The internet platform LearningApps allows to quickly create different types of learning applications such as multiple choice quizzes, classifications of terms and pictures, crossword puzzles, organisational exercises and games. However like any learning material learning apps are a means to an end. It is therefore crucial to match the content and form to the purpose. Long and difficult multiple choice quizzes might lead the students to guess the answers. Quizzes should therefore be short and to the point unless they are multiplayer quizzes where the competition raises the motivation. In my opinion learning apps are suitable to asses the students’ knowledge when introducing a new topic, repeat a topic or to help the students asses their learning success before an exam.
A big advantage of online exercises is that students can learn independently and still have a feedback of their learning success. LearningApps provides a variety of links for embeding the app in a learning enviornment, a blog or an other website. The QR-code can be added to any working sheet. This allows students to access the app with their smartphone.
The following LearningApp is a multiplayer quizz testing the knowlede of the Pope and the Vatican. I would use this app to check the reading or listenig comprehension after reading a text or watching a video. The student can choose to play against the coputer or against other students. The different questions are answered by all players simultaneously. The points are given according to the accuracy and time needed to answer the question. An obvious advantage of this app is the motivational boost that competition adds to the quizz. For this to be succsessful the quizz should be anonced in advance. Unfortunately 12 questions are to few for a game with more than 3 or 4 players.
The following matching exercise would provide a good start for the topic of continents and are a reasonable means to asses the students’ knowledge in this field. The students have to match continent and ocean names to marked spots on the globe. The pictures help consolidate the existing concept of the world map while the different perspective of the continents require the students to think spatially.
The last app that I would like to introduce can be used on a daily basis. This calculating app generatesproblems that need to be solved by mental arithmetic. The student can choose whether he wants to see the whole problem or go step by step. The correct solution needs to be identified among 5 possible answers. The time needed to solve the problems is measured. The app is useful but takes a long time and presents little variation. A limitation of problems per round would give faster feedback and the copmletion of the task helps to keep the motivation of the students high.