Finding flow: Unpacking the capacity of in-lecture question technologies to engage online students

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Maintaining student engagement in online and recorded lectures and tutorials is challenging in higher education. A range of technologies that addressed this issue and provided in-lecture questioning to aid in interactivity and increased engagement was investigated. Initially, a focus group was used to determine key concepts for the introduction of the technologies, and this informed a trial and evaluation of selected technologies into teaching of subjects. The analysis was underpinned by flow theory, which is used to explain student engagement and immersion with the platforms and content. The key findings of this work included: 1) student’s preference for technologies that they were already familiar with and that allowed a more seamless integration to current teaching platforms at the institution; 2) students desired more engagement in their lectures both internally and online, and 3) technology had to be used well to ensure the highest chance of flow and prevent student disengagement. Some of the challenges which hindered students entering a flow state were focused around how the program or technology operated (e.g., questions moving too fast and the text size being too small). Overall, both internal and online students perceived significant benefits for their educational experience due to the increased engagement offered by in-lecture questions. Thematic analysis suggested that this was related to key aspects of the flow, including engagement, immediate feedback, and matching challenges to skill levels. Students also acknowledged the andragogical importance of scaffolding to achieve optimal engagement, emphasising the importance of design in achieving flow in educational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberTechnology, Pedagogy and Education - Manuscript ID RTPE-2020-0293.R2
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Mar 2022


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