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Idea Spinner

Author: Dr. Sachin S. Patil

Dear all Academicians,

I would be happy to share one active learning strategy viz. Idea Spinner, which I have practiced and experienced during the delivery of my T.Y. B. Tech. (System Software course). This methodology is chosen with certain motivations as like:

  • To improve students engagement for learning
  • To retain the experienced knowledge with joyful status

The technique is planed to address the deficit course attainments and improve its outcome.

The detail procedure, student attempts and outcomes for the methodology at the given course is provided as follows:

  1. Procedure:

Wheel Decide ( is a free tool. These online spinners assist to design custom digital wheels. These wheels can be useful for various activities as like decision making, raffles etc. Coin flipping aids to make a decision, but has only two sides. But Wheel Decide can help to flip a coin with 100 sides. It explicitly helps to settle disputes  wherein decision is involved.

The basic concept is as follows:

  • Teacher creates a spinner (wheel) marked into n quadrants and label it as per context of his topic/unit
  • Eg. A custom wheel created of 3 quadrants having labels as “Identify entities/relations, Design and Draw, Formulate constraints” for topics related to E-R modelling in Database course
  • After the presentation of new material, the spinning activity is carried out by teacher. The student has to respond based on the location pointer of the spinner
  • Eg. when the spinner lands to region “Formulate constraints”, the faculty proceeds to ask student, “List the key constraints over E-R diagram just presented”
  • Education usage
  • Can select a random student to answer a question or participate
  • Spinning of a wheel is carried out
    • A kind of substitute for shuffled learning with flash cards keeping each one on their toes
  • Can make use of wheel for assigning groups or teams
    • Allocating jobs/tasks to teams or individuals
    • No biases

Fig. 1 represents the detail steps of idea spinning technique.

The step-wise procedure from idea wheel creation till questioning a student for a random spin is sighted in Fig. 1 flowchart. The flowchart position the role of faculty and student in specific.

  • Detailing of Technique:

The introspection of conducted techniques has revealed its ingenuity while conducting online/offline sessions in effective way. Students have shown active interest for participation and collaborative learning.

The active involvement and its outcome at experimented courses are as follows:

This technique was demonstrated at third year B. Tech. – CSE (System Software course). The proposed activity was planned for following lectures:

One can demonstrate some online dynamic wheels demo readily available on the site. A custom wheel is created during each lecture once the content is delivered. One prepared for a lecture viz. “Advanced macro facilities” is as:

  • A custom wheel as presented in Fig. 2 is created of 7 quadrants having labels as “AIF Statement, AGO Statement, ANOP Statement, GBL, EV specification, REPT, IRP”

Fig. 2 Idea Spinner of Advanced Macro Facilities over

  • After the wheel is created, a student is selected to answer the usage of respective macro facility pointed by wheel pointer
  • If the same point relocates then either the student can respond with a new example or can re-spin the wheel
  • In response to student reply, faculty engage the discussion and motivate others to provide different dimensions over that point

Fig. 3 Idea Spinner for Content “Design of a Linker”

The activity has helped to keep students interactive and engage with on the fly attention in random. It also stimulates to improve attention and interest during content delivery.

  • Outcomes:
  • Tangible outcomes:

Feedback based on hand-raise were collected and analyzed to diagonise the Impression of Lecture under non-activity versus activity based lectures. The feedback was noted on four different parameters viz. Interactiveness, Attention, Joyfulness and Teamwork.

The analysis is stated as in Table 1:

Table 1. Feedback Responses

Particulars% of class responded (Average Regular lectures)% of class responded (Average Idea Spinner-based lectures)% of rise in response

The analysis in Table 1 states the feedback responses which signify an average rise of 52% in Idea Spinner-based activity lecturing compared to regular lecturing. Moreover, the percentage of interaction and joyfulness is elevated compared to other parameters. There is a need to improve across teamwork component for planned activity.

Fig. 4 Comparative Analysis of Responses

Fig. 4 states the comparative analysis of responses for the recorded parameters. Additionally, the tangible impact was seen in Unit Test-1 and End Semester Exam for the covered topic under this activity.

Table 2. Questions Attempted Inline to Idea-Spinner activity

The analysis of percentage of attempts for UT and ESE questions in mandatory and optional mode is affirmed in Table 2. The % of attempt represents an average of 85% whereas it’s above 95% for compulsory questions. Equally the rise in average marks compared to others questions have aided to improve course outcome.

  • Intangible outcomes:
  • Extended the joy of learning
  • Experienced a collaborative efforts towards refining the answer provided by a peer member
  • Seamless attentiveness along with interest
  • Concerns While Conducting the Activities

Conduction of activities was really a new learning for all of us. Planning and its conduction as per expectations were augmented with some intangible outcomes stated above.  Furthermore, few issues were faced during experimentation of these active learning strategies as follows:

  • Time management as per desirable units
  • Measurement of complete joyful status
  • Absent students

More attention is needed for recording joyful status along with time controlled actions. The issue of attendance is still out of strategic plan which needs program level policies for all courses.

I would like to finally quote few observations as conclusions to consulate the learning outcomes as:

  • Collaborative learning skills were experienced
  •  Students enjoyed team work
  •  Able to replicate in UT/ESE