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Why use EVS? the short answer

(written by Steve Draper,   as part of the Interactive Lectures website)

What are the pedagogical benefits / aims?
To "engage" the students i.e. not only to wake them up and cheer them up, but to get their minds working on the subject matter, and so to prompt learning.

How specifically?:

  1. Simple questions to check understanding: "SAQs" (self-assessment questions) to give "formative feedback" to both students and presenter.
  2. Using responses (e.g. proportion who got it right) to switch what you do next: "contingent teaching" that is adapted on the spot to the group.
  3. Brain teasers to initiate discussion (because generating arguments (for and against alternative answers) is a powerful promoter of learning).
  • A short argument on why be interactive
  • A short introduction to EVS
  • EVS: a catalyst for lecture reform by Alistair Bruce.
  • Long answer (a whole paper) on pedagogic potential

    But above all, realise from the start that there are powerful benefits not just for learners but also for teachers. Both need feedback, and both do much better if that feedback is fast and frequent -- every few minutes rather than once a year. So the other great benefit of using EVS is the feedback it gives to the lecturer, whether you think of that as like course feedback, or as allowing "contingent teaching" i.e. adapting how the time is spent on rather than sticking to a rigid plan that pays no attention to how this particular audience is responding.

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