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Most faculty are using clickers for attendance and basic multiple choice questions. As clickers become more embedded into learning environments, faculty hopefully will explore other ways of using them. Clickers can be used to not only assess knowledge; but to engage learners in higher level activities.

On September 27, 2012, Roger Freedman came to SDSU and spoke about how he uses clickers and "flips" the classroom learning experience. The video is available for your viewing.

Below are ideas for question types and classroom activities for your consideration.

Question Type
What Is It
Recall Facts, Concepts, Techniques Can tell if students did the reading or remember

• Do not generate discussion
• Low order thinking skills
Conceptual Understanding • Often based on common misconceptions
• Have students classify, match, translate, or select best explanation
• Goes beyond recall
• Helps identify student misconceptions
Application • Students apply knowledge to
• Make a choice in a scenario
• Predict outcomes
Connects content to “real world”
Critical Thinking • Analyze relationships
• Make evaluations
• Often involve “one best answer” from a group of good choices
• Uses higher order thinking
• Prepares students for discussion

Cons: Not appropriate for exams as they are meant to prompt discussion
Student Perspective • Share opinions, experiences
• No correct answers
• Clickers insure anonymity
• Generate rich discussion
• Reveal student perspectives particularly ethical, legal, or moral
• Students may connect personal experience to course content
Confidence Level Have students answer a question and rate their confidence in their answer • Can increase curiosity before presenting course content
• Determine how sure students feel about their knowledge of material
Monitoring Provide information about student’s learning processes – for example, asking if students have used the course study guide, completed their rough draft, or length of time they spent on a task Help determine whether students are following course policies, whether assignments are too difficult, etc
Classroom Experiments Collect data from students or about students • Can make inferences about student behavior or common opinions
• Brings sense of immediacy and relevance to experiments

Find additional resources: iClicker research and white papers including ideas for activities:

What Is It
Attendance In our i>grader, called participation points Can be used to generate points

Con: No instructional value
Summative Assessment • Quizzes that summarize knowledge
• Used for diagnostic assessment to identify any weaknesses
• Can be used to guide instruction (formative)
• Can be used to generate points or grades
Formative Assessment Similar to summative but is used to immediately provide remedial instruction • Allows you to change and manage class content on the fly based on responses
• Can be used to generate points
Homework Collection Students can do assignments outside of class then submit their answers at the start of class  
Discussion Warm-up Provide a question, record votes, display results, discuss • Gives all students a chance to answer
• Encourages discussion
Contingent Teaching Basically if instruction needed, provide it; if not; move on  
Peer Instruction Students respond to a question, results are displayed. If warranted, students discuss with neighbor. Students vote again. • Engages large number of students
• Can lead to rich discussions
Repeated Questions Ask the same question several times; but with various activities in between. For example: ask question, use peer discussion, ask question, discuss as class, ask question, then lecture, ask again Helps student discover and explore course material

Con: May require more activity planning than usual
Question Driven Instruction Combines contingent and peer instruction. Questions are organized so that if students do well, you move on; if not, dive deeper into that topic. Class content is based on demonstrated need

Con: May require more question preparation than usual
Choose Your Own Adventure Pose problem with several solutions. At each decision point, stop, vote, and discuss. • Engages large number of students
• Can lead to rich discussions

Chart content adapted from various universities including Vanderbilt University


How-to Videos: Instructor Remote / Create New Course / Course Settings / Login (SSO Key) / Add A Total Column / Create Menu Button

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