Participants will be able to:
- articulate the benefits of using student response systems like clickers in your class
- compare and contrast the various ways to implement a clicker question
- when do you re-poll
- when do you ask students to discuss
- when do you explain the answer vs have students explain their reasoning
- describe 5 best practices of clicker implementation
Effective Use of Clickers: Using Clicker to Maximize Student Learning
Article by Smith et. al (Science, 2009): Why Peer Discussion Improves Student Performance on In-Class Concept Questions
Clickers have the potential to:
- Engage students
- Give students practice on important concepts
- Give the instructor insight into what students are thinking
- Give students insight into what they do not understand
Challenges implementing clicker questions:
- Student buy-in:
- Explain why you are doing this (show research, etc...). Remind the students that sharing ideas is learning.
- Demonstrate why you are doing this (let them practice peer discussion).
- Student fear/motivation:
- Make it safe - value all answers that students are willing to share.
- Give low-stakes incentives:
- Participation points vs. points for correct answers
- At the end of a semester, substitute average clicker score for the worst homework score if it is better
- At the end of a semester, give full points if they've answered 75% of clicker questions
Implementation Tip #1: Use clicker questions to focus on important learning objectives
- Low-order questions rarely promote meaningful discussion/learning, and encourages overconfidence.
- High-order questions - questions that really challenge students - maximize learning, and are a better use of class time.
Implementation Tip #2: Use peer discussion
Implementation Tip #3: Do not show the histogram after a vote unless students are evenly split - wait until after student reasons have been shared
- Students are 30% more likely to switch to a popular vote if they see the histogram (Perez et al., 2010).
- Students that picked an unpopular choice may be reluctant to participate in discussions.
Implementation Tip #4: Whenever you value student reasoning, cue them to discuss their ideas
- Kinds of Cues:
- Answer Centered: "Discuss your answers, we will talk about the correct answer afterwards."
- Reasoning Centered: "Discuss your answers focusing on the reasoning, we will share your ideas afterwards."
- When students were prompted to use reasoning, they were significantly more likely to engage with their groups.
Implementation Tip #5: Follow up - make sure many voices are heard
- Possible Techniques:
- Ask for volunteers to describe why they chose an answer
- Put students into informal groups, and randomly call on groups to articulate why they chose an answer
- Student Buy-in / Framing a class
- Videos of Effective Use of Clickers
- Clicker Resource Page
- Plickers: http://www.plickers.com