Monday, August 30, 2010

“Making your lectures interactive using the cell phones of attendants”

By Dr. Eduardo Mayorga

One of the drawbacks of lectures, from the pedagogical standpoint of view, is that they may lack interactivity. If present, you can only have it with a very small portion of the audience.

When working with your residents in small groups, interactivity can be maintained, but once you have asked an open question and one resident answers, you will never know if the rest had the answer in mind.

To overcome these two drawbacks, you may want to add an 'interactive answering system' to your teaching tools,.

An interactive answering system is usually composed by some kind of hardware that allows participants in a meeting answer to a multiple choice question that the presenter has posted on the screen. Through special software that receives the answers, the presenter can show the results on the screen. The following images show an example of answering hardware and the results of the answer.

These answering systems have the disadvantage that you have to purchase all the answering devices.

At our residency we use a system that allows using the cell phones as answering devices. In this way we had to purchase only the software that can connect to a cellphone or a modem of a cellphone communications provider. In our case we use the modem.

With this method we can receive interactions from any size of audience. The results shown on the previous image come from the system we use.

One advantage is that you can also receive complete text messages for open questions. Following is an example from a small group of residents that were asked to define the acronym: LASEK.

As you can see, you get all kind of versions. The nice thing about the system is that you can display the results as they enter, or show them all at a time, once the last answer entered.

You can read more about SMS Studio, the software we use, clicking here.

We have no financial interest in this software.

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