The ActiveClass Project: Experiments in Encouraging Classroom Participation

Tan Minh Truong, William G. Griswold, Matthew Ratto and Susan Leigh Star
July 8, 2002

Participation in classroom settings decreases with class size and di-versity, thus creating passive modes of learning, due to feelings of shyness, peer pressure, and the like. Computing technology can help by creating a safe haven for student participation, but the successful introduction of tools into the class-room, already a dynamic and tool-rich setting, presents challenges. We describe the design of ActiveClass, an application for encouraging in-class participation. This system has been used in two sections of a second course in computer pro-gramming, providing a rich source of insight into technology-mediated learning and how technology molds student life.

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