A review of Nearpod – an interactive tool for student engagement


I first encountered Nearpod some seven to eight years ago. At that time, I was mainly working with postgraduate students undertaking a Master of Science programme in Health Professional Education. I had to teach them how to teach. My preferred style of the time was to engage in a dialogue with students and by facilitating questions and their thoughts on the material under discussion, I would use a drawing board to develop concept maps and other visual tools to explain the material, theories and application of them. Using a presentation tool (PowerPoint being the most popular at the time) was not really my favoured approach – not least because of the work made famous by Tufte (2006) highlighting criticisms of its use. However, when it came to teach about ‘lecturing’, I role modelled the approach with the students as best I could. I remember one session where a student came up to me at the end of the class and said, ‘please don’t use PowerPoint again, it stifles you, we much prefer you facilitating’. I had found that a presentation tool such as PowerPoint became a little prescriptive and removed some of the spontaneity, interaction and engagement that comes from other forms of presenting, hence it was not my preferred approach.



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