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Clickers & Other “Classroom Response Systems (CRS)”
What is It?
Classroom response systems (CRS) are tools that enable faculty to interact with students in innovative ways by soliciting instantaneous feedback during class on everything from student attendance to comprehension of complex knowledge. Many different CRS products are available, but the concept underlying all of them is the same: students and instructors leverage a technology to share real-time responses during class. The responses are gathered on the instructor’s screen and immediately projected back for all to see, and can be used for further discussion at that time or in the future.
How Can I Use It in Teaching?
This realtime in-class questioning can help instructors:
- facilitate active learning techniques such as Peer Instruction or Think-Pair-Share,
- assess conceptual understanding of complex concepts or ideas,
- query prior knowledge or previously taught material,
- identify muddy or unclear parts of the lecture,
- ask students to summarize the reading or key concepts in one sentence,
- facilitate non-threatening dialogues on controversial topics,
- track student attendance, participation, and performance as part of grading.
Read more: Teaching Effectively with Clickers for question design tips & resources.
Using Classroom Response Systems (CRS)
- Clickers (i>clicker) at Tufts is the leading physical in-class polling device that Tufts supports as a standardized solution for Tufts University.
- Clicker Alternatives at Tufts: Adobe Connect, part of Spark Webconferencing supported by Tufts, could be used as an alternative to fee-based clickers if students can bring their laptop or smartphone to the classroom.
- Other CRS options: Heard of Poll Everywhere or something that uses a cell phone? Looking for more question types other than multiple-choice? Click here to learn more about other web-based CRS solutions.
Resources for Learning More
- Classroom Response System (“Clickers”) Bibliography
by Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching. The list includes almost 300 references, across the full range of general interest & discipline-specific publications (web)
- Multiple-Choice Questions You Wouldn’t Put on a Test: Promoting Deep Learning Using Clickers
by Derek Bruff (Vanderbilt University), POD-iDEA Center Notes on Instruction series (web)
- Sixteen Suggestions for Teaching with Classroom Response Systems
by Derek Bruff (Vanderbilt University) (web)
Where Do I Get Support?
For questions on the best CRS product option for your class or how best to incorporate them into your teaching, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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