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Getting Students Involved in a Classroom with an iPhone App

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Tablets Large and Small

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.669.1 - 25.669.13



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Paper Authors


Smitesh Bakrania Rowan University

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Smitesh Bakrania is an Assistant Professor in mechanical engineering at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2008 and his B.S. from Union College in 2003. His research interests include combustion synthesis of nanoparticles and their applications. He has recently begun developing educational apps for smartphones.

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Getting Students Involved in a Classroom with an iPhone AppA common approach to assess comprehension during lecturing is to regularly interrupt thelectures with questions addressed to the audience. In its basic form, the questions are open foranyone to respond and are often answered by the selected few who are inherently able to respond- a situation that naturally leads to a false generalization of learning in progress. A betterapproach involves randomly selecting a student to answer the questions or using a classroomresponse system to gain feedback from the whole class. The later typically requiring morepreparation from instructors while questions are limited to true/false and multiple choice formats.For random selection, instructors often rely on ‘picking-out-of-a-hat’ method which like theclassroom response system has the added benefit of keeping the class attentive. To automate thisactivity an Apple iOS App, called Pikme, was developed that can be operated on an iPhone or aniPod Touch devices for instructional use. Pikme was designed to allow instructors to randomlyselect a student from the class and be able to quickly assess their response for latter evaluation.The app enables instructors to generate a photo-roster that can be shuffled through by shaking thedevice. This approach was utilized in two different courses on regular basis to gaugeunderstanding and simultaneously improve class participation. The paper highlights the featuresof Pikme, presents the key outcomes of this implementation from the instructor’s perspective,and discusses a survey of student responses to the use of such a technology in classrooms.Overall the students felt the app provided an opportunity for everyone to contribute and as aresult improved their comfort towards voluntary class participation.

Bakrania, S. (2012, June), Getting Students Involved in a Classroom with an iPhone App Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21426

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