To improve student's class experience, the use of mobile devices has been steadily increasing. However, such use of mobile learning environments in the class is mostly static in nature through content delivery or multiple choice and true/false quiz taking. In CS courses, we need learning environments where students can interact with the problem in a hands-on-approach and instructor can assess their learning skills in real-time with problems having different degree of difficulty. To facilitate such interactive problem solving and real-time assessment using mobile devices, a comprehensive backend system is necessary. This paper presents one such system, named Mobile Response System (MRS) software, associated interactive problem-solving activities, and lessons learned by using it in the CS classrooms. MRS provides instructor with the opportunity of evidence-based teaching by allowing students to perform interactive exercises in their mobile devices with different learning outcomes and by getting an instant feedback on their performance and mental models. MRS is easy-to-use, extensible and can render interactive exercises developed by third-party developers. The student performance data shows its effectiveness in increasing student understanding of difficult concepts and the overall perception of using the software was very positive.
Mobile response system: a novel approach to interactive and hands-on activity in the classroom
Mobile devices are being used profusely in the classrooms to improve passive learning environments and to enhance student comprehension. However, with respect to students’ active involvement in problem solving activities, the typical usage of the mobile devices in answering multiple choice and true/false questions is not adequate and the use of mobile devices need to be expanded to include dynamic and interactive problem-solving activities to better satisfy students’ learning needs. To facilitate such interactive problem solving using mobile devices, a comprehensive software environment is necessary. This paper details the design, deployment and evaluation of Mobile Response System (MRS) software that facilitates execution and assessment of multi-step in-class interactive problem-solving activities using mobile devices. MRS is an active learning tool, which engages students with the visual representation of a problem that spans on multiple screens, allows them to interact with that, and makes them realize the consequences of their actions instantly and visually. The immediate and automated grading feature of MRS enables a feedback-driven and evidence-based teaching methodology, which is important to improve the quality of classroom learning. MRS is designed to be independent of any interactive problem or its domain. Therefore, it allows easier integration of interactive activity Apps developed more »
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- Educational Technology Research and Development
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- National Science Foundation
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