How a simple phone app is making lectures more engaging for 88% of new students at the University of Central Lancashire

University carries out ‘before and after’ experiment to test effectiveness

In an experiment at the School of Forensic and Applied Science, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), 88% of first year students said they became more engaged in the subject matter when they used Meetoo, a live polling and Q&A app downloadable free onto their smartphones or via a web browser. This was compared to their response to previous lectures given the traditional way.

Almost all (98%) students said they would welcome the use of the app at future lectures with 67% wanting to use it for most or every lecture.  

Michael Wood, senior learning technologist at UCLan explains: “As a university we’ve looked for ways to make our lectures more valuable, interactive and compelling for the next generation of students. As a result, Meetoo is currently being rolled out across UCLan as the centrally-supported student response system. As such it has already been used by over a hundred lecturers at the university and early feedback has been positive from both the teaching staff and the students themselves.”  

Dr Tina Gornall, associate lecturer continues: “We particularly wanted to test the reaction of new students to the app compared to their response to more traditional teaching. In my experience, students enjoy testing themselves in a non-intimidating way. Also, it’s useful for me to see which topics need more work so I can think of different ways to approach these in the future.”  

In fact, 83% of those polled said that they found it easier to ask questions using their phones and the Meetoo app, during the lectures than having to put their hand up and face feeling embarrassed. Meetoo enables students to remain anonymous, if they wish, so encourages a far more accurate and honest dialogue around their understanding of a certain topic. It also ensures that the limited time for questions available isn’t always dominated by the same people but evenly spread across the class. “This app was quite useful in allowing you to ask questions that you didn't want to ask in front of everyone and it's quite nice to finish on a short quiz to reinforce understanding as well,” was one of the many positive comments from students.  

Originally designed for business meetings, Meetoo was launched into the education market, January 2016. Since then it has been downloaded by around 12,000 people in the education sector mostly in higher and further education with high average participation rates of 80% of those who joined a Meetoo session.

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