Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

How many times have you given a lecture and found that students hadn’t followed you?

Can you rely on students to ask questions if they don’t understand something?

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Can you rely on students to know if they don’t understand something?

Using classroom response systems, or clickers, helps address all of these issues. The point is not really the use of the technology, but rather the use of questioning and peer instruction to help students learn. Clickers offer several advantages over other questioning strategies. For example, clickers:

Are anonymous to the class (but not the instructor), so students will be more willing to take a risk and respond to a question that they wouldn’t have responded to in a whole class discussion
Help ensure equitable participation – everyone has a voice, not just the few students who are comfortable speaking out regularly during class
Enforce wait time so that everyone has time to think about the question and formulate a response

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