The Message Wall
How to improve student engagement and inclusion during live lectures
The Message Wall is an interactive chat - including images - which allows students to ask questions anonymously, when you select this option in your event’s settings. Its 3 main benefits are:
- Collecting questions and comments from your audience to display them when it suits you;
- Selecting interesting questions and removing off-topic content;
- Allowing students to prioritise questions from their peers by upvoting them.
To interact with your audience, the Message Wall is an alternative to the chat found in video conferencing software. An added benefit is the possibility to anonymise the participants and to display only the relevant messages.
Creating interactivity in a distance learning context
The current context, which is not very conducive to interactivity, is now the daily reality for millions of teachers. The classroom has been reduced to the size of a computer screen, that is if students have the network to activate their webcam.
English teacher Justine Kemlo of the Université Libre de Bruxelles says the Wall of Messages adds “flow” to her class.
« I was “interrupted” by students in real-time when they had questions. They also used the Wall to like each other’s questions and answer each other. »
Research in the science of education sheds light on the use of chats:
Using a chat room can be a distraction for teachers, but in a distance learning context it is a powerful tool to preserve cohesion for students. According to a study published by McInnerney & Roberts, the problem of isolation can be minimised or even eradicated by involving students who are taking an online course in live chats. According to a study by British researcher Mark Bowler, live chats also contribute to greater inclusion in online learning, as less assertive students feel comfortable sharing their opinions and contributing to the course.
Infinite possibilities for better learning
Allowing your students to share pictures and images on the Message Wall opens up an infinite range of educational possibilities! Here are just 2 examples of things you can ask your students to post on the Message Wall:
- A picture of a mathematical reasoning written on paper;
- An image found on the internet which depicts American culture.
The Quick Questions
Spontaneously measure student understanding during class
The Quick Questions are real-time interactions which you create during your lecture. No need to leave your presentation, simply insert a Quick Question in 2 clicks. Here’s how that works :
Using Quick Questions to strengthen learning
Just like polls, Quick Questions allow you to ask students how well they understand the subject matter before moving on with the course. This is particularly useful when you can’t read the expression on your students’ faces and they don’t understand a given subject.
This feature enabled Sébastien Lebbe, co-founder of Wooclap and speaker at the Solvay Business School to revisit a specific concept of a lecture:
« I quizzed the audience after the two most difficult parts of the lecture to check whether they understood everything. For one of these quizzes, 30% of the audience failed to answer correctly. I therefore immediately created an open-ended “Quick Question” and asked them orally to tell me which concepts they did not understand. This was the most recurring answer: cohorts. As a result, I went back a few slides to give them a more in-depth explanation. »
Research in the science of education sheds light on quizzes:
In this case, the Quick Questions were chosen to complement a poll and evaluate the students’ knowledge. Whether remotely or face-to-face, quizzing is a good practice which helps reinforce learning thanks to the test effect.
Wherever you’re currently teaching from, the Wooclap Team wishes you the best of luck!
Access our resources on distance learning with Wooclap here.
McInnerney & Roberts, Online Learning: Social Interaction and the Creation of a Sense of Community, 2004 Mark Bowler, Learning to ‘ chat ’ in a virtual learning environment : Using online synchronous discussion to conduct a first year undergraduate tutorial, 2009