Session Type

Presentation

Start Date

7-7-2011 2:30 PM

Keywords

clicker, peer discussion, collaborative learning

Primary Threads

Education Technologies and Innovative Resources

Abstract

In the past decade, guidelines have been developed for the effective implementation of clicker technology in large undergraduate classes. Observational studies have found that student engagement in clicker discussion is quite variable, however. We are interested in understanding instructional factors that might influence the richness of peer discussion of clicker questions. We recorded, transcribed and characterized conversations between four small groups of students engaged in clicker discussions during 17 class periods of an upper level developmental biology course. Of 102 recorded and transcribed conversations, 10% included a discussion of answers only with no reasoning, 14% employed a solely transmissionist approach, where one student told other students their answer and reasoning, and 76% of conversations employed a constructivist approach, where at least 2 students exchanged answers and reasoning about those answers. We are currently engaged in a finer-grained characterization of each conversation for the number of claims and the number and depth of reasoning statements, that could impact student learning. Finally, we plan to further correlate the nature of the discussions to whether students select the correct answer after their discussion, as well as measure the effects of different instructional conditions (for example, whether the instructor prompted students to share their reasoning) on the conversations. The results of these studies could provide practical insights for instructors interested in inspiring their students to engage in richer discussions of clicker questions.


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Jul 7th, 2:30 PM

Inspiring Rich Clicker Question Discussions

In the past decade, guidelines have been developed for the effective implementation of clicker technology in large undergraduate classes. Observational studies have found that student engagement in clicker discussion is quite variable, however. We are interested in understanding instructional factors that might influence the richness of peer discussion of clicker questions. We recorded, transcribed and characterized conversations between four small groups of students engaged in clicker discussions during 17 class periods of an upper level developmental biology course. Of 102 recorded and transcribed conversations, 10% included a discussion of answers only with no reasoning, 14% employed a solely transmissionist approach, where one student told other students their answer and reasoning, and 76% of conversations employed a constructivist approach, where at least 2 students exchanged answers and reasoning about those answers. We are currently engaged in a finer-grained characterization of each conversation for the number of claims and the number and depth of reasoning statements, that could impact student learning. Finally, we plan to further correlate the nature of the discussions to whether students select the correct answer after their discussion, as well as measure the effects of different instructional conditions (for example, whether the instructor prompted students to share their reasoning) on the conversations. The results of these studies could provide practical insights for instructors interested in inspiring their students to engage in richer discussions of clicker questions.