Ways to Use a Classroom Response System
5 Research Based Methods
Pre-Assessment
Review
Poll students at the beginning of a unit or topic – you
Similar to pre-assessment, review reveals to both
can see what information the students already grasp,
instructors and students which concepts have been
and what misconceptions they have. This information
learned and which have not. This allows for
allows you to adjust the content and pacing of your
responsive teaching (Fies & Marshall, 2006).
class to best support students (Bibles 2011).
 Begin reviews with simple questions. These allow
 There are resources available online that list
common student misconceptions, which can be
the students to “warm up” to the questions and
the classroom response system.
 Continue the review with more challenging
used to write challenging questions.
 Get students to explain the reasoning that lead to
an incorrect answer. This gives insight on how
questions that require application of information
or understanding of multiple concepts.
students approach the material.
Opinion
New Content and Reinforcement
By asking the students to anonymously give their
By polling students immediately after covering
opinion, you can generate more variety in views. This
material you are reinforcing that material. Overall,
can be an ideal way to launch deeper discussion and
student motivation and knowledge retention should
more lively debates (Lio, Chen & Tai, 2009).
increase (Johnson, 2005).
 Provide an opportunity for students to answer an
 Integrate questions into your presentation to
ensure the students are actively thinking about
opinion question with “Other” or “Not sure” in
case they have an unanticipated opinion.
 Be prepared for students to be initially reluctant
the material.
 If possible, use case studies or moderately
to voice their opinion in a whole class setting.
challenging questions in the place of recall
Consider moving from small group discussion to
questions.
whole class discussion.
Peer instruction
Students must think about a question and then justify their answer and reasoning to their peers. Some
instructors have students’ complete readings ahead of the class and use this technique to both test and teach
students (Crouch & Mazur, 2001).
Pose Question
Vote
Give Brief
Explanation
Majority
Correct
Discuss with
Neighbors
Vote
Majority
Incorrect
Give Detailed
Explanation
Adapted from Ellis, Landis, & Meeker.
Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning
Page 1 of 3
Ways to Use a Classroom Response System
Other Research-Based Ideas for Using Clickers
Practice with Intro Questions. You should start
Use with a Video. You can present a video and
with easy questions. This way you can introduce the
ask questions about what was viewed afterwards,
rules for using clickers, the fact that you can change
encouraging students to active viewers.
answers, and how clickers are to be collected. You
can also see if any clickers are not working.
Practice Tests. These allows students to check
their knowledge on a topic. It also allows you to
Getting to Know the Class. If this is your first
know how they are progressing on a particular unit.
week seeing the class, you may want to ask the
students questions testing for prior knowledge. This
Student Questions. Have students come up with
information can be helpful when planning classes.
the questions the day before – they are much more
engaged and involved the next day.
Check for Understanding before Class: You
can check whether students have retained what they
Cooperative Learning. The clicker can be used
learned in the previous class or check prior learning
by teams of students to answer more challenging
for a concept.
questions. Students will have to come to consensus
about answers, encouraging peer teaching.
Check for Understanding at the end of a
class. Use the clickers to check whether students
Pop Quizzes. Give you an idea about whether or
understood the main concept of a lesson. This can
not students are doing assigned work. They also
help you prepare accordingly for the next class.
allow you to engage in a discussion of why work is
not being done.
Homework Correction. Clickers can help you
check homework quickly and effectively. It will
Review before a Test. You can ask questions OR
motivate students to do their homework when they
you can create a Challenge game (like Jeopardy).
know will be checked. Also, you can quickly identify
Students can answer in teams or individually.
questions that need to be reviewed.
Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning
Page 2 of 3
Ways to Use a Classroom Response System
Video Resources:
Topic
Title
Description
Length
Link
General
Using Clickers in the
Some ideas on using
9 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/
Classroom
clickers
47 seconds
watch?v=CnnP0uCqD4k
Clickers in the
7 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/
Classroom: The
43 seconds
watch?v=PxKHXyVtVIA
Research. Do clickers
help students learn?
How to Use Clickers
Some steps to
10 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/
Effectively
implement clickers and
59 seconds
watch?v=z0q5gQfQmng&fe
ature=relmfu
answers to some
teaching questions
Question-
From Questions to
Ways to integrate
2 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/
Based
Concepts: Interactive
student questions into
22 seconds
watch?v=lBYrKPoVFwg&fea
Instruction
Teaching in Phyiscs
lectures
Peer Teaching
Eric Mazur shows
View what a peer-
8 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/
interactive teaching
teaching lesson might
22 seconds
watch?v=wont2v_LZ1E
Example of using clickers
3 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/
to scaffold learning
45 seconds
watch?v=VMkL-oy0bqs
ture=youtu.be
look like
Reinforcement Jeremy Petranka 6:
Classroom Response
Systems
Other Resources:
Title
Description
Link
Clicker Resource Guide
Some ideas on using clickers in your classroom,
http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/
FAQ on common implementation issues, and
files/Clicker_guide_CWSEI_CU-
example questions
SEI.pdf
Thought Questions: A
Step by step guide to implementing questioning
http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/
New Approach to Using
and group discussion in class
files/CU-SEI_Thought_Questions.pdf
Classroom Response question banks for various
http://teaching.concordia.ca/resourc
Science disciplines and Mathmatics.
es/teaching-with-new-
Clickers
Question Banks
technologies/usingclickers/question-banks/
Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning
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Ways to Use a Classroom Response System