Catalyzing Learner Engagement Using Cutting-Edge Classroom Response Systems in Higher Education


J. Schell, B. Lukoff, and E. Mazur. 2013. “Catalyzing Learner Engagement Using Cutting-Edge Classroom Response Systems in Higher Education.” Edited by Charles Wankel. Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Classroom Technologies Classroom Response Systems and Mediated Discourse Technologies. Publisher's Version


In this chapter, we introduce a new technology for facilitating and measuring learner engagement. The system creates a learning experience for students based on frequent feedback, which is critical to learning. We open by problematizing traditional approaches to learner engagement that do not maximize the potential of feedback and offer a research-based solution in a new classroom response system (CRS) two of the authors developed at Harvard University – Learning Catalytics. The chapter includes an overview of cognitive science principles linked to student learning and how those principles are tied to Learning Catalytics. We then provide an overview of the limitations of existing CRSs and describe how Learning Catalytics addresses those limitations. Finally, we describe how we used Learning Catalytics to facilitate and measure learner engagement in novel ways, through a pilot implementation in an undergraduate physics classroom at Harvard University. This pilot was guided by two questions: How can we use Learning Catalytics to help students engage with subject matter in ways that will help them learn? And how can we measure student engagement in new ways using the analytics built into the system? The objective of this chapter is to introduce Learning Catalytics as a new instructional tool and respond to these questions.
Last updated on 07/24/2019