Phystec Conference:  The Gentle Art of Questioning.  Writing Great Clicker Questions
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Phystec Conference: The Gentle Art of Questioning. Writing Great Clicker Questions

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How does a teacher use questioning effectively? This workshop will focus on writing those questions that engage students, spark their curiosity, help recap material, give you insight into their ...

How does a teacher use questioning effectively? This workshop will focus on writing those questions that engage students, spark their curiosity, help recap material, give you insight into their thinking, or help them learn critical ideas in physics. We will focus on "peer instruction" -- a research-tested method of requiring students to discuss challenging questions with one another. We will investigate the surprising power of multiple-choice questions to achieve critical thinking skills. Finally, we will look at writing questions that align with our goals for students, discuss the elements of effective questions, and practice writing questions and work on improving them.

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  • HAVE PEOPLE SIT BY DISCIPLINE
  • How do you feel about asking students questions in class?How many times have you given a lecture and found that students hadn’t followed you?Can you rely on students to ask questions if they don’t understand something?Can you rely on students to know if they don’t understand something?So, what are the benefits of questioning?Why do you think people don’t question more?
  • During each section, ask people for examples of questions that they wrote that fall into this category. Give clicker booklet for responding.Point out the handout where each one is detailed more.
  • Model each one of these. What are some ways to ask questions? One is to ask rhetorically.Class, what’s another way to ask a question? Target the whole class.John, what’s another way? Target someone else.Are there other ways to ask a question? Let’s think about it. Target class: verbally, clickers, other waysTarget someone in particular: randomly, in seating order, call on particular personWait and then…. Call on volunteers, call on someone who hasn’t volunteered, answer own question
  • During each section, ask people for examples of questions that they wrote that fall into this category. Give clicker booklet for responding.Point out the handout where each one is detailed more.
  • Questions threaten studentsI get no volunteers to answerStudents don’t talk to each otherAnswers take me off trackTakes too much time
  • What comes first? Learning goals.
  • Instructor circulates, may need to show that you’re serious
  • Usually one second. Trained to wait 3-5 seconds. Students tend to speak in bursts with 3-5 seconds between bursts: Wait time of 1 second interrupts these bursts.
  • Shop for ideas
  • Weigh advantages of covering more material against checking comprehension and actively involving students. It’s challenging. How a teacher does this determines how well it works. NO RESPONSE: Wait longer. Rephrase the question. Give a hint. Have students discuss. Call on someone. Leave unanswered. SAME PEOPLE: Someone other than X. Ask an easier question and call on new volunteer. Be alert to non-verbal cues. Make it clear that participation required. IF ANSWERS CALLED OUT: Ask it others agree. Ask for other answers. Ask students to think for a minute. Turn away to signal time for thought. Ask to write answers down. IF TAKE TOO LONG: Interrupt and summarize. Set boundaries and expectations. WRONG ANSWER: Break down question so others can see error. Ask for comments. Ask for other answers. Find merit in answer and explain why common mistake.

Phystec Conference:  The Gentle Art of Questioning.  Writing Great Clicker Questions Phystec Conference: The Gentle Art of Questioning. Writing Great Clicker Questions Presentation Transcript

  • The Gentle Art of Questioning WRITING GREAT CLICKER QUESTIONS Dr. Stephanie V. Chasteen Physics Department & Science Education Initiative Univ. of Colorado at Boulder http://colorado.edu/seiWeb and blog: http://sciencegeekgirl.comEmail: stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu
  • Who are you?What is your primary role? Show of handsA. STEM facultyB. AdministratorC. Teacher educatorD. Education researcherE. Graduate student or post-docF. Other
  • Have you used response systems (clickers) in your teaching? Take a clicker & turn it on If the green light flashes, your vote has been countedA. Not at all, and I haven’t seen them usedB. Not at all, but I’ve observed their use somewhatC. I’ve used them a littleD. I’ve used them a lotE. I could be (should be?) giving this workshop
  • How familiar are you with Mazur’s “Peer Instruction” Colored cardsA. Fairly familiar, and I like itB. Fairly familiar, but I’m not sure that I like itC. I’ve heard of it but only have a vague idea what it isD. Not familiar at allE. Not sure
  • Introducing Me 5Science Education Initiative http://colorado.edu/SEI Applying scientific principles to improve science education – What are students learning, and which instructional approaches improve learning?Physics Education Research Group http://PER.colorado.edu One of largest PER groups in nation, studying technology, attitudes, classroom practice, & institutional change. Blogger http://blog.sciencegeekgirl.com
  • Why question? 7Credit: Rosie Piller whiteboard
  • Agenda 91. When and how we can ask questions2. About clickers as a way to ask questions, including some common challenges3. Writing good questions. Example questions, writing our own.4. Action plan Learning goals: Participants will be able to…. A. Explain several benefits of questioning and of using clickers to question B. Defend the use of best practices in questioning to overcome common challenges C. Formulate and revise clicker questions to target student learning goals
  • Exercise #1: Question brainstorm 10 What questions could you ask to help students achieve your assigned learning goal -- to test mastery and stimulate learning? Brainstorm as a group 5 minutes whiteboard
  • When can we ask questions? 11 BEFORESetting up instruction DURING Motivate Developing knowledge Discover Predict outcome Check knowledge Provoke thinking Application Assess prior knowledge Analysis Evaluation Synthesis AFTER Relate to big picture Exercise skill Assessing Demonstrate success Elicit misconception learning Review or recap Exit poll Credit: Rosie Piller and Ian Beatty.
  • We can ask questions in lots of ways 12  Ask rhetorically  Target the class (how?)  Target someone in particular (in what order?)  Answer your own question  Leave the question unanswered Or ask out of class  Blogs  Discussion boards  Homework…Credit: Rosie Piller
  • Why use clickers to target the class? An outline of Peer Instruction. 13
  • Clickers are a tool for questioning 14 But not a magic bullet!
  • Anatomy of Peer Instruction 15 Ask Question…Lecture… (Maybe vote)Class Discussion Peer Discussion Vote * See also: Peer Instruction, A User’s Manual. E. Mazur.
  • How is a clicker question the same or different?* 16 * From other types of in-class questions Similar in terms of goals Multiple choice Anonymous (to peers) Every student has a voice – the loud ones and the shy ones Forced wait time You can withhold the answer until everyone has had time to think (choose when to show the histogram) What does this tool help us to do?
  • U. Colorado clicker resources… 17Videos of effective use of clickers 2-5 mins long http://STEMvideos.colorado.eduClicker resource page http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu • Instructor’s Guide • Question banks • Workshops • Literature / Articles
  • Which of these could be clicker questions? 18 BEFORESetting up instruction DURING Motivate Developing knowledge Discover Predict outcome Check knowledge Provoke thinking Application Assess prior knowledge Analysis Evaluation Synthesis AFTER Relate to big picture Exercise skill Assessing Demonstrate success Elicit misconception learning Review or recap Exit poll Credit: Rosie Piller and Ian Beatty.
  • Let’s try it 19Which superpower would yourather have? The ability to… A. Change the mass of things B. Change the charge of things C. Change the magnetization of things D. Change the boiling point of things 19 Question: Ian Beatty, UNC Greensboro Image: Thibaultfr on Wikimedia
  • Example question: MathYour sister in law calls to say that she’s having twins. Which of the following is the most likely? (Assume she’s having fraternal, not identical, twins)A. Twin boysB. Twin girlsC. One girl and one boyD. All are equally likely 20Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt
  • Example Question: Survey 21Which of the following are you least comfortable using to solve problems?A. KinematicsB. Newton’s LawsC. Work-Energy TheoremD. Momentum-Impulse TheoremE. Angular Momentum-Angular Impulse Theorem Ian Beatty, UMass Amherst
  • Let’s try it I think the toughest thing about using clickers and peer instruction in class will be:A. Writing good questionsB. Getting students to really think about themC. Getting students to discuss the questionsD. Getting students to share their ideas in the class discussionE. It takes too long / I have a lot of content to cover Or something else? Write it on your handout! What are some *solutions* to some of these challenges?
  • Some “best practices” and solutions We’ll do these quickly These are repeated in handouts Underlying philosophy to most of these “best practices” are:“It is important for students to discuss their ideas, to feel safe doing so, and for the teacher to be aware of those ideas”
  • 1. Ask Question 26What are some challenges/ things to considerwhen posing a clicker question? •Ask several times during lecture •Ask challenging, meaningful questions •Don’t post until ready •Give time to read (read silently) •Don’t read question out loud 26 Handout/worksheet / whiteboard
  • 2. Peer Discussion 27 • Students learn more deeply by teaching each other • Makes them articulate answer • Lets you see inside their headsWhy is peer discussionimportant? What are challenges / how can you help make it work? •Make it clear why you’re doing this • Circulate and ask questions / model •Use questions they want to discuss •Allow enough time (2-5 mins) •Focus on reasoning in wrap-up
  • Student buy-in is key!
  • 3. Wrap-Up Discussion 29 Challenges? What might you do to facilitate an effective wrap-up discussion?•Establish culture of respect•Consider whether to show the histogram immediately• Ask multiple students to defend their answers• Why are wrong answers wrong and why right answer is right
  • Giving the answer stops student thinking! 31
  • Preparing to Write Questions Read briefly over the “tips for writing clicker questions” handout. Which is going to be most challenging for you? Then, in groups of 2-3, choose one of the questions that you brainstormed at the beginning of the workshop. You will write a multiple choice version of this question (but not yet!) 3 minutes
  • Gallery Walk As a table, look at the “example questions” trio that I have given you. What’s a common theme(s)? Write the themes you find down on the sheet so that other groups will be able to read it. After 5 minutes, circulate to see the themes of questions on other tables. Shop for ideas for your own questions! See handouts for a place to jot your notes. 10 minutes
  • Question brainstorm
  • Exercise #3: Writing Questions 35 Using ideas you’ve learned, write a multiple choice version of your question in groups of 2-3. Look on the “Sample Questions” handout for some examples. Show your question to another group (and to me) for suggestions on revising it. If you have time, write another question from another part of the questioning cycle. 10 minutes
  • Action Plan 36 Take a few minutes to write down your action plan to implement ideas you heard about in the workshop
  • References & ResourcesWeb and blog: http://sciencegeekgirl.comEmail: stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu Thanks! Clicker Resource Page from the Science Education Initiative: http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu. Has clicker question banks (in the sciences), an instructors’ guide, and videos of classroom use. Useful books (such as Eric Mazur’s Peer Instruction are cited there. Workshop handouts will be uploaded to the above website, or email me. Many materials in this workshop (particularly the questioning cycle and the participant exercises) were adapted fromRosie Piller, Making Students Think: The Art of Questioning. Short papers published in: Computer Training & Support Conference, 1995; ISPI International Conferences, 1991 and 1996; ASTD National Conference on Technical & Skills Training, 1990. Related workshop description at http://www.educationexperts.net/nstworkshop.html Other materials (particularly sample clicker questions and goals of clicker questions) adapted from Ian Beatty’s Technology Enhanced Formative Assessment (TEFA) program. http://ianbeatty.com/crs My upcoming travel: Chicago, West Virginia, Pittsburgh. Need a speaker? Upcoming free webinar for K12. See flyer.
  • Learning Goals Biology: Recognize the components of a cell and describe why each is necessary for the function of a cell Physics: Identify the different ways that light can interact with an object (i.e., transmitted, absorbed, reflected). Chemistry: Explain trends in boiling points in terms of intermolecular interactions Earth science: Understand the formation of the three major types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) and the processes by which they form, relating them by the rock cycle. Math: Solve a system of linear equations in two variables using algebra or graphing.
  • What Do I do if…? 39What can you do if you ask questions and.. There is no response The same people keep raising their hands The answers are called out before everyone has a chance to think We’ll discuss in The answers take too long Workshop #2. For now: Many of Someone gives a wrong answer these challenges are Only some students are prepared addressed by clickers?