Can Nearpod Improve Student Attainment and Engagement?
BY ELAINE BOWEN
Within the current COVID-19 situation, teachers are having to teach lesson using a number of different methods (face-to-face, independent and remote lessons). There is also the risk that another lockdown will occur and all lessons will be remote. In order to maximise the student experience and attainment levels during these unprecedented times, I wish to research the use of an online tool, namely ‘Nearpod’ in order to identify if it does increase students engagement in lessons, participation and attainment. Due to Nearpod being an online tool, the research can be conducted either in college lessons or remotely through Microsoft Teams, if necessary.
A number of studies have looked into the use of Nearpod as an interactive tool. In summary, they have found that students engagement levels have increased as a result of using Nearpod.
However, there is limited evidence that student attainment levels increased as a result of using the tool, therefore research will be undertaken in order to ascertain if BTEC Business students engagement and attainment levels increased as a result of Nearpod lessons.
A number of studies have looked into the use of Nearpod as an interactive tool. Audi, D. and Gouia-Zarrad, R. (2013) investigated ‘a new dimension to teaching mathematics using iPads’. The study was conducted with first year Mathematics students at the American University of Sharjah. The limitations of the study are that it is investigating the use of iPads in the classroom in general, however their study did include the use of Nearpod. Their findings suggest that overall most of the students found the iPad class engaging and agreed that the iPad class presents the class content in a better way.
Mattei, M. and Ennis, E. (2014) found that Nearpod provides a means for continuous assessment of student work in real-time during class, therefore teachers can adjust the content as required. As well as this, teachers can download student responses following the lesson, and can therefore identify if a student is struggling with any content. The results of their study show that student performance on regular quizzes was about the same as in the previous, traditional course model. However, overall student performance on the final exam was much improved over courses employing the traditional model. The grade distribution was higher with considerably fewer students receiving unsatisfactory grades. Throughout the semester, fewer students fell behind or had trouble keeping up with the content.
Jing T.W. and Yue W.S. (2016) investigated the effectiveness of assessment in relationship to student satisfaction, using Nearpod to deliver lessons. The authors used quantitative and qualitative research methods including a learning satisfaction survey, interviews, and classroom observations. The research findings demonstrated that real-time assessment in higher education could contribute to student satisfaction.
McClean, S. and Crowe, W. (2017) , researched ‘Does Nearpod enhance student engagement and promote active learning in traditional lecture scenarios?’ Their study investigated lectures delivered to pharmacy and bioscience students at Ulster University. Research methods were a paper based questionnaire for all students and a focus group to gain further qualitative data. Students commented favourably on the interactivity and engagement afforded by Nearpod. This indicates that students see Nearpod as promoting engagement, improving understanding of materials and enhancing discussion between students.
Whilst all of the research shows that the use of Nearpod increased student engagement during lessons, there is limited evidence that student attainment levels increased as a result of using the tool, therefore research will be undertaken in order to ascertain if BTEC Business students engagement and attainment levels increased as a result of Nearpod lessons.
What has been undertaken so far
This research project commenced in January 2021 when the college went into lockdown and all lessons were online. As a result of this, it has not been possible to develop a control group as was originally planned. Instead, all lessons have been conducted via Nearpod and attainment results will be discussed in comparison to a previous cohort of students who attended standard face-to-face lessons in college.
A questionnaire has been sent to students to ask them about their experience of using Nearpod, in order to gain feedback on the engagement and participation levels of students.
Nearpod also has a reports function which will be used in order to ascertain participation and attainment levels.
The preliminary findings from the student questionnaire show that Nearpod is a good tool to use for student engagement and participation. Students enjoy the competitive aspect of some of the quizzes, as well as the range of activities available. However, there are some limitations to Nearpod (such as the benefits associated with group work), therefore the sole use of Nearpod to run a course would not be recommended.
Data regarding attainment levels has not yet been collated or analysed.
Audi, D. and Gouia-Zarrad, R. (2013) ‘A new dimension to teaching mathematics using iPads’ Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 103 (2013) 51 – 54. Elsevier: Turkey
Jing T.W., Yue W.S. (2016) Real-Time Assessment with Nearpod in the BYOD Classroom. In: Tang S., Logonnathan L. (eds) Assessment for Learning Within and Beyond the Classroom. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-0908-2_10
Mattei, M. and Ennis, E. (2014) ‘Continuous, Real-Time assessment of every student’s progress in the flipped Higher Education classroom using Nearpod’ Journal of Learning in Higher Education, v10 n1 p1-7 Spring 2014 (Available at: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1143320) [Accessed 14/09/20]
McClean, S. and Crowe, W. (2017) ‘Making room for interactivity: using the cloud-based audience response system Nearpod to enhance engagement in lectures’, FEMS Microbiology Letters, Volume 364, Issue 6, March 2017, fnx052, https://doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnx052