Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Peer Discussion Improves Student Performance With 'Clickers'

Peer Discussion Improves Student Performance With 'Clickers':

An article in Science Daily:
"University of Colorado at Boulder campus students are sharing answers, checking their responses to questions against those of their neighbors and making adjustments to those answers in hopes of earning a better grade.

Not surprisingly, the students are getting more answers right. But what may be startling is that professors are encouraging the whole thing.

The students aren't cheating, they are learning from each other in a meaningful way, according to Tin Tin Su ... who authored a paper in the Jan. 2 issue of the journal Science showing how peer discussion during 'clicker' questions helps students learn in a way that simple lecturing does not.

Clickers are simple audience response devices, similar to a TV remote control, that allow students to record their answers to thought-provoking, multiple-choice questions in class. After students answer a question individually, the instructor often asks them to discuss the question and then vote again before revealing the answer. After discussion, they usually do better on the question - but why?"
My observations: I love the concept of personal or classroom response systems. If it is coupled with face to face structured discussion and questioning with effective follow-up and feedback, then we have to be on a winner.

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