Apps for Active Learning – Concise paper

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Students’ expectations are rising year on year and they expect to see digital technologies throughout their journey in ways that are relevant to their academic success (Beetham, 2013). Using active learning apps is
an ideal way to address these expectations and raise the digital literacy of both staff and students in the process. As part of the Digital Futures Strategy the Office for Digital Learning, within Ulster University organised a ‘Apps for Active Learning’ pilot for academic year June 16 to June 17. At Ulster University we are in a period of change, with a new campus under development in Belfast, we are exploring changes to curriculum delivery, there is also the Learning Landscapes project, the Teaching Excellence Framework and the Digital Futures strategy all of which combined have created an opportunity to enhance the student
learning experience. This however has a flipped side and brings challenges with it and in particular how to meet the added expectation of technology integration. Our statistics have highlighted that each student has 3 devices on average, they already have the technology in their pockets (BYOD), the pedagogical
opportunities that these devices bring to a collaborative and active learning experience are immense. Nearpod gives us a platform to test the technology integration. This paper explores the early interactions
with students and academic/professional support staff, their concerns, training needs and case studies of enhancing their teaching using apps for active learning. Methodology: 50 licences were purchased for use
by academic and professional support staff, in addition there are 5 administrator accounts to manage the pilot. Along with the academic and professional support staff there are approximately 600+ students involved in the pilot. Currently in week 2 of semester one there are 26 active teachers, some academic and
support staff will be using Nearpod in semester two. There have been 2805 active students in 289 sessions.
Qualitative and quantitative feedback has been gathered from all participants, both student and staff through questions tailored to that role via Nearpod at the commencement of the pilot and then throughout. NOTE:
As an incentive to students 10 x £25 iTunes vouchers will be randomly drawn towards the end of semester two 2017.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Nov 2016
EventThe Next Generation: Digital Learning Research Symposium - The Helix, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 1 Nov 2016 → …


ConferenceThe Next Generation: Digital Learning Research Symposium
Period1/11/16 → …


  • Apps, Active, Learning, Technology, Education, HE


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