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Modern muddiest point: the use of polling apps to enhance classroom dialogues in large groups

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posted on 2023-06-10, 04:32 authored by Jo Richardson
What is the idea? The use of interactive polling technology to assess students’ learning is a quick and easy way to engage students in developing their metacognition in large lectures or other classes, particularly where it is otherwise challenging to implement flipped or active learning. Why this idea? This is a very easy way of making large group classes interactive. By combining polling technology (e.g. Poll Everywhere) with the metacognitive technique known as the “Muddiest Point”, you can gather real-time student feedback on their own learning. The Muddiest Point asks students to identify what they find most unclear (“muddy”) or confusing about what they are learning: “Regular use of the Muddiest Point in classrooms, which requires only a few minutes, sets a tone that confusion is a part of learning and that articulating confusions is not done solely to inform the instructor, but also to inform students themselves; students can use identified confusions to drive their independent learning or to generate dialogue” (Tanner, 2012, p. 116). Polling technology has proved popular with both students and lecturers and has positive effects on student engagement and learning (Rose, 2019). Students can enter their responses via an anonymous online poll, quickly and clearly informing the instructor about their learning. No special equipment is required: students can use their own mobiles or laptops. Running these interactive polls over several lectures creates a classroom dialogue around topics that are interesting or challenging, even in a large cohort in which students are otherwise intimidated from asking questions. Additionally, it can be used to feed forward to later lectures, and ask students questions which test their prior learning.


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Ideas for Active Learning

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  • Biochemistry Publications

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Tab Betts, Paolo Oprandi

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