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    Tech quest   telford Tech quest telford Document Transcript

    • Student Response Systems: A Teacher’s Perspective on Their Use in the 2nd Grade Classroom By Shawn TelfordProject Description My original idea for a TechQuest was more research oriented. My principal isinterested in purchasing a mobile laptop cart with Wi-Fi, but was wondering whatequipment would be the best to purchase – laptops or netbooks? I was going to do theresearch for the purchase. After reviewing the requirements for the TechQuest projecta bit more closely, I realized that the timing of this project would not allow me to do anysort of implementation. Around the same time I had an “aha! moment” that we havestudent response clickers in my building to go with our new interactive whiteboards, andI have never used them because I dont know how and havent had the time toinvestigate. This brought me to my new topic - Student Response Systems, a.k.aClickers. In order to plan instruction more efficiently, formative assessment is necessary inthe classroom to make the best decisions about where to steer the curriculum. One ofthe issues with formative assessment is grading it and putting the information in a formto analyze it - very time consuming. My hope is that by using a Student ResponseSystem I would be able to do more formative assessments and do them in less timethan having to use a paper and pencil quiz and then creating a spreadsheet andinputting the data before being able to analyze it. The goal then is to use the clickersand accompanying software to do formative assessment more often and in less time tobetter guide my instruction. While I can see utilizing the clickers in all subject areas, Iwould first like to focus on math because there are more discrete skills to assess. Itwould allow me to gather information that I could use to decide who needs to receiveinstruction in what area with the long term tutor that I have in my room at the end of theday. This way the tutors time can be focused on small areas of need with only thestudents who need the extra help.Someone teaching: The teacher will be able to do more formative assessments tobetter guide instruction and have the data available in less time, with less work thanusing paper and pencil and a spreadsheet. 1
    • Someone learning: Students will benefit because instruction can be tailored to meettheir specific needs because deficiencies in learning will be detected earlier andsupplemental instruction can be done in a timely manner.Some subject matter: The initial focus will be on math with possible expansion to othersubject areas.In some setting: The implementation of this project will be in my second gradeclassroom.Research Upon beginning my research for my TechQuest on student response systems, Ijust typed in "student response systems." Most of the research I came up with wasrelated to their use at the college level. It seems that clicker use in college, especially inlarge lecture classes, is more common than I would have thought (either that or collegepeople write more about their experience using clickers). So, I added "elementary" tothe end of my search string and was able to find more articles related to using studentresponse systems with younger students. Doing a general Google search found a lot ofcompanies that make and sell student response systems - another eye-opener,because I didnt realize there were so many options. Another site I found doing a regular Google search was Classroom 2.0. Therewas a current discussion forum about using clickers in the classroom. People from allover posted their experiences using different kinds of student response systems.Users gave tips, resources, and recommendations based on real classroom use. Ablog on the same topic listed some resources to check out and was a starting point forfinding articles. By switching over to Google Scholar I was able to find credible researchpublished in professional journals. I have found from the research I had to do whilegetting my Ed. Specialist at MSU that Google Scholar is a very efficient search engineto find articles and abstracts. I also use resources given in articles I find to find otherrelated articles. I then take that information to the MSU library site on-line and get theactual article. Once in a while the article is available for free through the Google 2
    • Scholar search, but often there is a charge. Usually, I am able to access the article forfree through MSU and most of the time it is available in PDF format. A particularly interesting article I found was a survey study about teaching withstudent response systems at the elementary and secondary school level (Penuel, et.al,2006). As stated earlier, much of the information regarding clickers focuses on their useat the post-secondary level. This research agreed with that and was considered arelatively new piece of research for the K-12 level. Interestingly enough the researchersfound that goals for clicker use at the K-12 level are similar to the goals of use at theuniversity level. Teachers use the devices both to assess (mainly formative) and as aninstructional tool that provides opportunities for student engagement. Since this studywas relatively new in the field of clicker use at the elementary and secondary level,there were many suggestions for future study and some suggested hypotheses as well. One that I found particularly interesting and that hit home with me was thesuggestion that for student response systems to be used to their greatest benefit,teachers need to be trained in their use. Training at my school consisted of one personspending 15 minutes on showing how they work and telling us they were in the buildingto use with our new interactive whiteboards. Had it not been for this project, I would nothave pursued their incorporation into my classroom as soon as I did. It takes time to setup and figure out. As it stands now, there are only three of us in my entire building tohave used the clickers - the person who went to the original training, her teachingpartner, and me. Another research article was a case study on the use of a document camera,tablet, and clickers in a third grade classroom (Swan, et.al, 2007). This articlesconclusion was students were significantly more engaged when student responsesystems were used as opposed to the other available technologies. This article mademe more interested in trying the response systems for more than formative assessment. There was a good article about using clickers (referred to in this article asaudience response systems - ARS) in the large (lecture) classroom in college (Caldwell,2007). I might have overlooked this article, but as previous research stated, clickers areused for similar purposes in both K-12 and post-secondary settings. What was ofparticular interest in this article was the examples of questions types that can be used 3
    • with clickers to take them beyond a simple factual quiz into more of a discussion starterand tips for writing clicker questions. Overall, I was pleased with the amount and variety of research available onstudent response systems, given their relatively new status, especially at the K-12level. This is not an exhaustive search, but with student response systems becomingmore popular, more research will become available shortly.Implementation In order to implement my project, I had to do some set-up of the responsesystem. I got the set of clickers which comes in a padded bag with each clicker in itsown slot, in numerical order (clickers are numbered so you can associate a clicker witha particular student), a USB stick, and a CD from which to install the software. Thebrand we have is CPSPulse from eInstruction. First, I installed the software on my computer and set up a database of my class.Doing that was fairly easy and straight forward. The clicker set was numbered 65 – 96,so I assigned each student a clicker – the default in the database starts with one andincreases to as many students as you have in class. At this point I knew my first use ofthe clickers was going to be something fairly simple, straightforward, and not critical to astudent‟s grade. I wanted to focus on getting the students to use the clicker. I startedinvestigating the software to see about creating a simple assessment on telling time.This part was not as intuitive as setting up a class database. Fortunately, there areeasy to find tutorials on making things work. The tutorials were short video clips on the Internet that you could access throughthe software on the computer. There were a series of 2-5 minute clips that showed youhow to set up quizzes for students to take as a class via an interactive whiteboard orhow to create a paper quiz and have students enter their answers using the clicker. Idebated which way to go with my second graders and opted for having the students firstcomplete a paper quiz and then enter their answers using the clickers. This would allowme to assess the accuracy of their answer entries to see if this is a tool I could use togive me reliable and accurate data for both formative and more “serious” assessments,such as those tied to a grade for report cards. 4
    • The creation of a quiz and the corresponding set-up on the computer for this type of clicker use was fairly easy. I decided to assess student‟s ability to tell time, an important skill that we have been working on in class lately. I created a short, multiple- choice quiz of six questions. Each question had 3 possible answers. I created the paper quiz on the computer using a similar format to the Math Boxes in Everyday Math with which student are familiar. Each question showed a clock face with hands set to various times. Three possible times (answers) were shown labeled A, B, and C (see quiz, left). The set-up for the clickers was easy for this type of quiz. There is a “quick quiz”feature that allows the teacher to set up a quiz by inputting the type of quiz (in my casemultiple-choice with three possible answer choices) and then the correct answer foreach question. It was really easy and didn‟t take much time at all. I had my colleague who had been trained in the use of the clickers show me howto make everything work with the students - select the quiz, then “engage”, select“student-paced”, and “begin”. All I needed to do nowwas to instruct 25 second graders on how to use aclicker to input their answers to this short quiz. My students were very excited to try out this newtechnology. I used my document camera and interactivewhiteboard to demonstrate the use of the clicker. Ishowed them how to turn it on (power) and the 4 buttonsthat they would be using – A, B, C, and send. I showedthem the screen at the top which tells them whichquestion they are answering and lets them confirm theiranswer choice before hitting send. I gave each studenttheir clicker according to the number that had been 5
    • assigned to each. I then handed out the paper quiz and had them use a pencil to circletheir answers. Upon completion of the paper quiz, each student powered up the clickerand entered answers. I was able to monitor student responses on my computer screenand troubleshoot and assist with students who were having difficulty. When everyonefelt confident with their answers, I had them power off their clickers and I collected themas well as their paper responses.Surprises, Bumps, and Delights Now what I just described makes it sound like everything went smoothly andquickly. Not exactly. What I described did happen, but things did not go smoothly norwas the process quick. This six question quiz that would normally have taken fiveminutes, at the most (including passing out and collecting papers), took 25 minutes. Ihappen to have some of the worst listeners ever this year, so inevitably there wassomeone who entered all of their answers without hitting send in between each one.Luckily, I could track that on my computer screen and see that she was having trouble.Also, I forgot to mention one importantdetail when I gave the instructions – howto correct an answer that was enteredincorrectly. Once students beganinputting their answers, about half of thehands in the room went up. I thoughtsomething had malfunctioned with thesystem, until I figured out that I hadn‟ttold them to use the arrows on theclicker to return to a previous question orcorrect an incorrectly entered answer.Once I explained that, things proceededsmoothly. At this point, I thought the resultswere going to be disastrous. I expecteda total disconnect between paper 6
    • answers and clicker answers. After school, I eagerly printed the “Instructor Summary”from the list of possible reports to see how the students performed. I was pleasantlysurprised to see a fair amount of students only have one incorrect answer or 100%.The print-out gave the class average (77.33%), listed the students names, clicker padnumber, the number correct out of the number attempted, the percent correct and a rawscore. My colleague who had used the clickers recommended this report as giving themost useful information. I also noticed that two students had only answered 5 questionsinstead of six. I should have looked for this more carefully as students were taking thetest, because I could have had them correct their errors. That was definitely a lessonfor me to remember next time. I also printed out an “Item Analysis Report” that showed the percentage ofstudents who gave each of the 3 answer choices, with the correct answer having anasterisk next to it. This print-out reminded me of the MEAP print-outs we analyze each year to find specific areas in need of improvement. I could see using this report in the future, because it would allow me to focus on specific areas of need for the entire class. For this particular quiz, it was telling time to the 45 minutes. Forty percent of students missed this question. Since I had collected the paper version of the test, I corrected them to see howaccurate students were when entering their answers. There were the two studentsmentioned earlier who only answered 5 questions. Two other students each had oneincorrect entry that didn‟t match their paper answer, but everyone else (21 students)had a paper score that matched their clicker score. I didn‟t think that was too bad forthe first try. I would like to try another quiz with them to see if we can take the quiz inless time and if all of the students can enter their answers correctly. If accuracyimproves, I would like to try a quiz where it is done on the whiteboard without needing a 7
    • paper copy. It would certainly be a more eco-friendly way to do formative assessmentsand would cut down on the time involved with a paper/clicker combination.Evaluation I am so glad that I chose the project that I did. Having the extra push of a classto implement and evaluate the use of student response systems in the classroom wasvaluable to me as a teacher. I was able to use the clickers for two different formativeassessments with my 2nd graders, both of them math assessments. The firstassessment was telling time to the 5 minute and the second assessment was on money(counting, making change, etc.) Both assessments were formative and I had thestudents do the test as a paper assessment and then enter their answers using theclicker. My goal was to use clickers to do more formative assessment in a shorteramount of time. Let me evaluate this project related to the four common places ofeducation:Someone teaching: The teacher will be able to do more formative assessments tobetter guide instruction and have the data available in less time, with less work thanusing paper and pencil and a spreadsheet.Reality: This is where the clickers fell short of expectations. Overall, this was not a timesaver, at least initially. There were significant time savings for the teacher as far ascorrecting and analysis goes, but the time in class to pass out the clickers and tests,have the students take the paper test and then enter in their answers on the device, andthen collect everything was much longer than just taking a paper and pencil test. Iguess the total time might be the same, but the class time involved was definitelygreater. Things did go faster the second time than the first and I think it will go even fastnext time, but since I have to share the clickers with others classrooms, I feel the needto put them back in the padded case they came in, so they can be easily transported. IfI had my own class set, I would put sets 4 or 5 clickers in baskets, spread out thebaskets, and have the kids get their own. Since thats not possible, I think that I will usemy label maker to put a little sticker on each desk to remind students of their number 8
    • and have kids get their own clicker out. I think I might be able to number the slots in thepadded bag to make putting them back easier, as well. As far as preparing the test, now that I have a template for a paper test, that partdidnt take too long. Also, setting up the test on the software for a paper test is veryquick and easy. Also, I have the tests ready for future use, which will save time in thefuture. What I think will take more time is to create some assessments/activities for thestudents to take without paper and pencil. As long as I dont want graphics in myquestions, the process seems OK, but adding graphics was not as simple as doing so inWord. The other downside is that all students need to work at the same pace becausethe questions would be displayed one at a time on the interactive whiteboard, but itwould only require passing out clickers and not dealing with papers and pencils. This ismy next step in exploring clicker use.Someone learning: Students will benefit because instruction can be tailored to meettheir specific needs because deficiencies in learning will be detected earlier andsupplemental instruction can be done in a timely manner.Reality: Yes, this can be done easily because of the ability to quickly gather results andanalyze them in multiple formats with the click of a button. After students have enteredtheir answers, I can easily print a variety of reports that show which areas need moreattention and which students are still struggling with particular concepts. This waswhere the time savings was obvious.Some subject matter: The initial focus will be on math with possible expansion toother subject areas.Reality: This is the subject area that lends itself most easily to multiple choice or trueand false type formatting. I usually prefer a fill-in-the-blank type format becausestudents cant just guess from the 3 or 4 options given in the test. But, using it forformative assessment is fine and it also give kids practice doing multiple choicequestions, which is more MEAP-like.In some setting: The implementation of this project will be in my second gradeclassroom.Reality: I wondered if 2nd graders would be able to use the clickers successfully sothat my results were usable (accurate and reliable). The first test had two students 9
    • making errors in their data entry (didnt enter the answer that they put on the test). Thesecond test had only one student with a data entry error. In all three cases, theirelectronic score was worse than their paper score. Since this is formative, I feelconfident enough now that the clickers are a useful way to collect information so that Ican find focus correction areas. I dont feel comfortable using this method on a test thatI would take a grade for that would apply to a report card grade - at least not with 2ndgraders. As I said before, I prefer fill-in-the-blank for that type of test anyway to trulygauge what students know. Overall, I am pleased with the clickers and will definitely continue to explore waysof adding them to my teaching. I would like to investigate their use in other academicdisciplines like science and language arts, but since it takes time and time is precious, itwill be a process like adding any other new technology. 10
    • ResourcesAllard, J. (2009, January 13). Student Response Devices (Clicker!!!) Who has them and how do you use them? Message posted to http://www.classroom20.com/forum/topics/student-response-devicesBruff, D. (2009, April 27). Clickers in K-12 Settings. Message posted to http://derekbruff.com/teachingwithcrs/?p=184Caldwell, J.E. (2007). Clickers in the Large Classroom: Current Research and Best- Practice Tips. CBE - Life Science Education, 6, 8-20. doi: 10.1187/cbe.06–12– 0205Manzo, K.K., (2009, June 16). Student Response Systems Provide Instant Classroom Feedback. Education Week. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2009/06/17/04feedback.h02.htmlPenuel, W. R., Boscardin, C. K., Masyn, K., & Crawford, V. M. (2007). Teaching with student response systems in elementary and secondary education settings: A survey study. Educational Technology Research Development, 55, 315-346. doi:10.1007/s11423-006-9023-4Swan K., Kratcoski, A., Van „t Hooft, M., Campbell, D., & Miller, D. (2007). Technology support for whole classroom engagement. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 3, 1-12. Retrieved from http://www.rcetj.org/index.php/rcetj/issue/view/7 11