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The Art (and Science) of In-Class Questioning via Clickers
Time-length-icon 15m 34s
Publish-date-icon July 16, 2011
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Are "clickers" or "personal response systems" just the latest fad in education? Or is there solid research behind their use? In this episode we share some recent studies that really highlight how clickers can be used most effectively, and how they can save the world!


Show notes:

Guests on today's podcast were Eric Mazur of Harvard University, Jenny Knight of University of Colorado at Boulder, and Ed Prather of the University of Arizona.

Studies cited were:

  1. Why Peer Discussion Improves Student Performance on In-Class Concept Questions  Michelle Smith, William Wood, Wendy Adams, Carl Wieman, Jenny Knight, Nancy Guild, and Tin Tin Su, Science, Vol. 323 no. 5910, pp. 122-124 (2009).
  2. Combining Peer Discussion with Instructor Explanation Increases Student Learning from In-Class Concept Questions.  Michelle Smith, William Wood, K. Krauter, and Jenny Knight.  CBE - Life Sciences Education, 10, 55-63 (2011).
  3. Listening to student conversations during clicker questions:  What you have not heard might surprise you!  Mark James and Shannon Willoughby, AM. J. Phys., 79(1), 123-133 (2011).  Described here.



Learning About Teaching Physics is supported by a grant from the American Association of Physics Teachers (Physics Education Research Topical Group). 

Today's music was:

  • DC 3000 by the Thievery Corporation (Creative Commons)
  • Funkorama, Firmament and Rumination by Kevin McLeod
  • Sunshine by Mark Crawford
  • Sound effects by audiofruit, SFX Bible, Rebecca Parnell and SFX Source, on Soundsnap.

Other Resources

There are a wide variety of instructor resources on clicker use available at STEMclickers.colorado.edu, including videos, literature, and an instructor's guide.

Ed Prather's version of Peer Instruction is called Think Pair Share (and you can read more about it at that link).

Books include:

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