In the midst of the pandemic, Marília Silva, a language teacher from Escola Profissional de Penafirme, was looking for a new way to connect to her students when online teaching.
After trying out ClassPoint for a couple of months, she began sharing it with her colleagues because of the change it had brought to her lessons. From there, she brought it to her school as a proposed engagement tool as they returned back to in-person. With its integration in PowerPoint, it was only a small change for the teachers, but one that made a huge impact.
Read a ClassPoint school case study conducted with a Portugal Vocational School including teacher interviews and student surveys.
Escola Profissional de Penafirme is a Vocational School (post-secondary) located in Torres Vedras, Portugal. As teachers were coming back to the classroom after the pandemic, they wanted new tools to engage their students, but like any school, they have their requirements: time, budget, and goal meeting. Before jumping in & implementing a new tool, they had some teachers test & evaluate ClassPoint first. We interviewed three of those teachers; Marília Silva, João Leitão, and Maria Mesquita.
In Portugal, many schools struggle with having strong network connections, and Escola Profissional de Penafirme is no different. Finding a tool that students and teachers could still use that their network supported was a necessity to continue the interactions with students that were found during the pandemic.
Dynamically recapture student’s attention without reprograming their lessons
The teachers at Escola Profissional de Penafirme, like all, experienced the remote, tech shift in education, and upon returning to class, they found themselves beginning to “feel the need for new ways to reach the students,” explained Maria Mesquita. Students were used to having more freedom when learning remotely, and the teachers wanted to grab and hold their student’s attention while finding more “dynamic methods of learning.”
The difficulty though was finding a tool that would not be time-consuming to implement or come with a big learning curve. The teachers at Escola Profissional de Penfirme did not have time to learn something new in the middle of the school year and did not want to disrupt student routines. They needed something that was in Marília’s words, “easy and accessible for both teachers and students.” It must be a tool that is “very easy to adapt to;” one that would not drain their limited time.
Found and introduced by Marília, Penfirme discovered ClassPoint. In the search for improved student engagement, Marília found ClassPoint to be a success and the tool the school needed. She shared her ClassPoint experience with her colleagues, leading them to test it out in a few classrooms with more teachers & subjects. The easy learning curve made implementing ClassPoint manageable for teachers of all subjects, no matter their familiarity with technology.
Since ClassPoint is a tool integrated within PowerPoint, the main presentation tool at Penafirme, it was seamless for them to begin using it. “We did not have to start all over again to learn a new tool; we already know PowerPoint,” Marília shared
ClassPoint itself, along with its ease of integration, provided teachers with the ability to offer a range of diverse in-class activities. With the different question types, each class became “something different than previous lessons.” For example, sometimes Word Cloud questions were used “to see others’ ideas”, other times, “Multiple Choice Questions [were used] for a variety of listening and video exercises,” João shared.
ClassPoint proved to be a good fit for every subject as well. From a survey with the students of Escola Profissional de Penafirme, 85% of those that used ClassPoint in multiple subjects, agreed that ClassPoint was beneficial for every class and subject they used it and could see the potential of using it in other classes.
Excitement & Motivation to Engage
Based on a student survey, nearly all students reported that they enjoyed using their phones to participate in class, and they on average felt a 14.7% increase in motivation for lessons that included ClassPoint. Marília confirmed this of her students explaining, “Every time I tell them ‘OK today we are going to use your mobile phones, you are going to answer some questions and they start already being more motivated, listening with more attention, and they love it!”
The class has become more interactive and less dry, and the classes have become more modern.Quoted and translated from a Penfirme Student
João also supported this sharing that when his students see a PowerPoint without the class code in the corner, they ask if it is a mistake! He also said his students like to “save the slides and take notes right away,” explaining that ClassPoint has offered more ways for his students to both recall information and take notes. These “fun,” “exciting,” and even sometimes “more relaxed” classes create excitement to learn, spark healthy competition with each other, and make every class “different than what they are used to,” explained Maria.
Inclusive & Recorded Participation
These new question response activities helped the Penfirme teachers connect to each and every one of their students. Marília who teaches languages says, “those students that usually don’t speak that much during the lesson because it is a foreign language, those students usually when we have a ClassPoint activity, they interact a little bit more.” Plus, she notes, “…everybody answers. If I don’t use ClassPoint I know that some of the students answer and some of the others don’t.”
Not only are all students able to be involved & participate, but ClassPoint is also a tool for recording that participation. Another way ClassPoint helped in the classroom was to “keep track of students’ work.” Not only can teachers save the answers and assess their students during the lesson to make any needed adjustments, but they can also use this record later to give students a grade and track their progress.
I always know it is a good moment for my lessons. I’m always sure that if I use ClassPoint they are going to like and we are going to have a good moment in my lessons.Marília Silva
And finally, ClassPoint supplied the students with their own self-assessment. As a Physics teacher, João finds that his students benefit from seeing the responses instantly. They learn not only from teacher feedback and their own mistakes, but also from each other’s responses; his students “see they are making the same mistakes or solving the problem with different paths.” The ability to see what others are doing, and how they “solved the same problem by different means” is another way, and an important one, for students to learn in his classroom.
In the student survey, many students mentioned that ClassPoint was a good way to understand and memorize the material because it helped clarify the information along with bringing the slides physically closer to them. Being able to view their teacher’s slides on their devices rather than far away helped to keep them focused with “good vision” & “clarity” on what was in front of them.
After learning about ClassPoint and testing it out with a few teachers, ClassPoint was a success in student engagement and motivation, was seamless to implement, and ended up providing a great way to make student assessments for the teachers and self-assessments for the students. More teachers at Escola Profissional de Penafirme are excited to begin using ClassPoint in their lessons next year to better connect and motivate their students. The benefit of having ClassPoint right inside PowerPoint makes it easy for the teachers to be confident enough to tackle implementing this tool, no matter their comfort or knowledge level of teaching with technology.
With ClassPoint, we can answer the questions in many different ways, which makes it more fun and better understanding for us to learn in the class.Quoted and translated from a Penfirme student