Integrating Student Response Systems in Mathematics Instruction

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In this course, you will learn about student response systems, or clickers, an instructional technology which offers the instructor a powerful tool for evaluating student understanding and increasing student engagement. Not only will you learn about the basic capabilities, uses, and benefits of student response systems in instruction, but you will design a mathematics lesson following principles of effective question design and best practices for using a student response system in instruction.

SMART Interactive Response System. Image from

Performance Objectives

1. The participant will state the capabilities and uses of a student response system to enhance student engagement by composing a journal-style reflection and incorporating outside sources.

2. The participant will evaluate the benefits of incorporating student response systems in mathematics instruction by composing a journal-style reflection and incorporating outside sources.

3. Given a student response system and computer software, the participant will demonstrate use of the system by creating an assessment program using the appropriate design tools and interpreting results from a trial run.

4. Given a clicker, the participant will demonstrate the use of the device by entering a series of responses using the appropriate answer entry methods.

5. Given a student response system and computer software, the participant will generate a lesson which includes formative assessment questions about a mathematics topic of his/her choice using the appropriate design tools and sound pedagogy.

6. The participant will evaluate the effectiveness of a lesson he/she taught using a student response system by composing a journal-style reflection and incorporating outside sources.

Preparation for the Course

Select a mathematics topic about which you will write a lesson which uses a student response system as a component of instruction.

Reflect on the following:

  • How do you engage students in instruction?
  • How do you evaluate student understanding during a lesson? (How do you perform formative assessment?)
  • Have you ever used a student response system? If so, what were some of the positive and negative aspects of the experience?

Learning Units

Unit 1: What are Student Response Systems?

Unit 2: Why Use Student Response Systems?

Unit 3: How can Student Response Systems be Used?

Unit 4: Designing a Lesson Using a Student Response System

Unit 5: Evaluating a Lesson which Uses a Student Response System

Resources and References

Beatty, I. D., Gerace, W. J., Leonard, W. J., & Dufresne, R. J. (2006). Designing effective questions for classroom response system teaching. American Journal of Physics, 74(1), 31-39.

Benefits of using iclicker. (2010). [Video file]. Retrieved from

Bode, M., Drane, D., Kolikant, Y. B., & Schuller, M. (2009). A clicker approach to teaching calculus. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 56(2), 253-256.

Bruff, D. (2009). Multiple-choice questions you wouldn't put on a test: Promoting deep learning using clickers. Essays on Teaching Excellence, 21(3). Retrieved from

Caldwell, J. E. (2007). Clickers in the large classroom: Current research and best-practice tips. CBE--Life Sciences Education, 6(1), 9-20.

Center for Education Research and Evaluation. (n.d.). Effective use of the audience response system: A primer. Retrieved from

Cline, K., Zullo, H., & Parker, M. (2007). Using classroom voting in mathematics courses. Proceedings of the ICTCM, 19. Retrieved from

CU Science Education Initiative & UBC Carl Wieman SEI. (n.d.). Clicker resource guide. Retrieved from

Deal, A. (2007). Classroom response systems. Teaching with Technology White Paper. Retrieved from

Duncan, D. (2004). Why use a classroom response system? Clickers in the classroom (5-11). San Francisco: Pearson. Retrieved from

Guthrie, R. W., & Carlin, A. (2004). Waking the dead: Using interactive technology to engage passive listeners in the classroom. In Bullen, C., & Stohr, E. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, 1-8. Retrieved from

Hodges, L. C. (2009). Engaging students, assessing learning--Just a click away. Essays on Teaching Excellence, 21(4). Retrieved from

How to Use iclicker Classroom Response System. (2011). [Video file]. Retrieved from

Martyn, M. (2007). Clickers in the classroom: An active learning approach. Educause Quarterly, 30(2), 71-74.

Popelka, S. R. (2010). Now we're really clicking! Mathematics Teacher, 104(4), 290-295.

The Ohio State University. (2012). Teaching with clickers. [Video files]. Retrieved from

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. (2013). Showcases of use. Retrieved from

Zhu, E. (2007). Teaching with clickers. CRLT Occasional Papers, 22. Retrieved from