Teaching with Student Response Systems

Facilitate Class Discussion - Poll students and discuss reasons for their opinions. Engage normally shy students and encourage them to participate in the discussion.

  • Topics include Generating Discussion, Strategies for Leading Discussion, and Structuring Class Time.

Encourage Peer Instruction - Allow students to share their opinions through discussions and see if they come to the same conclusions about the lecture topics.

  • Topics include Generating Small-Group Discussion and Handling Peer Instruction.

Multi-pass Learning - Quickly revisit material throughout the term to review and reinforce previously learned material to improve retention.

Guide Your Lectures - Poll students and collect immediate feedback about their understanding of the topics of your lecture. Use results to direct your presentation (Agile Teaching).

  • Topics include Agile Teaching, Multi-pass Learning, Running a Lecture, and Gathering Feedback on Teaching.

Make Your Classes More Interactive - Increasingly tech-savvy students expect to use technology in the classroom with a growing focus on interactivity. Use student response systems to engage students in the class. Make your class an active learning experience.

  • Topics include Students and Technology and Explaining the Rationale for Clickers.

Collect Data and Assess Students - Collect data on course content or learning preferences. Use this to alter your future courses or current material. Gather responses from all the students in a class simultaneously. Track participantion and student understanding.

  • Topics include Assessing Learning, Assessment Stages and Objectives,Ideas for Assessment, Participation,Grading, and Cheating.

Offer Quizzes and Pre-Exam Reviews - Save time by using student response systems for quizzes without having to manually grade them. Or use clicker games for pre-exam reviews, which make reviews more fun and effective.

  • Topics include Ideas for Quizzes and Clicker Games.

More Information

Determine if Clickers Are Right for Your Teaching Style

  • Is your main reason for using clickers to enhance interactive teaching and learning?
  • Are you willing to have an active classroom environment?
  • Are you willing to shift discussion based on the students’ responses to questions?
  • Are you prepared to devote more class time than usual to questions using the clickers?

Courses that Benefit from Clickers

  • Large lecture, sequence classes
  • Team based courses and activities

Before Class: Prepare!!!

  • Develop sound questions ahead of time that are relevant to the topic being presented.
  • Take time to practice with the equipment you will use in class.

At Beginning of Quarter

  • Explain that the benefits and purpose of using the clickers, and inform students of your expectations.
  • Advise students on care of clickers.
  • Have a clear policy in your syllabus on what you consider cheating with clickers and identify the consequences.

Questioning Techniques and Tips

  • Use a “Testing-the-System” question.
  • Student Survey Top Three Questions Types: Opinion, Reading Review Questions, and Mid-lecture questions.
  • Incorporate peer instruction activities using the clickers.
  • Base some of your clicker questions on the out of class activities.
  • Incorporate 2-3 clicker questions in each class period.
  • Keep the level of difficulty at an intermediate level.
  • If using the timer on the slide, consider giving students 30 seconds or more to process and respond.

If Using Clicker Responses for Grades

  • Use the clickers for a minimal part of the course grade.
  • Do not grade responses during the first week of class.
  • Provide timely feedback to students regarding their grades.
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Last updated: 
July 17, 2017