Pingo: An Interactive, LaTex Compatible, Cloud Based System for Interaction in Large Groups.

PRESENTATION

Author(s) Kristian Evans

Abstract

Obtaining interaction in large group teaching can be challenging, in particular in STEM subjects where it essential to be able to efficiently present symbols, equations and formulae. Pingo is a free, cloud based system that provides an excellent way of introducing interaction in large group teaching. It is particularly useful in the Mathematics based subjects mentioned above as it is LaTex compatible. Such interaction also provides feedback to students and lecturers. This talk will provide all the information and resources required to start using Pingo along with a live, interactive demonstration.

Outline

This session will begin with a short presentation explaining how to get started with Pingo and the advantages of the system. The presentation will also highlight some useful tips from the speaker who has used Pingo weekly in two Mathematics modules. These were an optional first year module and a core third year module. Once the fundamentals have been explained the session will then become interactive. The audience will get the opportunity to see how to set up a Pingo session live (from a Lecturer’s point of view) and then to interact with this session (from a student’s point of view). Wifi access or mobile internet signal will be required for this part of the session. One of the advantages of Pingo is that the students’ interaction is anonymous, which encourages them to engage with the session. The interactive part of this talk will highlight this aspect to the audience. Another advantage is that students only require a smart phone or tablet – again the interactive demonstration will emphasise this. At the end of the demonstration there will be an opportunity for questions. I believe that the information provided in the presentation will be more than sufficient for members of the audience to use the system in their own teaching. I recently provided a similar presentation to a small group of colleagues in the Mathematics Department and it seemed to be very well received. I am aware that at least one member of staff in the audience has since successfully used Pingo for an interactive feedback session for their module. Students seemed to appreciate the innovative interactive nature of Pingo. Here are some responses to the following module feedback question for the first module I trialled Pingo in: “What is being done well that you would like to continue?” •Use of Pingo. •Pingo quiz at the end of the examples class. •Pingo surveys are very useful. I would like all modules to include them. I believe that this proposal fits into the theme of Reaching for Teaching Excellence as it provides an efficient method to achieve interaction with large groups, which provides valuable feedback for both students and lecturers. It is also an innovative approach which has been reflected positively in the module feedback questionnaires and hopefully it will reflect positively on NSS scores. Many interactive systems do not interact with mathematical symbols well and therefore I would expect academics in the STEM disciplines to be particularly interested in this session. LaTex is a programme used by most academics in Maths, Science and Engineering.

Key Words

Interaction, Feedback, STEM, large-groups.

Key Messages

1. Interaction can be straightforward to achieve in large group teaching. 2. LaTex compatible systems are available to provide interactive sessions in STEM subjects. 3. Interactive sessions are easy to set up and not too time consuming. 4. Innovative teaching can reflect positively on module feedback questionnaires.

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