'Le Tour de France', Technology enriched learning by Dr. Arturo Gonzalez featured in Teaching and Learning Showcase


There is a constant need to look for new ways of motivating students, of providing them prompt feedback and of helping them to retain the material at lectures. This need is met here by introducing a novel formative assessment that makes lectures more entertaining and promotes student attendance and engagement. It consists of a game (a cyclist race simulating ‘Le Tour de France’) built around a Student Response System (SRS) where students are addressed with questions aligned to learning outcomes that they answer on their own tablets, laptops or smartphones during lectures. The main objectives of the game are:

  • To develop a highly motivational learning experience.
  • To provide students immediate feedback that will allow assessing their understanding and bring them early awareness if further study was needed. 
  • To provide the facilitator immediate feedback on delivery of topics that may need to be reinforced, redesigned or customized for some students.
  • To make a tool available that will allow students learning and testing their knowledge at all times via their own wifi-enabled devices.
  • To increase retention rates at lectures.
  • To serve as teaching strategy to enhance the curriculum, to make learning fun and to engage and challenge students. 

The concept is tested on half and one third of the syllabus imparted in CVEN30170 (25 students) and CVEN40150 (24 students) respectively. Both modules have continuous assessment (30% and 20%) and end-of-semester exam (70% and 80%) components. The syllabus becomes ‘Le Tour de France’ and different stages take place at selected lecturing slots. Following a lecture, final stage standings with times are allocated to each student based on the accuracy and speed of his/her replies. By computing the times of all stages, it is possible to obtain the overall standings. All this info is updated live during and right after each stage. The timing of the students in the overall standings is employed for continuous assessment purposes.

The positive effects are supported by students’ feedback and by their performance at the end-of-semester exam compared to the previous season.

More details in http://www.ucd.ie/teaching/showcase/items/title,321914,en.html