(PRWEB) December 3, 2010
Top Hat Monocle’s new classroom response system was created as a result of research conducted at the University of Waterloo on interactive teaching. Their application - monocleCAT - features a wide range of classroom tools all available in one simple, inexpensive online platform.
If you have attended a first or second year university class recently you will have likely seen “clickers” being used. Clickers are plastic remotes that students are required to buy and bring to class in order to allow the instructor to conduct live polls during lectures. MonocleCAT replaces clickers, and provides a comprehensive classroom response system. Students can use virtually any mobile device to participate, such as their laptop, smart phone, cell phone or even the iPad. This allows the students to learn in an extremely engaging learning environment rather than being passive observers in the classroom.
MonocleCAT was launched in September in five universities, with about 4500 students currently using the system. Professors have found an improvement in student involvement, student attendance as well as overall student enrollment. “This time I would say I have maintained about 70 percent attendance rate. Whereas normally last year I would eventually be down to 35 or 40 percent,” said professor Elliot Currie who teaches Management Accounting at the University of Guelph. In some cases professors have seen an improvement in student performance and grades, “The students’ performance in labs, midterms and the final exam was much better this time around compared to previous offerings. Which is an indication the tool definitely helped them understand the concepts better and perform better,” explained professor William Melek at the University of Waterloo.
The platform features a means for teachers to launch polls, quizzes, and interactive simulations directly to the student’s device. Then, in real-time, they are able to see performance statistics that are vital in addressing the needs of the class. Top Hat Monocle solves one of the main issues with “clicker” technology by being able to stay technologically current. Based off the feedback they get from the professors and students they update the platform constantly, making the tool as perfect as possible for both parties.
Currently, implementation of the tool is completely free to the professors and Universities. The only cost associated with the service is a subscription fee for the students. There are several different time sensitive payment structures, however most students are paying $20 per semester.
Top Hat Monocle is funded by Angel investors from the Waterloo region.
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