| OFFICE SPACE
50 students. Of these comments, ‘Useful’ Comments
72 percent were classified as useful
So, passive transport requires no energy?
(that is, questions, comments about
So, does the same amount of Na+ that rushes out, come in as well?
the class, answers). There were on
What is the name of the vestibule used in phagocytosis?
per class, and these usually generated
Can you make two macrophages recognise each other as antigens?
discussions immediately in the lesson,
Does the cell purposely pump Na out to allow glucose in?
Much fluidic, such doge.
What is vesicular trafficking?
Can we have a break now?
although this was usually to say
What exactly does permeability mean?
“hello” or provide a silly comment,
What is the difference between polarity and cell basement?
Is this working?
meaning that although this week had
Can cuboidal cells be pseudostratified?
Did someone say lads?
three to four percent of the comments
Why are stratified squamous cells in the mouth?
provided were useful (Figure 1).
average nine highly useful comments
or at the start of the subsequent lesson. In week one, every student participated in the backchannel,
100 percent of students involved, only
However, once the students started
Table 1: The first 20 comments provided through the backchannel in a semester one physiology lecture during the second week of the course. The comments have been separated into ‘useful’ or ‘silly’ depending on their content. All comments were provided by different students.
to get the novelty effect out of their system, by week two, although less students provided comments, those received were more useful. As the
many modern university classrooms,
Lessons from Practical Use
when the online backchannel
semester progressed, it seemed that
where older and more confident
Between 2013 and 2016, backchannel
interactions enabled anonymous
only students who had valid comments
students are integrated with younger
software was implemented in a first-
comment. Anonymity maximised the
utilised the backchannel system,
counterparts in the same subjects.
semester health science course to
use and impact of this technology in
meaning that by week seven, nearly
For example, in medicine, traditional
provide students with a direct method
that it further minimised any reluctance
100 percent of comments received
postgraduate courses are being
to communicate to one another and
to participate; however, it also allowed
were useful, generating responses
offered as undergraduate options,
the lecturer. Student perceptions of the
for a wide range of immature and silly
or clarifications from the instructor
effectively creating divides between
technology, lecture interaction and the
comments to be posted during the
more experienced postgraduate
overall benefits to students’ content
lecture. Such comments clearly did
In practice, the benefits of the
students and their undergraduate
acquisition were analysed.
not contribute to the overall learning
increased interactivity outweighed the
objectives and could be distracting to
negatives. Backchannel encouraged
others (Table 1).
a heightened level of questioning,
counterparts within the same subjects (Moro & McLean, 2017).
Results revealed that throughout each semester, students became
engagement and interaction within
Of course, in all classes where
increasingly comfortable with using
In summary, there were
backchannel is provided, traditional
the backchannel software. Rates of
13–18 comments in each class,
the lecture context. Although the
learning still takes place and students
participation demonstrably increased
with enrolments of approximately
comments were not necessarily
can always ask and answer questions aloud. Backchannel provides a second, distinct channel of communication
within a class environment. In universities, face-to-face teaching is or replaced by, digital content, such as online courses, applications or modern technology-enhanced options for learning (Moro, Štromberga, et al, 2017). In this context, it seems particularly important to maximise the engagement of all students when on-campus or in the presence of a live instructor. Toward this end, backchannel opens new lines of communication, classroom interactivity and provides
increasingly being supplemented with,
Students participating Useful Comment Ratio
opportunities for participation to all attendees, even in a diverse classroom.
40 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
038-041_ETS81 Office Space.indd 40
Figure 1: The percentage of students within the class who provided comments, and the ratio of those comments to useful comments.
21/11/17 1:40 pm