"Classroom Response Systems ('Clickers')" (webpage) introduces formal classroom response systems (CRSs) as well as "strategies for using clickers in your teaching."
Topics of relevance for Lakehead include the following:
- What Is a CRS?
- Teaching with a CRS
- Why Use a CRS?
- Challenges in Using a CRS
NOTE: Most of the advantages and uses of a formal and costly CRS can be gained from free or free-to-student services such as the following:
A. What Is a CRS?
"A classroom response system (sometimes called a personal response system, student response system, or audience response system) is a set of hardware and software that facilitates teaching activities such as the following."
- "A teacher poses a multiple-choice question to his or her students via an overhead or computer projector."
- "Each student submits an answer to the question using a handheld transmitter (a “clicker”) that beams a radio-frequency signal to a receiver attached to the teacher’s computer."
- "Software on the teacher’s computer collects the students’ answers and produces a bar chart showing how many students chose each of the answer choices."
- "The teacher makes “on the fly” instructional choices in response to the bar chart by, for example, leading students in a discussion of the merits of each answer choice or asking students to discuss the question in small groups."
B. Teaching with a CRS (Each point is elaborated more fully in the post.)
1. Types of Questions
- Recall Questions
- Conceptual Understanding Questions
- Application Questions
- Critical Thinking Questions
- Student Perspective Questions
- Confidence Level Questions
- Monitoring Questions
- Classroom Experiments
2. Types of Activities
- Summative Assessment
- Formative Assessment
- Homework Collection
- Discussion Warm-Up
- Contingent Teaching
- Peer Instruction
- Repeated Questions
- Question-Driven Instruction
- “Choose Your Own Adventure” Classes
C. Why Use a CRS? (Each point is elaborated more fully in the post.)
"A teacher can use a CRS to…"
- "Maintain students’ attention during a lecture."
- "Promote active student engagement during a lecture."
- "Promote discussion and collaboration among students during class."
- "Encourage participation from each and every student in a class."
- "Create a safe space for shy and unsure students to participate in class."
- "Check for student understanding during class."
- "Teach in a way that adapts to the immediate learning needs of his or her students."
- "Take attendance and to rapidly grade in-class quizzes."
- "Add a little drama to class."
D. Challenges in using a CRS (Each point is elaborated more fully in the post.)
- "[T]echnical problems can arise."
- "Getting started with a CRS takes some time."
- "[W]riting effective multiple-choice questions can be challenging."
- "Using a CRS in class takes up class time."
- "[K]nowing that students have misconceptions does not necessarily reveal what those misconceptions are."
- "[T]he teacher may have to change his or her lesson plan 'on the fly.'"
- "[L]eading class-wide discussions can be challenging for instructors used to just lecturing."