S3-COMP10-2 - Audience Response System - an Inclusion of Blended Mentoring Technology in Computer Engineering Education

2. Research-to-Practice Work In Progress
Ummay Ubaida Shegupta1 , René Schmidt1, Martin Springwald1, Wolfram Hardt1
1 Department of Computer Engineering, Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz,Germany

This research to practice work-in-progress paper explores the subjective evaluation of an Audience Response System (ARS) as a blended mentoring technology included in the pedagogical approach in computer engineering education.
The ability to use scientific research methodologies represents a crucial competence for students in the field of computer engineering. In addition, this covers a wide range of sub competencies required for their future work according to the competency model of information technology (IT) industry. Imparting these competences is ensured by a seminar representing the testbed for this exploratory study. The study objective is to analyze the subjective evaluation of the ARS technology as blended mentoring method. Therefore, the ARS is used to created opportunities for the lecturer and the students to initiate discussions focused on the learning objectives in the seminar.
The papers theoretical framework bases on the concept of scaffolding from the theory of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The benefit of an ARS in teaching-learning context is proven by empirical evidences and provides the basis to implement focused questions and positive interactions realizing the ZPD. In this context, an ARS provides the opportunities to perform challenging tasks under the supervision of the mentor in the learning environment. The range of tasks covers various objective task types providing the needed flexibility and adaptability for the implementation in computer engineering courses. The resulting discussion of the responses is holistic, spontaneous and directed to the student needs representing mentoring characteristics. Furthermore, the discussion enables the lecturer to guide the students to the intended learning outcomes imparting the scope of learning. This scaffolding technique prepares the students for their individual seminar assignments representing the last zone of their proximal development. Additionally, the examination results represent an indicator of the intended competence achievement.
The study implementation follows the described theoretical framework and is evaluated by master’s students of computer engineering assessing the potential usage of ARS as blended mentoring approach. In total four tests are realized using an ARS. Each specific test has been performed by approximately 46% of the 63 registered students in the course. The individual task design has been modeled according to the cognitive domain model of Bloom’s taxonomy.
The research approach bases on a qualitative exploration and set it into relation of final grade and ARS usage frequency. The qualitative data have been collected through semi-structured interviews right after completing the first individual mandatory assignment of the seminar. In the analysis of grading, a distinction is made between students who have taken at least one ARS test, all ARS tests and those who have never taken an ARS test.
The qualitative results show the acceptance of the ARS technology by the students and indicate a suitable approach in education. In addition, positive feedback is received for the bidirectional discussions, confirming the expectation by the theory of ZPD. Furthermore, the grading analysis indicate a positive influence of the ARS on the final grade depending on usage frequency.