Sometimes, it is challenging to reach out and interact with the indvidual that we teach. Archipelago, a lightweight web application, was created to inject interactivity into classes. Students, in team or solo, can response to a wide variety of questions posted by the instructor. Real time collation tools helps the instructor to make sense of the student responses on the fly. Going beyond a simple question and answer platform, Archipelago also enables team collaboration, peer learning and question raising effectively.
An Archipelago session supports 6 different question types - Multiple Choice, Opinion / Text based compilation, Ordering / Ranking Choice, Box-linking, Points or drawing on a picture. Each question type come with several type of real-time analysis to collate and understand students' replies. Instructor can also enable "voting boards", a freeform real-time message board to allow students to post their own query and / or upvote queries from their peers.
Learning does not stop when the lesson is over. Archipelago automatically compiles i) PDF report to summarize the session's interaction, and ii) An excel file with detailed information of all students activities. The PDF report can be be further augmented by instructor comments to provide a handy revision material for the students.
Archipelago is developed and currently for use in NUS. We welcome all instructors to try out the system by logging in to https://archipelago.comp.nus.edu.sg.