Welcome to my introduction to teaching with classroom response systems (“clickers”). On this page, you’ll find strategies for using clickers in your teaching.
What Is a Classroom Response System (CRS)?
A CRS, also known as a classroom response system, student response system, or audience response system, is a hardware and software set that enables educational activities such as the following:
- A teacher presents a multiple-choice query to their students through an interactive display.
- Each student submits an answer to the question using clickers for the classroom, commonly known as “clickers,” which transmit a radio-frequency signal to a receiver connected to the teacher’s computer.
- The software on the teacher’s computer gathers the students’ responses and generates a bar chart that displays the number of students who selected each answer option.
- The teacher selects impromptu teaching methods in reaction to the bar chart. For example, they may lead students in a conversation about the advantages of each answer choice or have students discuss the issue in small groups using clickers in the classroom.
Teaching with a CRS
Types of Classroom Response Systems (“Clickers”) Activities
A classroom response system (CRS) in teaching can be implemented in various ways. Educators want to match the activities with their course content, learning objectives, time limitations, and their teaching style. The following options represent a few ideas for CRS activities, arranged more or less in ascending order of student participation.
Attendance: Using clickers, attendance can be taken directly by asking a question such as “Are you present today?” or indirectly by identifying which students engaged with their clickers during class time.
After-lessons Assessment: Clickers can be employed for evaluating students’ knowledge in graded activities, such as multiple-choice quizzes or exams. Some clicker manufacturers offer a “student-paced” mode in which students can respond to printed test questions at their own pace.
Formative Assessment: Clickers can be utilized to present queries to students and gather their responses, providing instantaneous information on student progress to both the teacher and the students. This feedback benefits students by enabling them to track their own learning while teachers can promptly adapt their lesson target based on student needs.
Some clickers include options for students to report their level of confidence (high, medium, or low) with their responses, providing more detailed feedback for the teacher. Some teachers may grade participation for these formative assessments to motivate students to participate. Other instructors may reward correct responses with points to encourage students to take these assessments more seriously, while others may use a combination of both methods and award partial credit for incorrect answers.
Homework Collection: Clickers enable students to keep track of and submit their responses to homework queries, which may be multiple-choice or free responses, outside of class time. These responses can be sent through the clickers to the teacher at the beginning of the following class.
Discussion Warm-Up: Presenting a query, allowing time for students to input their responses using clickers before displaying the results, can effectively set the tone for a class-wide discussion. Compared with the technique of hastily selecting the first student to raise their hand in response to questioning, this strategy grants all pupils time to consider and confirm their answer, fostering increased participation and engagement in the ensuing discussion.
Contingent Teaching: Ascertaining what areas of the lesson students comprehend, and those they struggle with can prove challenging at times. Clickers can be utilized during class time to gauge the students’ understanding in real-time, enabling teachers to adapt their lesson targets accordingly. If the clicker data suggest that students have grasped the topic discussed, an educator can seamlessly shift to a new topic. Alternatively, If the clicker data indicate a lack of understanding of the topic, additional time may be spent on it, perhaps using more lectures, class discussions, or more clicker queries.
Peer Instruction: The teacher poses clicker questions to the elementary classroom, and each student inputs their individual answer through clickers. The teacher evaluates the histogram of student responses and, in case of a significant number of incorrect responses, initiates collaborative peer discussion between students on the topic. After a few minutes of deliberating, students re-submit their answers using clickers for elementary classrooms.
This method often results in a larger number of correct answers as a result of peer guidance during the activity, thereby offering a straightforward approach to using clickers to facilitate classroom-wide conversation on study material. Implementing this technique could also lay the groundwork for more inclusive group discussions to actively engage each student.
Why Use a CRS?
- To maintain the uninterrupted attention of students during a lecture. It is essential to note that most people lose focus after 10 to 18 minutes of passive listening. Integrating a few activities facilitated by CRS at intervals during a lecture can aid in maintaining the students’ attention and engagement.
- To encourage active engagement of students during a lecture. Selecting pertinent questions to present to students during class and anticipating answers from each student can stimulate them to ponder and integrate course material.
- Encouraging group discussions and teamwork among students in class through exercises necessitating conversation and arriving at an agreement can promote classroom involvement and camaraderie.
- To encourage the participation of all students in class. Verbally posing a question and choosing the first student to raise their hand will only involve a single pupil. However, a CRS-driven task can require all students in the class to take part.
- A CRS can provide a secure and supportive environment for hesitant and shy students to participate in class activities. It allows students to respond privately to a teacher’s inquiries, thereby allowing them to express their viewpoints and ideas comfortably, despite their timid nature. Furthermore, CRS can offer students the ability to provide anonymous responses to delicate ethical, legal, and moral questions.
- Teachers can assess the comprehension of students during class by using CRS-promoted questions. Enabling them to determine whether students have grasped the vital concepts and distinctions presented. This saves the need to wait for homework submissions or exam completion to evaluate performance.
- The teaching approach should cater to the spontaneous learning requirements of each student. If the histogram displaying student responses to a query denotes that a considerable number of students choose the wrong result, the teacher can adjust the points discussed in class or elaborate further to enhance understanding. Alternatively, if a significant number of students have selected the correct results, the teacher may advance to a new topic without delay, making the lesson more efficient.
- Take attendance and rapidly grade in-class quizzes, provided each transmitter is allocated uniquely to a specific student throughout the course. However, note that CRS systems may offer varying degrees of support for anonymous or non-anonymous usage.
- CRS use can add an element of excitement to classes, as students eagerly anticipate the appearance of the histogram, displaying how their team members have responded to a question, leading to collective anticipation.
Buy Classroom Response Systems (“Clickers”)
If you want to buy classroom response systems for your classroom, I recommend Kyin classroom clickers, with 2.4 GHz RF technology, that support Single choice/Multiple choice/Judgement/Rush answer, etc. Access Student performance easily.