Written participation with response technology – How teachers ask and students respond with applied text response functionality
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionComputers and Composition. 2020, 55 (1), . 10.1016/j.compcom.2020.102551
Response technology (RT), systems where students respond with personal devices or clickers and teachers follow up on the tallied responses, has been widely adopted and researched in education. However, limited academic attention has been directed at the nascent text response functionality, which lets students compose their own responses rather than select from the teacher’s multiple-choice alternatives. This case study uses observations, teacher and student interviews, and extracted responses from upper-secondary language education to map the extent of and motivations behind teachers’ application of and students’ participation with RT text response. Teachers, wanting to engage and involve students in the learning process, asked formal, content, and personal/procedural questions, which students would largely (83%) make a genuine attempt to answer. Students, motivated by a wish to be involved and a desire for social and professional recognition, participated on par with multiple-choice participation rates reported in the literature (76.4% vs. 74.1%). They also provided meta comments on the learning process, responses resisting the intention of the question, and empty responses deleted prior to submission. This study therefore suggests that RT text response facilitates a considerable expansion of student-centred classroom communication, and should be further researched.