Case study: Engaging students using live polling and online reading groups

Student profile:
Students enrolled:

EDCX202 Curriculum Decision Making in the Early Years
Bachelor of Early Childhood, Years 2 and 3
Mr Anthony Shearer
predominantly younger females, recent school leavers

In this case study Anthony Shearer discusses how he uses technology to create an integrated blend between face-to-face and online. Reflecting on what tools worked for his teaching style and allowed him to create a sense of community.


  • Using mobile learning with survey monkey for authentic data and student engagement.
  • Online reading groups to lessen sense of isolation in students.
  • Forums in tutorials to document and share discussions across tutorial groups.

Hear about Anthony Shearer's experience.

ACU Case study: Engaging students using live polling and online reading groups
Many thanks to the Faculty of Law and Business for the use of their Pop-up Studio equipment to record this interview.

Length: 11 mins.

Unit design

The move to blended learning in the unit was inspired from the necessity to meet the student’s need for accessibility. Students were finding it hard to come to the 5pm lecture as they were getting stuck in peak hour traffic. One of the solutions was to broadcast the lectures live.





Synchronous lecture

2 hours x weekly

Lecture both face-to-face and online, breaking up the lecture with activities.

Face to face tutorial

2 hours x weekly

Synchronous online (optional)1 hour x weeklyOnline reading group


Assessment task

Weighting (%)


Introductory artefact



Philosophy statement


Philosophy Statement connected to professional standards (ACECQA and/or AITSL).
Case study50%Case study of the implementation of a curriculum program in an ECE setting (3 - 8 years old)
Professional experiencehurdle 

The above assessments may have been designed before the latest update to the ACU Assessment Policy. See Assessment Policy for up-to-date advice on designing your assessments.


This is a list of some of the major tools used in this unit.




Adobe ConnectAdobe Connect was used to record face-to-face lectures so students could watch lectures remotely, or after the lecture. The students also use the Adobe Connect chat facility to discuss the concepts being covered or to ask questions. 

Anthony also used Adobe Connect for the Online Reading groups.
See LEO Adobe Connect guide.

See also Lynda's "Adobe Connect Essential Training".
Survey MonkeyTo gather responses before a lecture (or at beginning), to ask topical content-related questions anonymously.
LEO forumUse for discussions around a scenarioSee also the LEO forum guide


Anthony drew on the support of IT staff when needed.

Lessons learned

  • You can’t break technology, so play around with it.
  • There are lots of people who can help when you get stuck. Find out who they are.
  • Be patient, don’t expect it all to work first time
  • Any time you introduce students to a new technology, things go really well initially and then they hit a wall of frustration. Anything you can do to reduce the frustration early on as they learn how to use the new tool is useful.
  • Have all resources on the site at the beginning of semester

Next time

Anthony would like to focus on the following for future iterations of the unit:

  • Looking for opportunities to get students creating their own artefacts.

Futher reading

Immediate feedback in classes: live polling for motivation and learning (OLT 2015), is a further case study about ePolling used effectively in a higher education context.