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Curtin Hotseat

Curtin Hotseat support

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PD blog

Issue 27: Put your lectures in the Hotseat

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Curtin Teaching and Learning has deployed Hotseat at the university. Hotseat is, at its simplest, a microblogging system allowing lecturers to post questions and discussion points during a lecture. The system can be used to assess the level of interest in particular posts, and to poll the group on key understandings, and identify points for further discussion.

Students are given an active voice and invited to contribute to the lecture by posting questions, comments and insights. The system can be used to assess the level of interest in particular posts, and to poll the group on key understandings, and identify points for further discussion.

The backchannel has become a popular feature of academic conferences over recent years. The basic structure of the backchannel is a behind the scenes discussion of the presentation by attendees and remote participants who are interested in a topic or speaker. The backchannel has a well-documented decade-long history and has become a core component of many conferences. The invention of the #hashtag (a form of metadata on live social media) means that conference participants can post and follow discussion points using social media like Twitter.

Potential benefits of using Hotseat

  • Engages students in blended learning
  • Can assist in bridging cohorts face-to-face and remote
  • Generates accessible artefacts - students and lecturers can review the discussion in their own time
  • Maintains focus on the main discussion - avoids off-topic/tangential agendas (will the zealous student in the front row please put your hand down)
  • Provides metrics on usage (usage data can be used to identify "at risk students" - tracking student understanding - etc)
  • Special equipment not required and online environments are already known (student devices can handle it - no need to manage clickers - batteries, stock-taking, etc)
  • Helps overcome social inhibitions (will the students in the back row please speak up!)
  • Anonymity can be switched off and on (provides a measure of accountability for the comments made)

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Platforms

Hotseat integrates a suite of tools including a web application, Facebook and Twitter that can be accessed via computers, laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices like iPod Touch, iPad, and tablets. Lecturers can set focus questions, assign Twitter #hashtags and control the anonymity of posts in order ot draw students more fully into active participation in the lecture.

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User guide

Download the Basic User Guide:

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More information

Issue 27 of the PD blog, Put your lectures in the Hotseat provides some examples and links to more resources relating to working in this way.

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