Nearpod is a bridge in the multicultural ESL classroom

January 27, 2021Jessica Griner

University of Central Florida Global Programs – Orlando, FL

Introduction: 

UCF Global supports the intensive language program and international students, scholars, and professionals on the University of Central Florida campus. Nearpod helps to build a bridge of understanding in the ESOL classroom by offering teachers the opportunity to identify knowledge gaps during class and incorporate activities that test quickly for vocabulary understanding. International students love the fun activities in Nearpod, while language teachers appreciate streamlined formative assessment that helps English language students succeed.  

Challenges: 

  • Adapting learning model to a multicultural classroom 
  • Identifying student learning gaps 
  • Being able to provide immediate feedback for English language learners 

Solution: 

“Wherever building blocks are needed, Nearpod helps students get to the next level.” 

  • Nearpod helps to identify student learning gaps, especially in grammar and vocabulary 
  • Nearpod provides a flexible learning tool for a flipped classroom and classrooms with multilingual students from different learning styles 
  • Unlike a video platform, Nearpod allows teachers to see who is actively engaged and who understands course content 

Results: 

  • 16,000+ students engaged on Nearpod 
  • 135 professors using Nearpod in the classroom 
  • Students see Nearpod as, “gamification,” while teachers appreciate data for where to target teaching

“Nearpod is such a value in this time for higher ed.” – Christina Cavage, Curriculum and Assessment Manager, UCF Global 

Popular Nearpod features: 

  • Draw It is a useful feature in a paperless classroom and is used for students to upload their homework 
  • Matching Pairs aids vocabulary development 
  • Integration with Canvas making Nearpod one click away for all students 
  • Instructors were wary of Time to Climb in a higher education environment, but once students used it, they asked for it! International students are familiar with caricatures 

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