Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Is "Speed Dating" More Engaging than Serial Presentations?

“Speed dating” led to higher quality student feedback and more engagement.

Innovation in Information Systems

Weinberg and Moussawi collaborated with the other faculty members teaching the capstone Information Systems project course to explore how students could give and receive higher quality peer feedback on team presentations. They compared two different presentation approaches. In the “traditional” approach, each student team presented to the entire class one after another. Alternatively, in the “speed dating” approach, student teams paired up to reciprocally present their project and discuss their progress. Next, teams changed pairings, and the process repeated. Students completed brief surveys after each project-sharing session, and a sampling of sessions was observed by a trained researcher.

According to the surveys, students reported giving and receiving more helpful feedback during the speed dating sessions compared to sessions with serial, class-wide presentations. Students also reported being significantly more engaged during the speed dating sessions. Classroom observations corroborated student perceptions, documenting a greater percentage of students participating actively during the speed-dating sessions compared to the traditional approach. Given these positive results, Weinberg, Moussawi, and colleagues are using speed dating for team presentations and feedback sessions more frequently in this Information Systems course.

weinberg graph

Students reported giving and receiving more feedback, as well as being more engaged, during the speed dating events compared to the traditional presentations. Non-parametric tests were significant for all comparisons using Bonferroni corrections (α = .01).

Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests showed that students reported higher quality feedback received, Z = 3.28, p < .01, higher quality feedback given, Z = 3.75, p < .001, and more engagement, Z = 3.81, p < .001, in the speed dating condition compared to the traditional presentation condition. 

weinberg graph

A trained researcher observed more active participation during the speed dating compared to the traditional presentations. The distribution of observed engagement activity for speed dating and traditional presentation sessions can be seen in figure 2.

Filters in which this Teaching as Research project appears:
Heinz College of Information Systems & Public Policy
Course Level: Graduate
Course Size: Medium (21-50 students)