Audience response tools – engaging students in class

Audience response tools – engaging students in class

by | 27 Feb 2018

Interaction in problem-based learning is crucial. This is an important activity in small group sessions like tutorial group meetings. But also in the context of lectures you can engage students.


Long-term retention

Increasing interaction between teachers and students can improve long-term retention of learning materials, enhance student attention and involvement, identify gaps in knowledge, and provide immediate feedback to your course. In addition to hand raising or using microphones, audience response tools provide a way to increase interaction during lectures.

They can be used as:

  • quick formative assessments; to check whether students have understood information and concepts covered
  • contingent teaching; based on responses of the audience, switch the focus of the lecture (because they favour this or seem to know less about a certain topic)
  • discussion and debate starters by posing propositions or asking no-correct-answer questions
  • student engagement; creating a safe and attractive environment for interaction in which everyone can participate.


Freely available and licensed audience response tools

Teachers within Maastricht University (UM) already use(d) several applications.

Some examples of freely available audience response tools are Mentimeter , Poll-Everywhere  or Shakespeak  (the latter only up until a limited audience size).

Next to these, licensed tools are available, which offer you the possibility to save sessions, extend group sizes or export results. The UM has a license for GoSoapbox   and is piloting the presentations tool within FeedbackFruits  (scroll down to Presentations). All tools can support and enhance interaction in your courses. An alternative could be Presenters-Wall .

Next to personal preferences, financial considerations can play a role in making your choice. You can start making use of GoSoapbox for free (because the license is paid for by the UM), as long as you sign up with an UM account.


Start using GoSoapbox your selves

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