“They were happy about the class, and POPin provided functionality that our previous tool couldn’t even come close to doing.”
Dr. Christopher Ritter is an assistant professor in the English department at Clayton State University. His course load includes both in-person and online courses in which he engages his students using traditional classroom discussion forums. However, this traditional approach was failing to deliver the level of engagement that he knew was necessary to ensure a high quality learning experience.
After learning about POPin and its anonymous crowdsourcing capabilities, Dr. Ritter decided to leverage the tool to drive stronger collaboration and engagement in his classrooms. For his in-person classes, Dr. Ritter leveraged POPin at the semester mid-point to seek real-time course improvements. One of the top suggestions from the students was to spend more time in class collaborating on the results of the homework assignments. Prior to using POPin with this group, Dr. Ritter was assigning online grammar exercises for homework and not spending much time on them in class. As a result of their feedback, he began taking 5-10 minutes for discussion and found the students were participating in grammar conversations with far more gusto than before. “That was the most useful and surprising result, and it made a big difference,” Dr. Ritter said.
For his Digital and Multimedia Writing course, Dr. Ritter leveraged POPin as part of homework assignments.
In one example, students were asked to provide feedback on the credibility of different news sources to drive the direction of classroom discussions. Dr. Ritter found this to be particularly useful, “because you could see immediately in the dashboard how the students rated each source, which facilitated our conversation in discovering the most and least credible sources. It was a lot of fun.”
Leveraging POPin in the classroom in these simple ways gave students a voice. “They were happy about the class,” Dr. Ritter said. “And POPin provided functionality that our previous tool couldn’t even come close to doing.” As a result of using POPin, every student in Dr. Ritter’s class participated in the semester’s critical thinking activity, including the shy ones, leading to a more positive classroom experience.