Creative uses of Clickers
What can Clickers do besides help with attendance and the usual graded quizzes? Here are some ways Clickers have been used to spice up the lecture and impact learning.
Check Assigned Reading: Assign pre-class reading and measure students’ mastery of the content through Clicker questions administered when they come to class. Not only does this reduce time needed for in-class instruction, it also encourages students to apply themselves to their reading homework. Some instructors choose to offer the Clicker Homework Quiz at the start of class, forcing students to come to class on time.
Discussion Warm-Up: Set the stage for a class discussion by posing a Clicker question, and displaying a chart of the responses. This works in two ways: first, it forces students to reflect on the question, process information and make a choice; second, the display of results gets students to compare their choice with that of their class mates and begin examining and discussing alternate resolutions to the dilemma. Both actions engage students with the material and foster greater participation in the ensuing discussion.
Real-time Feedback: Use Clicker questions to gauge comprehension of a particularly challenging or critical concept. This helps determine whether the class is ready to move on to the next concept or whether more time needs to be spent on the current topic.
Think-Pair-Share: No time for a class-wide debate? Consider having students pair up with their neighbor, discuss a question or problem, and jointly agree on an answer. This peer discussion results in more students mastering the material and also serves to break the monotony of the lecture format. A variation on the theme would be where students are required to make a choice individually first, then discuss with their neighbor, and make a selection again. Quite a few responses are altered the second time around because of better understanding.
Before and After: : Ask the question twice – first before introducing the topic, followed by a short lecture or discussion, and then have the class respond to the question again. Students discover how additional knowledge and perspectives can alter their understanding of a scenario and improve decision making.