Dr Roy Sleator investigated the pedagogical benefit of GoSoapBox in the lecture theatre via realtime assessment. GoSoapBox is a solid web-based clicker tool which gives instant feedback from the class allowing formative assessment Social Q&A, Polling, and the Confusion Barometer to understand what students are thinking and keep them engaged during class.
To do so, Dr Sleator undertook a mixed-methods approach centered on the triangulation design, in which both quantitative and qualitative data were collected simultaneously. In particular, Dr Sleator investigated the use Confusion Barometer – a form of realtime minute paper/ muddiest point tool, which allows students, with the click of a button, to indicate when they’ve become confused, or need the lecturer to change tack.
“I think this app has huge potential in a lecture environment.
Firstly, it was very user friendly with a simple interface. Roy mentioned that there other features to which we were not exposed and they all sound like they would make the experience extremely beneficial.
We could easily express our confusion at any time during the lecture. While we are a small group who know each other well I think that I would be very grateful for this app in a larger and unfamiliar group. In my opinion, in such a situation, the opportunity to express confusion in real time without having to raise a hand and speak cannot be underestimated. I believe that all too often a student will remain quiet rather than draw attention to themselves which could be detrimental to their learning experience. This app can overcome such difficulties in a discreet manner.
While the app, for me, is only a positive thing there were some technical issues which effected its use. The wifi signal was neither strong nor consistent. This meant that, at times, we could not register confusion and this negated the entire purpose of the app. I believe that with proper wifi support it would be a far more worthwhile exercise. “
“I felt that the Go Soapbox app was good for those who aren’t that outspoken in the class. Maybe better in a larger group setting as our class is quite small. This year we have 20-30 people in PB4 so raising a hand in class isn’t so daunting for us now, especially as we have grown up together as a class over the last 4 years. The benefit of the GoSoapBox app would be more so for us as CIT students over the years in terms of the lectures carried out in the IT rooms. Some years we sat in lectures on Quality and Bio-statistics that had over 100 students. This tool would have given the lecturer confirmation we all understood the lecture material, and prevent the panic in the lead up to exams.
GSB is an excellent innovative tool. It allows the lecturer to engage indirectly with the students and go back over certain topics which were deemed difficult among the class. Spending time on harder information and skipping ahead with the more basic would be of more value to our 4th year Bio-Pharma class- and no one would be so daring as to raise a hand to tell Roy or any other lecturer that the lecture material is too easy!
Some complaints of the GSB app would be if your battery was low/dead or the WiFi connection in a room was poor. Hopefully some upgrading of the infrastructure around CIT will see better internet connectivity in certain rooms in the near future. I never had any trouble with these issues and I pressed the “confused” button to get better clarification from Roy in class. He did so immediately, explaining the material in a more broken down, slower pace which benefited me enormously.”
“Overall my feelings were very positive about the app. It worked smooth, hasn’t crashed at all. The only problem I experienced was the internet connection. The wifi connection struggles and in the room where we had lectures with Roy the signal is very bad (E icon only). It took a lot of time to open the page. What I thought would be a good solution (not sure if this can be done), is to write an application downloadable from app store/google play store and make some sort of LAN connection. Place a server on which all different users can join. Other than that, GoSoapBox works great!
I have a Sony Xperia Z2, phone based on android version 5.1.1. I used google chrome as the browser.”