Unit 3: How can Student Response Systems be Used?

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Previous Unit: Unit 2: Why Use Student Response Systems?

Unit Objective and Assessment

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


Watch the two videos of the professors from Ohio State University who use student response systems in their college courses. These two professors teach different subjects and use the student response systems differently in their classes.

As you watch, keep the following questions in mind:

  • How does each professors' use of the student response system appropriately fit their respective subject matter?
  • Which uses of the student response system are you more likely integrate in the lesson you are creating?

Uses of Student Response Systems in the Classroom

Student response systems can be used for a variety of purposes in the classroom. These can be divided into the categories of formative assessment, summative assessment, and student opinions (adapted from CU Science Education Initiative & UBC Carl Wieman SEI, n.d., p. 6, and Caldwell, 2007, p. 10-11).

Clickers in use in the classroom. Image from historytech.wordpress.com.

Formative Assessment:

  • Assess students' previous knowledge and misconceptions
  • Assess students' understandings of new lecture material
  • Identify future student knowledge needs
  • Application of knowledge to new situations
  • Develop connections between different representations
  • Test or quiz review
  • Walk through solution process
  • Student self-assessment

Summative Assessment:

  • Assess students on previous lecture
  • Assess students on homework or reading assignment
  • Assess students on attention and/or participation

Student Opinions:

  • Start discussion and/or debate
  • Collect student demographic information
  • Collect student opinions about the course or instructor
  • Collect student opinions about confidence with material

Engage and Reflect

Read this article about how math teacher Susan Popelka uses clickers in her high school mathematics classroom: File:Popelka Really Clicking.pdf

Reflect on the following questions in your journal:

  • What are Popelka's main uses of clickers in her math classroom?
  • Which uses will be most helpful for the lesson you are creating?

Additional Resources

Teaching with Clickers - Erping Zhu: File:Zhu Teaching with Clickers.pdf

A Clicker Approach to Teaching Calculus - Martina Bode, Denise Drane, Yifat Ben-David Kolikant, & Mary Schuller: File:Bode Clicker Approach to Teaching Calculus.pdf

Next Unit: Unit 4: Designing a Lesson Using a Student Response System

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