved in the use of APODs in lectures.
The main contributions of this research are the models that have been developed surrounding how to use APODs in a pedagogically sound manner; the importance of designing effective activities when APODs are being used; how to use APODs to cater for different groups of students; the benefits of using APODs; and how to address the challenges of using APODs. Implications for further research are also identified.