Using Classroom Response Systems to Engage your Students


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Using iClickers to engage and interact with students in undergraduate chemistry courses

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  • An audience response system allows students to instantly provide feedback and answer questions posed by their instructors. Each student uses a "clicker," a portable, handheld device that allows students to vote by "clicking" on the appropriate button for his/her choice. Each instructor uses a receiver that collects votes sent by students’ clickers. Light and portable, the receiver is powered through any computer’s USB port. Instructors present a question and enable polling. Each student responds by “clicking” the appropriate button for his or her choice. A wireless signal is sent immediately from each responding clicker to the receiver. The receiver, through i>clicker’s easy-to-use software, logs and stores the data of each individual student. The instructor can then display voting results in a graph, to the audience. The results are also available for later analysis, grading, and exporting to any gradebook software or course management system. Using a clicker or audience response system can significantly change the way you and your students interact by enabling you to assess your students' knowledge, keep their attention, provide immediate feedback, and encourage all students to participate. An audience response system can also be used in conference settings to poll the audience on any content you wish. For more information on how to use i>clicker effectively, please visit our User Community . Here, you can show the data file and igrader? Also how it syncs with the class and blackboard?
  • Ask the Audience : Often described as the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Lifeline activity, the most basic PRS activity allows the instructor to pose a multiple-choice question and display the results in real time. Questions can be interpolated with lecture content to allow instructors to gauge student understanding and adjust lectures accordingly. Pop Quiz : The PRS can be used to give quizzes and tests Guided Choices: Allow students to choose from among different solutions to problems in order to demonstrate the outcomes of wrong answers and probe for common misconceptions. Group response: Gauge the effectiveness of collaboration and group-work by checking answers before and after group activities
  • Example of a simple memorization/knowledge based question at bloom’s lower level taxonomy; majority got right answer so move on from topic without much discussion
  • Example of discussing AFTER the answering and seeing results
  • Also mention eric mazur example of the two bricks A and B under water at diff depths, the forces needed to hold them there are the same, larger, smaller than each other? No computations, just to understand the conceptual reasoning behind the formulas and calculations.
  • By pinpointing which parts of the problems or equations or reactions think are wrong/right, you can understand where they are having problems and what part of the mechanism is creating confusion for them
  • No choices put; ask students to raise hand and volunteer opinions, put these on the board and then maybe add some that they missed and then make it into a clicker question such that “which do youthink best represents answer to question?” and this creates discussion for whole lecture/course; works very well for humanites/social sciences type of courses.
  • CPS allows students to : respond to in-class questions anonymously be a part of every class response gauge their understanding immediately identify "trouble spots" in course content actively participate in the class CPS allows instructors to : gauge class understanding immediately after teaching a concept gauge class understanding before teaching a concept adapt lecture content based on identifiable needs
  • CPS allows students to : respond to in-class questions anonymously be a part of every class response gauge their understanding immediately identify "trouble spots" in course content actively participate in the class CPS allows instructors to : gauge class understanding immediately after teaching a concept gauge class understanding before teaching a concept adapt lecture content based on identifiable needs
  • Using Classroom Response Systems to Engage your Students

    1. 1. Dr Shadi Dalili, Chemistry Lecturer Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences UTSC Teaching Showcase April 8 th , 2011
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>“ Demonstration” </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Clickers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Various Uses/Types of Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages and Disadvantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Perceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questions and Concerns </li></ul>
    3. 3. Your Experience with Clickers <ul><li>What kind of experience do you personally have teaching with clickers? </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve never used clickers in my teaching </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve just used clickers for a few class sessions </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve used clickers regularly for one course </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve used clickers regularly for more than one course </li></ul>
    4. 4. Your Experience with Clickers <ul><li>How many instructors are using clickers in your department/faculty? </li></ul><ul><li>None </li></ul><ul><li>Just a few early adopters </li></ul><ul><li>Use among instructors is growing rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>Many instructors are regularly using clickers </li></ul>
    5. 5. Your Background <ul><li>Which best describes your role on campus? </li></ul><ul><li>Lecturer/Senior Lecturer or other Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching Assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional Technology Advisor/CTL Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Advising </li></ul>
    6. 6. Your Background <ul><li>How many of you primarily teach: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Sciences or Life Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Social Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Humanities </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily, my role is not teaching </li></ul>
    7. 7. Questions I hope to answer…. <ul><li>Why use clickers? </li></ul><ul><li>What you need to use clickers? </li></ul><ul><li>How are educators using them? </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher/Student opinions and results? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Why use Clickers? <ul><li>80% of college teaching is in the form of a lecture </li></ul><ul><li>Significant interaction is lacking in most lecture environments, where only a handful of students typically dominate any “interaction” </li></ul><ul><li>In a fifty-minute lecture period, questions and other “interaction” comprise less than five minutes of class time </li></ul><ul><li>Only 19% of students ask a teacher for advice after class </li></ul><ul><li>Only one-third of all students will leave a lecture with most of the key lecture points recorded </li></ul>
    9. 9. Traditional Classroom Technology <ul><li>Overhead projectors </li></ul><ul><li>Document cameras </li></ul><ul><li>Slides and filmstrips </li></ul><ul><li>DVD, Radio, TV </li></ul><ul><li>Tablet PCs </li></ul><ul><li>All listed technologies are for presenter to interact with themselves and their presentation: Students just observe </li></ul>
    10. 10. Interactive Classroom Technology <ul><li>Technology that engages the student and demands a response – Student Response Systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The interesting thing is that this is not a new technology, however; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Today’s hardware is cheaper and performs better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Today’s software is far more user friendly and feature rich </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Opinion Question <ul><li>What is the average attention span of today’s students? </li></ul><ul><li>They have none! </li></ul><ul><li>7 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>15 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>33 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>50 minutes </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>Teaching by telling </li></ul><ul><li>is surprisingly ineffective </li></ul><ul><li>Students minds must be active to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do?! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Peer discussion” of conceptual questions forces students to talk and reason during class. </li></ul>Why use Clickers?
    13. 13. What do you need to use Clickers?
    14. 14. How do instructors use Clickers? <ul><li>Usage depends on goals/objectives for class-be very clear early on </li></ul><ul><li>Questions should vary among all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>Ask the Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Pop Quiz </li></ul><ul><li>Group response </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion poling </li></ul><ul><li>Concept review </li></ul><ul><li>Topics for discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Priority ranking </li></ul>Typical Applications of a SRS During Lecture SRS’s are flexible - allowing Instructors to match Student Response System activities to their presentation content, learning objectives, and personal teaching style. <ul><li>Voting </li></ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge retention </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion starters </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude/opinion polling </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus-building </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymous feedback/evaluations </li></ul>
    16. 16. Factual Questions The C4-C5 carbon-carbon bond in the following molecule results from the overlap of which orbitals ( in the order C4-C5) ? A) sp–sp 2 B) sp–sp 3 C) sp 2 –sp 2 D) sp 2 –sp 3 E) sp 3 –sp 2    
    17. 17. Comprehension/Application Questions Which of the following is not a constitutional isomer of the others? A. B. C. D. E .
    18. 18. Conceptual Questions Consider a tiny acorn, and a giant oak tree. A log from that tree weighs 10,000x as much as the acorn. Where does MOST of the mass come from? <ul><li>Sunlight </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><li>Dirt </li></ul><ul><li>Minerals in the soil </li></ul><ul><li>The air </li></ul>Then peer discuss
    19. 19. <ul><li>6CO 2 + 12H 2 O -> C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 + 6H 2 O </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon dioxide water glucose (sugar) oxygen water </li></ul>Photosynthesis The correct answer is “The Air.” Carbon dioxide from the air!
    20. 20. Procedural Questions Which of the following is not a proper step in the mechanism of the given reaction? A. B. C. D. E .
    21. 21. Critical Thinking Questions <ul><li>What is Civilization? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Polling/Opinion Questions <ul><li>Which of the following time slots do you prefer for the final exam review session? (final exam is April 27 th ) </li></ul><ul><li>Tues April 19 th 12-2pm </li></ul><ul><li>Mon April 18 th 12-2pm </li></ul><ul><li>Thurs April 21 st 12-2pm </li></ul><ul><li>Tues April 26 th 12-2pm </li></ul><ul><li>Any of the above works fine for me </li></ul>Because of the immediate feedback, students saw that decisions were made with their input.
    23. 23. One Technique: a 3-question sequence <ul><li>Question 1: Easy, develops confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Question 2: Hard: impasse stimulates discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Question 3: Hard; provides assessment </li></ul><ul><li>All questions are on the same concept , but have different surface features! </li></ul>0
    24. 24. Which of the following reasons for using clickers do you think are most compelling? <ul><li>To check for student understanding during class </li></ul><ul><li>To help students check their own understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Increase student attention and attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage students to actively engage with course content </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage discussion and collaboration among students </li></ul>
    25. 25. Advantages of Clickers? <ul><li>Immediate, accurate feedback to both you and your students. </li></ul><ul><li>Students more active and accountable for their own learning </li></ul><ul><li>Clicker responses are anonymous to students neighbors and produce more honest responses. </li></ul><ul><li>An amazing increase in student enthusiasm (if you use clickers well): improve attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Gauge class understanding before teaching a concept </li></ul><ul><li>Increase student’s learning and retention of what you teach </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate discussion/debate and peer teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Increase class attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Identify “ trouble spots ” in course content: adapt lecture content based on needs </li></ul>
    26. 26. Disadvantages of Clickers? <ul><li>Technology may fail </li></ul><ul><li>Extra cost for students </li></ul><ul><li>Extra equipment (hardware/software) needed; extra time and energy needed to learn how to use it </li></ul><ul><li>Stopping class to vote takes time away from lecturing-less material can be covered </li></ul><ul><li>Need to prepare effective clicker questions ; extra lecture preparation needed to adjust existing questions to fit clicker format </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative burden associated with technology: If points allocated, have to watch out for cheating (multiple clickers, friend’s clickers, etc), adjust for lost/broken/forgotten clickers, correlate student registrations with grades, etc </li></ul>
    27. 27. What we are finding in the field is that SRS’s.. <ul><li>Receive consistently high ratings from students </li></ul><ul><li>Keep students engaged </li></ul><ul><li>Increase participation and discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Engage Students - classes are more interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor has more flexibility in terms of classroom delivery options </li></ul>
    28. 28. University of Illinois Study found: <ul><li>87% of students more likely to attend class </li></ul><ul><li>72% more students likely to participate in class </li></ul>Source: Two Semester Research project managed reed | group, LLC in partnership with Thomson Learning, Turning Technologies and University of Illinois
    29. 29. My own approach to Clicker Questions: <ul><li>Questions were designed to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review material from prior classes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reiterate foundational concepts needed for current application in class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide familiarity with questions they would likely see on the midterm and final exam: Jeopardy reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage the class & add some excitement to material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide natural breaks in material delivery </li></ul></ul>Anecdotally, clickers brought the students closer to me as an educator, -gave me an extra tool to lighten the mood and to “mix things up a bit”
    30. 30. Student Perceptions and Survey Results (2 semesters) <ul><li>Using clickers has improved my class attendance: 70% (Strongly Agree or Agree) </li></ul><ul><li>Using clicker questions during lectures helps me clarify whether I understand course/lecture concepts : 94% (Strongly Agree or Agree) </li></ul><ul><li>Participation with clickers has increased my interaction with the instructor and other students: 82% (Strongly Agree or Agree) </li></ul><ul><li>Clickers have increased my participation in class and have increased my engagement with the course material: 72% (Strongly Agree or Agree) </li></ul><ul><li>I enjoy using clickers in class and we should continue using it in CHMB41 and CHMB42: 88% (Strongly Agree or Agree) </li></ul>
    31. 31. Student Comments in Survey <ul><li>I agree with the use of clickers in the class, they do help us (the students) interact with the profesor and I'm sure they allow the profesor to know whether or not the material is being understood by the students. However, I think they should be kept optional, as it has been so far in this course </li></ul><ul><li>Helps me understand, gives me a opportunity to try by myself and also makes me study when everybody in the class gets it but me. </li></ul><ul><li>The clicker questions are wonderful, although I don't think that a clicker should be mandatory for poor people like myself. I find that the questions go over important concepts and teach you how to go about solving a question. They are extremely useful! </li></ul><ul><li>I like the difficulty of the clicker questions. The textbook does not have questions as difficult as the clicker questions done in lecture. </li></ul><ul><li>The clicker questions asked are very appropriate for the topics being covered and are a great way to check for understanding of concepts. </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>It's interactive and anonymous, so I don't feel pressured into giving the right answer. No pressure means more interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Having the clicker questions does increase my interest on the course, I usually look foward to them -they are a &quot;fun&quot; way to make sure I'm understanding the content -which I greatly appreciate. There is nothing worst than thinking you understand the concept to then go home and not be able to answer any of the hw questions! Also, more that once I have been &quot;saved&quot; by the clicker questions when the student's answers have been scattered around and the profesor takes the time to throughly explain the question. </li></ul><ul><li>When forced to think about clicker questions in class, you learn to approach different questions in different ways which makes the course more interesting. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, knowing which clicker questions are &quot;hard&quot; for me gives me an idea of which sections I have to spend more time studying for. With this said- I do strongly believe clicker questions have and will continue to improve my grade in this class. I hope we use then in CHM B42. </li></ul>Student Comments in Survey
    33. 33. Which of the following questions or concerns about using clickers is most pressing for you? <ul><li>Do instructors find it difficult to cover as much content when using clickers? </li></ul><ul><li>Should students be asked to purchase clickers themselves or should institutions/departments/instructors provide them? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you write effective clicker questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Should clicker questions be graded? If so, how? </li></ul><ul><li>How frequently does the technology fail during class? </li></ul>
    34. 34. Best Practices for Implementing Clickers in the Classroom <ul><li>Keep slides short to optimize legibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the number of answer options to five. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not make the questions overly complex (but avoid always factual questions). </li></ul><ul><li>Keep voting straightforward—systems allow complex branching, but keep it simple. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow sufficient time for students to answer questions. Some general guidelines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes of fewer than 30 students: 15–20 seconds per question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes of 30 to 100 students: 30 seconds per question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes of more than 100 students: 1 minute per question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow time for discussion between questions (30-70% correct response rate desired before discussion). </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ask too many questions; use them for the key points. </li></ul>
    35. 35. <ul><li>Use a &quot;correct answer&quot; indicator to visually identify the appropriate answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Position the questions at periodic intervals throughout the presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase responsiveness by using a &quot;countdown timer&quot; that will close polling after a set amount of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Test the system in the proposed location to identify technical issues (lighting, signal interference, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>On the actual day of the session, allow time to set out clickers and start system. </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearse actual presentation to make sure it will run smoothly. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide clear instructions on how to use the clickers to the audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not overuse the system or it will lose its &quot;engagement&quot; potential. </li></ul>Best Practices for Implementing Clickers in the Classroom
    36. 36. <ul><li>Good teaching is not about technology … </li></ul>To Sum it Up: … but technology can make good teaching a whole lot easier to achieve.
    37. 37.
    38. 38. Thank you! <ul><li>Questions and Concerns? </li></ul>