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Project page: Integrating Student Response Systems in Mathematics Instruction

Intent of Project

The intent of this course is to teach high school math educators effective ways to integrate student response systems (clickers) in mathematics instruction for a variety of purposes.

Needs Assessment

1. Instructional Problem: Student response systems are an instructional technology that are becoming more widely available in schools; however, because the technology is relatively new, many teachers have little to no experience or training in using them. On a basic level, teachers need training to be able to explain to students how the devices work, but teachers also need training about the most effective ways to integrate student response systems in their instruction.

2. What is to be Learned: Participants will learn effective ways to integrate student response systems in mathematics instruction for formative assessment and other purposes in a lesson.

3. The Learners: Participants are high school mathematics teachers. All participants have a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate; some participants also have a master's degree. Some participants are veteran teachers while others are first year teachers. All participants have little or no experience with designing instruction which uses student response systems. Some participants may never have used the devices before, while others may have used them in their college coursework or in professional development.

4. Instructional Context: This learning experience will occur entirely online. Participants will access a website which contains learning modules which integrate articles, videos, and original content. Participants will work through each module individually, though at any time they can discuss what they are learning with coworkers.

5. Exploration of the Instructional Problem and Solution: When learning how to use a student response system, teachers are generally trained on how to use the software and hardware, but not about principles of effective lesson design using the student response system.

6. Generate Goals: While teaching participants about the software and hardware will be a component of this course, the focus will be teaching participants how to effectively use a student response system in classroom instruction for formative assessment and other purposes.

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.

Task Analysis

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the capabilities and uses of a student response system
  • Understand the benefits of student response systems in mathematics instruction
  • Operate a student response system
  • Design a lesson using a student response system for formative assessment
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the technology used in a particular lesson


Essential Prerequisites:

  • Knowledge of what constitutes high-quality formative assessment
  • Experience designing formative assessments
  • Ability to operate a computer and follow directions

Supportive Prerequisites:

  • Knowledge of the benefits of student engagement on motivation and achievement
  • Desire to enhance student engagement in the classroom
  • Experience using instructional technology to increase student engagement in the classroom
  • Desire to integrate student response systems into instruction

Curriculum Map

To view the Curriculum Map for this course, please access the following file: File:ICM Student Response Systems.pdf

Learning Methods

Students will select a mathematics topic to design a lesson about using clickers during the introduction of the course. The preparation of that lesson will frame students' explorations of what student response systems are, the benefits of their use, how they can be used in a lesson, how to write effective questions, and tips for lesson design. Each unit will incorporate outside sources-- mostly readings, but some videos and example lessons-- and be framed with reflection questions tying directly into the lesson design. Using this new knowledge, students will design a lesson which uses a student response system and then reflect on its effectiveness using guidelines described in the resources.



  • Brief introduction to the course, including objectives and units
  • Students will select a mathematics topic to design a lesson about using student response systems

Unit 1: What are Student Response Systems?

  • Description of the technology
  • Basic capabilities

Assignments- reflection questions, trial program to practice using software and clickers

Unit 2: Why Use Student Response Systems?

  • Benefits for student engagement
  • Benefits for student achievement

Assignment- reflection questions

Unit 3: How can Student Response Systems be Used?

  • Description of multiple ways student response systems can be integrated into a lesson
- formative assessment
- summative assessment
- student opinions

Assignment- reflection questions

Unit 4: Designing a Lesson Using a Student Response System

  • Principles of good question design
  • Best practices

Assignments- reflection questions, create lesson

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

  • Using best practices described in resources to evaluate effectiveness

Assignment- evaluate lesson (reflection)

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u__4WK-WLs

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 http://www.podnetwork.org/publications/teachingexcellence.htm

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 http://www.pccua.edu/ASSESSMENT/Web%20Page%20Documents/clicker_primer.pdf

Cline, K., Zullo, H., & Parker, M. (2007). Using classroom voting in mathematics courses. Proceedings of the ICTCM, 19. Retrieved from http://archives.math.utk.edu/ICTCM/

CU Science Education Initiative & UBC Carl Wieman SEI. (n.d.). Clicker resource guide. Retrieved from http://www.colorado.edu/sei/documents/clickeruse_guide0108.pdf

Deal, A. (2007). Classroom response systems. Teaching with Technology White Paper. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/technology/whitepapers/

Duncan, D. (2004). Why use a classroom response system? Clickers in the classroom (5-11). San Francisco: Pearson. Retrieved from http://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/srs/faculty/docs/ClickersInTheClassroom.pdf

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 http://www.mhhe.com/cps/docs/CPSWP_WakindDead082003.pdf

Hodges, L. C. (2009). Engaging students, assessing learning--Just a click away. Essays on Teaching Excellence, 21(4). Retrieved from http://www.podnetwork.org/publications/teachingexcellence.htm

How to Use iclicker Classroom Response System. (2011). [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KMlwMCYDDk

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 http://ocio.osu.edu/elearning/toolbox/depth/clickers/teaching-with-clickers/

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. (2013). Showcases of use. Retrieved from http://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/srs/faculty/showcase_use.cfm

Zhu, E. (2007). Teaching with clickers. CRLT Occasional Papers, 22. Retrieved from http://www.crlt.umich.edu/resources/occasional