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Teaching with Clickers for Deep Learning

Teaching with Clickers for Deep Learning



Presentation given to the Vanderbilt ophthalmology department, January 17, 2014

Presentation given to the Vanderbilt ophthalmology department, January 17, 2014



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  • “skates,” marythom, Flickr (CC)
  • “IMG_9936e2,” Abby Bischoff, Flickr (CC)
  • “29 Valley,” Simon Williams, Flickr (CC)
  • “Questions,” Oberazzi, Flickr (CC)
  • “IMG_9936e2,” Abby Bischoff, Flickr (CC)
  • Often, conceptual understanding of the underlying ideas is necessary to translate between various ways of representing those ideas, and so asking students clicker questions that require them to make those translations can be a useful way of assessing their conceptual understanding. The question in Example 4.4 from Barbara Reisner, who teaches chemistry at James Madison University, is such a question. This question requires students to translate from an equation representing a chemical process to a molecular-level graphical representation of that same process. Similar representation translation questions can be asked in other disciplines.
  • Application questions ask students to take those concepts and use them in particular situations.Application questions can also be used to ask students to apply course material to situations in their own lives, helping them connect to the course content.Prediction questions are also useful—asking students to predict the outcome of a scientific experiment or the outcome of a subsequent opinion question.
  • Upper right quadrant. It’s the slightly lighter fuzzy thing near the neck.
  • “Macbook X-Ray,” Jason de Villa, Flickr (CC)
  • Correct answer: D.
  • http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/ats/events/2012showcaseposters/DKillian2012.pdfFirst Day of Class: 47% Yes, 42% No, 11% Not SureLast Day of Class: 44% Yes, 56% No
  • “Questions,” Oberazzi, Flickr (CC)
  • 22 radiology residents, randomly assigned (stratified by year) into two groups, lecture topic: solid pediatric renal masses, identical lecture material, post-lecture quiz, quiz again after three months
  • See also “The Flipped Classroom FAQ,” http://www.cirtl.net/node/7788.
  • The traditional approach to structuring learning in and out of class, using Eric Mazur’s terminology. Class time is spend transferring information from professor to student, typically via lecture. After class, students assimilate that information by working through problem sets. Note that this framework has the most resonance with math, science, and engineering courses, although it’s often used in lecture-based courses in other disciplines, too.
  • As Mazur argues, the assimilation step is the harder of the two, so why not shift that to class time, when everyone (instructors and students) is around to help? This requires shifting the transfer step before class, typically by having students read textbooks or watch lecture videos. Note that lecture videos might be created by the instructor, but they might also be ones created by other instructors. This approach has come to be called the “flipped” or “inverted” classroom. (See http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/teaching-activities/flipping-the-classroom/ for some of the history of these terms.)
  • The flipped classroom usually refers to an actual classroom, but the ideas translate just as well to online education, as long as you think of the “classroom” as synchronous activities that involve all the students.
  • Recently, there’s been some useful critique of the notion that the learning process should start with “transfer” activities, like reading textbooks and watching lecture videos. See http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/july/flipped-learning-model-071613.html for some initial research on this issue. Instead of “transfer,” perhaps it’s better to think of the before class activities in the flipped approach as “first exposure” to the content of the day. Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson use this term in the book Effective Grading. Instead of “assimilate,” let’s be slightly more concrete and say “practice and feedback,” since we know that’s critical to student learning.
  • Finally, we should acknowledge that rarely does the learning process end when the bell rings. Students usually need time for further exploration with a topic after class is over. This can include tackling harder problems, studying for exams, and applying knowledge through papers and projects, among other options.There you have it: the flipped classroom framework for structuring student learning.

Teaching with Clickers for Deep Learning Teaching with Clickers for Deep Learning Presentation Transcript