Engaging Your Students with Mobile Classroom Apps

In this workshop, participants learned how to embrace the power and convenience of mobile devices to engage students in low-stakes, real-time interactions and conduct formative assessments in the face-to-face classroom. Participants were introduced to two no-cost, easy-to-use classroom response systems that allow students use their mobile devices for learning: Socrative and Poll Anywhere. Presenters discussed best practices for implementing interactive classroom response activities, as well as presented case studies from DePaul faculty who have already implemented these mobile solutions in their classrooms. During the second half of the session, participants workshopped a classroom response activity related to a current or future course.

By the end of the workshop, participants were able to:

  • Describe and differentiate between two classroom response systems–Socrative and Poll Anywhere
  • Summarize best practices for using classroom response systems
  • Create a formative assessment piece using either Socrative or Poll Anywhere

Presented by:

Jessica Alverson (University Library)

 Erin Kasprzak (School for New Learning)


Download (PDF, 868KB)


  • Mobile Learning: Mobile learning seeks to utilize the near ubiquity and unique capabilities of mobile devices to make course materials available to students wherever they are, and to create new kinds of learning experiences. (From the Teaching Commons.)
  • Classroom Response System: A classroom response system (sometimes called a personal response system, student response system, or audience response system) is a set of software and hardware that facilitates teaching activities that can be used for both formative and summative assessment. A CRS enables the teacher to push or display questions to students using the technology, and students submit their responses either via a device (“clicker”), mobile app installed on a smart phone, or a web page on a computer. (Adapted from Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching.)

Workshop Materials

  • Questions and Activities Handout (PDF)
  • Planning Guide (PDF)


Best Practices

Additional Reading

  • Bruff, Derek. (2009). Teaching with classroom response systems: creating active learning environments. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Burke, Adrienne Jane. (2012) “Bring Your Own Device” Movement Turns Classroom Disruption into Pedagogy”. Techonomy.
  • Bowen, J. (2012). Teaching naked: how moving technology out of your college classroom will improve student learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Voelkel, S. and Bennett, D. (2014). New uses for a familiar technology: introducing mobile phone polling in large classes. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. 51 (4), pp. 46-58.
  • Bruff, D. (2014). Classroom Response Systems: Bibliography.
    (Includes articles for discipline-specific use of CRSs.)

3 Responses to Engaging Your Students with Mobile Classroom Apps

  1. Jen O'Brien January 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    If you’re interested in Derek Bruff’s book Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, it’s available for loan from the TLA library (http://condor.depaul.edu/tla/Teaching/library.html)!

  2. James Moore January 26, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Thank you. I enjoyed the session. Very helpful.


  1. Testing as a Tool for Student Success | DePaul Office for Teaching, Learning and Assessment - May 19, 2015

    […] 2) However, you can also use mobile learning apps such as Poll Everywhere or Socrative to check for understanding. You can review a past Teaching Commons workshop on mobile learning apps here. […]

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