Adventures in Technology Enhanced Learning @ UoP

Tag: audience participation

Guest Blogger: Co-Creating Expectations with Vevox

Introduction by Tom:

I was asked by Vevox (a company we work closely with that facilitates audience response) to run the first session in their autumn webinar series. I was happy to do this and you can watch the recording of the session on Youtube.

After the session, Joe from Vevox was asked if I would mind someone writing a blog relating to the session. I was flattered and said of course. Dr Rachel Chan from St Mary’s University in Twickenham wrote her blog and shared it with me and I asked her if we could re-publish it here on TelTales. She was happy to let us use the blog…so this blog is a short reflection from Rachel after attending my webinar on “Co-Creating Expectations with Vevox”.

Co-creation Blog

St Mar's logoMy name is Rachel Chan, I am a Senior Lecturer – Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist teaching on the BSc in Physiotherapy at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. Throughout my academic career, I have always been hugely committed to Teaching and Learning. I recently listened to a talk by Tom Langston from the University of Portsmouth about co-creation and thought it might be valuable to write a short blog to share some of his key messages.

Tom began by asking us a question ‘What is co-creation?’ We were all on the right track, people suggested things like ‘student partnership,’ ‘collaboration’ and ‘support.’ Bovill and colleagues(2016) define it as ‘…when staff and students work collaboratively with one another to create components of curricula and /or pedagogical approaches.’ Great, so, Where does it work? Tom showed us that co-creation can work in many areas of pedagogy including setting expectations, assessment criteria, curriculum content and assessment design. I was already sold by this point but there are many, less obvious benefits, to adopting co-creation in your pedagogical practice.

  1.  It enables you to better meet expectations (the students’ expectations of you, your expectations of the student and more subtly but equally important, the students’ expectations of each other). An important tip Tom shared was setting these expectations as early as possible so that everyone knows the playing field from day 1.
  2. It facilitates a dynamic approach to your teaching practice, encouraging you to reflect on what you do and allowing you to evolve as an educator. CPD in action!
  3. It gives the students’ a voice – of course, it is impossible to accommodate all of their suggestions, no one is suggesting that you do. Phew! But listening to students, and showing them that you will try to accommodate some of them, opens the channels of communication – they know that you care and that you have heard them. This is SO important.

The idea of co-creation may make some educators feel anxious and, in some areas, it will be easier to implement than others (assessment design may be more challenging for example) but you can and should start small. Bovill and Bulley have created a ladder that models co-creation, it shows dictated curriculum at the bottom and an anarchic level of students in control at the top (ttps:// Tom wasn’t suggesting you aim too high but believes adopting some co-creation in your practice will have huge benefits for all.

How to adopt this principle of co-creation? There are many ways in which you can successfully include co-creation in your teaching such as using an EVS to make quizzes or simply creating a collaboration space to stimulate discussions with students.

My take-home message…Step 1. always try to engage your students in your teaching, and perhaps more importantly…Step 2. respond to that engagement. Thanks, Tom, I am inspired!

If you have any questions or would like to know more about co-creation, please contact Tom at:

Day 11: Nearpod

What is Nearpod?

Nearpod is a fantastic collaboration tool for staff and students, which is available on iOS, Android and the Web. The app allows a class leader (whether that’s a student or staff member) to create an interactive presentation for display on other people’s individual devices – phones, tablets or computers.

It’s quick and easy to create this interactive content, and the material can range from simple presentations with questions to full-blown quizzes with corresponding feedback. Nearpod allows real-time feedback from the group to the class leader. For example, teachers can present the results of a group survey immediately to the whole class with the tap of a button.

What does the app look like and how do I use it?

There are two aspects to Nearpod: the creation of presentations and the viewing of those presentations.

In order to be able to create presentations a teacher will first need to sign up for a free licence. (We also have some paid licences available, which allow for more than the 30-connected-device limit that exists on the free licence. The paid tier also unlocks various extra features, which you can read about in more detail on the Nearpod website.) To build a presentation you use Nearpod in your internet browser. You can use an existing PowerPoint presentation as a starting point or you can choose to create new PowerPoint files specifically for use in Nearpod.

Nearpod Promo image

When you want to present to an audience, you simply upload the relevant file, ensuring that you have added any extra interactions that you want to include, then publish the presentation and run it in the classroom.

The viewing app is free from both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or you can access Nearpod on the web at Each member of the audience will need a device with access to the app or to the website. When the presenter begins the session he/she will be shown a code, to be given to the audience. An audience member connects to the presenter’s Nearpod by entering this code. It’s as simple as that.

How could this app help me?

Nearpod can help bridge the gap between teacher and student, and turn what could be a passive session into a dynamic one. Any input made by a student or teacher can be shown in real-time to everyone else in the class who has a connected device – a teacher can therefore tweak sessions as needed, perhaps going into more detail in areas suggested by the class or filling gaps in knowledge as identified by quizzes. The use of Nearpod can be a good way to shake up a normal lecture or seminar, and might even prompt a teacher to rethink their approach to a particular teaching session.

Ideas for using Nearpod:

  • Students and staff can use their own preferred device to interact with lectures, not something you’re unfamiliar with!
  • Students can work digitally in groups without having to use a main screen.
  • Receive instant feedback from in-class quizzes, and tailor the class according to its results.
  • Staff can enhance presentations with interactivity.
  • Encourages all members of a group to engage with the topic being discussed.

Keep an eye out on Tel Tales for more info on Nearpod in early 2018!

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