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Make clickers work for you: Faciltiation and question writing

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Clickers can make teaching more effective and fun, but how does a teacher best use clickers in the class? In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore research-based ideas for questioning to achieve student engagement and deep learning. We will focus on the use of “peer instruction” in which students discuss challenging questions. We’ll compare example questions, practice writing questions, discuss common challenges, and share tips on getting students to productively reason through them. No software needed.

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Make clickers work for you: Faciltiation and question writing

  1. 1. Make Clickers Work for You FACILITATION TIPS AND TECHNIQUES Dr. Stephanie V. Chasteen Dr. Steven Pollock Physics Department & Science Education Initiative Univ. of Colorado at Boulder http://colorado.edu/seiWeb and blog: http://sciencegeekgirl.comEmail: stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu
  2. 2. Who are you? Show of handsA. Natural sciencesB. Social sciencesC. HumanitiesD. ArtsE. LanguagesF. Other
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. How familiar are you with “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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. Agenda1. Thinking about questioning2. About clickers and peer instruction3. Writing great clicker questions4. Overcoming common challenges5. Action plan
  7. 7. Why question? 71. Why do we question our students?2. When might you use questioning in your classes?3. For what purposes might clickers be an appropriate questioning tool?Discuss in groups of 2-3 for 5minutes.(May make notes in yourhandout) whiteboard
  8. 8. What is special about clicker questions? 8 Similar goals as other types of questioning techniques Multiple choice Anonymous (to peers) Every student has a voice – the loud ones and the shy ones Clickers are a tool Forced wait time You can withhold the answer until everyone has had time to think (choose when to show the histogram)
  9. 9. When can we ask questions? 9 BEFORESetting up instruction DURING E.g.: Developing knowledge Motivate Assess prior knowledge Application … (handout!) Elicit misconception … AFTER Relate to big picture Assessing Demonstrate success learning … Credit: Rosie Piller and Ian Beatty.
  10. 10. Gallery Walk With a partner, look at the “example questions” trios on the wall. What do you think an instructor would be trying to accomplish with such questions? Jot down any ideas on the sheet 5 minutes Aihofanz2010 on Wikimedia
  11. 11. Agenda1. Thinking about questioning2. About clickers and peer instruction3. Writing great clicker questions4. Overcoming common challenges5. Action plan
  12. 12. Clickers are a tool for questioning 12 But not a magic bullet!Don’t equate the pedagogy with the technology. So what IS the pedagogy?
  13. 13. Why use peer instruction? 13
  14. 14. An outline of Peer Instruction. 14
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. Burning questions? 16 Ask Question…Lecture… (Maybe vote)Class Discussion Peer Discussion Vote * See also: Peer Instruction, A User’s Manual. E. Mazur.
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. Peer instruction helps students learn 19Research shows that: Students can better answer a similar question after talking to their peers Peer discussion + instructor explanation of question works better than either one alone Students like peer instruction Peer instruction classes outperform traditional lectures on a common test See http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu for various references
  19. 19. Example question: Physics 20Which 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 20 Question: Ian Beatty, UNC Greensboro Image: Thibault fr on Wikimedia
  20. 20. Example question: LiteratureIf Homer wrote the Iliad today, Stanley Fish and Harold Bloom would argue, respectively, whether the work should be categorized as:A. Existential vs. RomanticB. Postmodern vs ClassicalC. Modern vs RomanticD. Postcolonial vs ModernE. Preliterate vs Postliterate The Technology Enhanced Learning and Research center at Ohio StateOrigin unknown
  21. 21. 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 22Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt
  22. 22. Example question: History or EthicsIf you were a judge, how would you assess the “responsibility” of the U.S. Government, for what happened in the world between 1933 and 1945?A. Not responsibleB. Minimally responsibleC. ResponsibleD. Very responsible Origin unknown 23
  23. 23. Let’s try it I think the toughest thing about using clickers and peer instruction in class is / will be:A. Writing good questionsB. Getting students to really think about the questionsC. Getting students to share their reasoning with the whole classD. The same students always respond in whole class discussionE. It takes too long / I have a lot of content to cover
  24. 24. Honestly, I think that I’m most likely to modify this technique of Peer Instruction to suit me and my students. I know that there are at least ___ parts of the technique that I’ll be changing:A. NoneB. OneC. Two-threeD. Four or more
  25. 25. Is there a problem with modifications?I won’t tell you how to teach. You’re smart & you care about instruction. But realize that modifications may change the effectiveness of the technique.Be strategic about modifications. Know the research.
  26. 26. Some research on modifications  63.5% of faculty (in physics) say they are familiar with Peer Instruction  30% report that they use Peer Instruction  50% of those use Peer Instruction in the way described by developers  Often dropped are:  Student discussion Is this a problem? Use of conceptual questions  Probably.  Whole-class votingDancy & Henderson, Pedagogical practices and instructional change of faculty, Am. J. Phys., 78(10), Oct2010.Web survey of 722 physics faculty at various institutions, initial sample of 2000.
  27. 27. Exercise #1: Core Philosophies 28 In groups: What are the underlying principles that make this work? Ask Question…Lecture… (Maybe vote)Class Discussion Peer Discussion Vote * See also: Peer Instruction, A User’s Manual. E. Mazur.
  28. 28. Some core philosophies of mineClicker questions are an integral part of my lecture Students learn by … teaching each other … articulating their ideas It’s important for me to …. hear student ideas … know what my students understand I value and respect student ideasI want students to … know that I value student ideas … feel safe sharing their ideas
  29. 29. Agenda1. Thinking about questioning2. About clickers and peer instruction3. Writing great clicker questions4. Overcoming common challenges5. Action plan
  30. 30. Question-writing tips Move away from simple quizzes Use questions that prompt discussion Use questions that emphasize reasoning or process Use clear wording Use tempting distracters Use questions for a variety of instructional goals Use questions at a mixture of cognitive depth Ask challenging questions – don’t just test memorized facts See handout
  31. 31. Some instructional goals for clickers 32 BEFORESetting up instruction DURING E.g.: Developing knowledge Motivate Assess prior knowledge Application … (handout!) Elicit misconception … AFTER Relate to big picture Assessing Demonstrate success learning … Credit: Rosie Piller and Ian Beatty.
  32. 32. Effective multiple-choice questions have believable “distracters.”1)Talking with other instructors that have taught the course in the past.2)Talking with your students one-on- one before class, after class, during office hours.3)Using student responses to open- ended questions D. Duncan, Univ. of Colorado 33
  33. 33. Exercise #2: Try writing a question Choose one of the question goals (slide #3 on page 2 in handouts) Write a draft question that aims to achieve this goal. 5 minutes
  34. 34. An example question What causes the seasons?A. The change in the earth’s distance from the sun during the year Bad question.B. The tilt of the earths axis Students canC. Changes in the sun’s brightness answer by memorizing aD. Changes in clouds word (“tilt”)E. None of the above Can we make a better question on the SAME topic? Yes…
  35. 35. Better seasons exampleWhat would happen to the seasons if the earth’sorbit around the sun was made a perfect circle (but nothing else changed) ?A. There would be no seasonsB. The seasons would remain pretty much as they are todayC. Winter to spring would differ much less than nowD. Winter to spring would differ much more than now Much better question. Requires reasoning!
  36. 36. Use questions at a variety of cognitive depth 37 Do the questions you use intellectually challenge your students or simply assess their factual knowledge? Higher order ---------------- Lower order handout
  37. 37. Exercise #3: Rate and swap Use the Bloom’s Taxonomy worksheet to rate the Bloom’s level of your question Swap your question with a neighbor. Do you agree on the Bloom’s level of your question? Use the verbs on the detailed Bloom’s handout to “Bloomify up” the level of your question. 5 minutes
  38. 38. What was the Bloom’s level of your question?A. RememberingB. UnderstandingC. ApplyingD. AnalyzingE. Evaluating
  39. 39. Share out What did you learn in this process? What worked well, what was challenging? How might you go about writing questions in your class?
  40. 40. Agenda1. Thinking about questioning2. About clickers and peer instruction3. Writing great clicker questions4. Overcoming common challenges5. Action plan
  41. 41. Exercise #4 Challenges in the Classroom 42 You ask students a question, and ask them to discuss. You then ask them to share their answers and reasoning in a whole-class discussion What could possibly go wrong?  5 mins With a partner, brainstorm some challenges and write them on the board (in the appropriate area). What are some possible solutions that are in line with your core philosophies?
  42. 42. 1. Asking Question. Philosophies? Challenges? 43 Philosophies •Questions are integral to lecture •Students can learn by considering a question Best practices •Ask several times during lecture •Ask challenging, meaningful questions •Don’t post until ready & give time to read 43 Handout/worksheet / whiteboard
  43. 43. 2. Peer Discussion. Philosophies? Challenges? 44 Philosophies: • Students learn through discussion • Students need to know that you value their ideas & that it’s safe to share Solutions: •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
  44. 44. Talking brings convergence 45 Eric Mazur - Harvard U.Before discussion After discussion Why do you think this happens? A B C A B (A) Students are getting answers from the ‘smart’ kids C (B) They’re learning from their discussions (C) They just needed more time to think about it Mazur, 1997
  45. 45. The hypothesis: If students learn from peer discussion, they should show better performance on a similar question. Ask a second, similar question without any instructor input: Q2 Undergrad introductory genetics course. 16 Q1/Q2 pairs.Research by MichelleSmith, Bill Wood, WendyAdams, CarlWieman, JennyKnight, Nancy Guild, TinTin Su, MCDB. Smith et al., Science. 2009, 323(5910):122.
  46. 46. Are they learning from peers? 100 100 1) Students answer 90 8080 Q1 individually. 70 6060 Percent Q Percent 50 Q Q 4040 Students talk to 2) 30 neighbors and 2020 answer Q1 again 10 (Q1AD = Q1“After 00 Q1 Q1 Q1AD Q1a Q2 Q2 Discussion”). Individual After Individual Discussion 3) Students answer Q2 individually . Q2 tests same concept as Q1. n= 350 studentsThen explain answers to Q1 and Q2 Smith et al., Science. 2009, 323(5910):122.
  47. 47. Can students answer difficult questions correctly after discussion? 100100 Q1 90 90 Very few students Q1after discussion 80 80 knew correct Q2 answer to Q1, but 70 70 Percent correct 60 60 after Percent 50 50 discussion, many 40 40 more answer 30 30 correctly: students 20 20 are constructing 10 10 their own 0 0 knowledge Easy Easy Medium Medium Hard Difficult (5 questions) (7 questions) (4 questions)Smith et al., Science. 2009, 323(5910):122.
  48. 48. Student buy-in is key!
  49. 49. 3. Wrap-Up Discussion. Challenges? 50 Philosophies: •Student ideas are important •Students need to feel safeSolutions:•Establish culture of respect•Consider whether to show the histogram immediately• Ask multiple students to defend their answers• Emphasize reasoning: Why are wrong answers wrongand why right answer is right
  50. 50. Giving the answer stops student thinking! 51
  51. 51. Other things we haven’t talked about? 52 Other challenges / solutions / philosophies?
  52. 52. Action Plan 53 Take a few minutes to write down your action plan to implement ideas you heard about in the workshop
  53. 53. U. Colorado clicker resources… 54Videos of effective use of clickers http://STEMvideos.colorado.edu2-5 mins longClicker resource page http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu • Instructor’s Guide • Question banks PLUS past workshops And all workshop materials •Literature / Articles I can help you with your institution’s workshops too
  54. 54. Thanks! Resource Page: http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu Web and blog: http://sciencegeekgirl.com Email: stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu Many materials in this workshop (particularly the questioning cycle and the participant exercises) were adapted from Rosie 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

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