The use of Poll Everywhere, iPad Apps, and Panopto to enhance engagement and the student learning experience in an undergraduate Exercise Science course.
My primary goal as a Tech Fellow was to increase student engagement in content and discussion in one particular course (EXS 302: Principles of Strength and Conditioning) by incorporating a variety of technological tools into my teaching efforts. During the summer workshop I was introduced to a variety of tools. I chose to utilize Poll Everywhere for muddiest content, iPad apps to supplement lecture, and Panopto for student submission of a practical exam. I assessed the success of implementing these tools via an informal discussion with students. The majority of students felt that Poll Everywhere (muddiest content) and the iPad apps enhanced their learning experience. However, students felt that the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam was not enjoyable and/or beneficial. Next year, I plan on again utilizing Poll Everywhere (muddiest content) and iPad apps (lecture supplement) while omitting the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam.
Prior to the summer workshop I had decided that the course that would benefit mostly from a technology “overhaul” would be EXS 302 Principles of Strength and Conditioning. My lectures were getting cumbersome and student engagement in content and discussion was poor the last time I instructed the course. Thus, most of the planning stage was spent becoming proficient in utilizing the technological tools I had chosen. While I am very resistant to change, this likely was the most challenging part for me. After becoming fairly proficient in the technology, I began to make changes to the course syllabus while making notes for myself regarding expected time allotted for the inclusion of Poll Everywhere and iPad apps supplement and submission of the practical exam. My tentative plan was:
- Following each lecture, allow 5 minutes for students to participate in Poll Everywhere for muddiest content. Take the top 3 muddiest and begin subsequent lecture reviewing.
- Include two weeks of covering Resistance Training Exercises (NSCA Dartfish videos and Muscles in Motion apps) prior to practical training in the weight room.
- Cover use of Panopto and allow students to practice (one lecture).
I began implementing Poll Everywhere for muddiest content after the first lecture and continued to utilize this tool throughout the semester. Students used their computer or smart phone to type in what content from the lecture they felt were unclear. At the end of the 5 minutes, I noted which key words were typed in the most and began the next lecture reviewing that content. There were days throughout the semester where we ran out of time and/or the students had indicated they did not want to participate.
During the latter half of the semester, for two weeks I systematically covered resistance training exercises. I started off first by noting the name of the exercise, the Prime Movers and the Eccentric versus Concentric Phases. Thereafter, I provided commentary as students viewed the NSCA Dartfish video while stopping, rewinding/fast-forwarding at times. After projecting the video, I projected the Muscles in Motion app to illustrate the muscles working during the select exercise. This process was repeated for each additional exercise.
Following practical training in the weight room, I allotted class time for students to practice using Panopto. Following a brief presentation, students were urged to create a short video in Panopto and submit it to a folder I had created. For the practical exam, students had to describe and demonstrate select Resistance Training Exercises in Panopto. Students submitted their videos during the last week of class.
I assessed the success of implementing the technological tools via an informal discussion with students.
SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES: Throughout our discussion, students had indicated that they felt as though the use of Poll Everywhere for muddiest content was beneficial to their learning experience. Further, in my opinion the use of Poll Everywhere for muddiest content increased student engagement by allowing students who were otherwise quiet and reserved to voice their confusion anonymously. Nonetheless, one thing I found challenging was the monotony of how I implemented Poll Everywhere for muddiest content.
Students had indicated that the NSCA Dartfish videos and the Muscles in Motion apps were beneficial in helping them understand the resistance training exercises. They proceeded to suggest that I cover one body segment in class then go to the weight room for practical training then back to the class for the next body segment and so on. I found this to be a great suggestion as one of the challenges I faced during that two weeks was attempting to slow down the presentation of information.
Virtually all of the students indicated that they did not feel that using Panopto to submit their practical exam enhanced their learning experience. Further, they went as far as to suggest that I omit Panopto and have future students take the Practical exam in person. After grading the practical exams (videos), I agree with the students’ suggestion. All of the students received an A for the practical and the submission didn’t seem a true assessment of their skill level.
Reflections and Next Steps
My tentative plan moving forward is to:
- Utilize Poll Everywhere for muddiest content while changing the implementation timing.
- Utilize NSCA Dartfish video and Complete Anatomy apps for classroom instruction of resistance training exercises.
- Omit the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam.