Using Student Response Systems

There’s an interesting post by James Lang over here, giving an honest and really practical account of how to use student response systems in class.  While Lang doesn’t intend the post to be technical, it offers some very practical ways of how to implement their use.

icon-student-appIn most cases, universities and classes have gone away from whole-sale purchasing ‘clicker’ devices, and relegated access to such services to a platform internet service (such as Polleverywhere or Socrative) and the use of student’s own laptop or mobile devices.  Most of these services provide a free level of service that can change the way conversations and some instruction happen in just about any course.

It’s not quite fair to post an article or even refer to a really good one and not tried this myself – and I have. In my experience, I’ve tried using PollAnywhere – at the free level – just to see what kinds of responses and interactions might improve the teaching and learning in my context.  In many cases, its really opened up the depth of conversations we have – allowing me to prod students to ask – “Why?” and “What conclusions can you make?” inquiries.  In most of my experience before, too many of my students were all too happy to just sit back and ‘take in’ the whole class – and essentially ‘participate’ by saying ‘I agree’ or providing a minimal head nod once in a while.

While use of student response systems (or any technology for that matter) is not the one all to be all and save all – it’s another method that can assist and support what you’re already doing in your course.

If you’d like to try using some kind of SRS, or just want some direction on where to go with this concept, contact Dave Eveland with the Department of Online Education.

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