I recently received an email that had “Success again” in the subject field.  The body of the email began with:

Hi Adam

I used the cards in a lecture last week and in 2 tutorials this week and, as before the students found them a really fun way to learn.

The email was from Kristin van Barneveld from the UTS Business School.  The cards being referred to are IF-AT ‘scratch’ cards.  UTS has a growing number of IF-AT card users who, like me, realise the power of the cards. In previous posts I have profiled IF-AT users Jacqueline Berry and Yen Phan.  In this post it’s Kristin’s turn to share her insights with us in this IF-AT Q&A session. Kristin is a casual academic teaching in the area of human resource management in the UTS Business School. She has been teaching since 1997 both here at UTS and other universities. 


Adam: Hi Kristin, thanks for your time. You have used the IF-AT cards a few times now. Can I start by asking why do you use them?

Kristin: They are a fantastic tool to give students real time feedback on multiple choice questions in a fun way. Students love the group interaction that using the cards requires and they have to debate and discuss their reasons behind answers before scratching them off – there is always a lot of laughter in the class when I use the cards (and a bit of stress too).

Adam: It’s great that you use the cards. Do you remember why you originally decided you use them? I mean, not every person that attends my workshop requests some cards to trial. Why did you?

Kristin: Looked like a fun way for students to learn. I am always interested in using different tools that students might not have seen before to make sure learning remains interesting.

Adam: Are you able to tell me how you use the cards? There are lots of ways in which people use the cards as part of their learning design. How do you use them?

Kristin: I use them as practice towards the end of the term because students have a multiple choice element in their exam. It’s better than something like menti or kahoots because it allows students to have another think and try again if they aren’t right the first time.

Adam: What’s the response from students? What do they say about the cards and/or your learning design?

Kristin: They love them – although when I have asked, they can’t say why. I think that it encourages group activity and discussion at a new level. They really have to engage before they scratch off an answer and that requires some detailed thought on their behalf.

Adam: That’s it from me. Many thanks for your time. Any closing comment about the cards?

Kristin: They are a wonderful tool and worth the investment by UTS. If you have any other innovative tools, I’m all ears and keen to try them out.

Small, but very powerful

UTS is an innovative university strongly committed to student-centred approaches to learning.  We have built the collaborative learning spaces for this to happen.  We are also investing in the tools needed to facilitate learning in our wonderful spaces.  The IF-AT card is one such tool.  They may be small and ‘old school’, but they are very powerful.  Kristin obviously sees their power.  Other users do as well.  You could too.

If you want to learn more about the cards, you can take a look at the official website here. 

You can also look at my original blog on the power of the IF-AT card and my Q&A sessions with IF-AT users Jacqueline Berry and Yen Phan.

UTS academics are welcome to get some cards from me or contact me to talk further about them, just send me an email.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

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