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Lecture Analysis with Handhelds
At a Glance

To identify a lecture's strengths as material is presented in real time

To engage students in the analysis process and invite ongoing feedback

Wireless devices include handhelds, such as Pocket PCs; software featured point-and-click response system interface and report generator

Have questions about instructional technologies?

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Office of Academic Computing
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
MEB 310


The purpose of this survey tool is to determine areas of relative weaknes and strength in the lecture as the student views it over time. We are plotting a student's first encounter with the material and want to capture initial impressions.

Using handheld devices or laptops, students provide real-time feedback during medical school course lectures. Once we have tested the operation of the surveying tool, we intend to supplement areas that were confusing with ancillary content.


The quality of lectures in a curriculum may range from exceptional to confusing. There are times in a lecture when things make sense, and times when they don't.

Some concepts are delivered too fast, while others are delivered too slowly. Sometimes the clinical connection is clear while sometimes it is not apparant. Some subject matter is too complex to understand without additional resources or labs, while some is too basic and feels like a waste of the student's time.

Evaluation Criteria
Students provide postive and negative feedback throughout the lecture. Time is important because it tell us when a student is confused and when the student is learning effectively at key moments in the lecture.

Our intention is to capture large disruptions and common high points in the lecture. Because we do not want the survey process to disrupt their understanding and learning the material, we provide the students with PDAs for use during lectures
We have identified certain criteria as assisting or limiting a student's ability to learn effectively during a lecture:


More than one criteria may affect learning at the same time. Students may select all criteria applicable for any key moment during the lecture. They are encouraged to provide as much feedback as possible throughout the lecture without disrupting the ability to learn.

Students are encouraged to make every attempt to view the lectures under normal circumstances, i.e., preparing themselves in whatever ways they normally would prepare themselves. Students are also urged to attend lectures live. They may also view a lecture from home or at the Academic Computing Center, using the video version of the survey.


Students are asked to follow these steps during the lecture analysis:

  1. To write down the actual time at which they started viewing the lecture

  2. If viewing remotely, to note if / when they pause the lecture at any time to think about an answer (or the lecture) as those in the live lecture do not have this ability

  3. To provide feedback during the first viewing of the lecture, and not to view the lecture prior to taking the survey

  4. To respond based on initial impressions, because the goal is to capture the student's positive or negative reaction