my fourth clicker session

My fourth clicker session was on 23rd August 2010 at 11:00

The subject was the internet from Chapter 4 of the text book.

I used five clicker questions at the beginning and four questions at the end of the lecture. All content questions – no fun questions this time.

What worked:

I spent time on working out how the Real-time Registration Tool worked and so I used this for the first time. I downloaded the class list from the learning management system (a version of Sakai) into Excel and imported this into Turning Point. I made sure this time that the list was on my laptop ready to be used.

The registration tool shows 10 students at a time and asks them to press the number next to their name to register their clicker. Technically this worked well and they seemed to enjoy the process. It also reinforced that the session is not anonymous although I never explicitly explained this.

I also have worked out how to make a slide anonymous if required – by using a button on the tool-bar.

I added a normal slide before the clicker questions saying “Time to use you clickers” with a few pictures. I did this because I found last time that the students weren’t prepared if the next slide suddenly required then to answer using the clicker.

I used a different Microsoft PowerPoint template for the clicker questions than for the lecture slides.

What didn’t work:
The handing out of clickers and registration took 15 minutes. This cut into my lecture time and was a problem.

The on-line registration seemed to go on forever and I wasn’t sure how much time to show for each batch of 10 students. I also didn’t know when I had done all the students and I should have kept a tally somehow.

I didn’t really get the countdown tool right. Sometimes it appeared and sometimes not and I wasn’t sure why this happened. Also the timer was light red on dark red and the students couldn’t read it.

The projector I’m using still cuts off the top of the slide. I thought that I had compensated for this but not by enough it seems. So I had to read the question.

What would I change:

  • The students wanted a handout so that they could follow the lecture and use it to answer the questions
  • Timing needs to be rehearsed
  • I don’t like the graphs showing percentages. I need to change the default to number (not sure how)

Lessons learnt:

  • Have a printout of the slides so that you know what is coming.  I found myself saying “I think this is the last question” and it wasn’t
  • The Real-time Registration Tool is good – except not for big classes (big > 100?)
  • Have a slide before the questions to ask the students to get ready
  • Test your slides and colour schemes before hand it at all possible

Things to try

  • Show a video while handing out the clickers – could help to keep focus
  • Hand out the clickers as the students arrive
  • Set the default from percentages to number
  • Find an easy way to collect the clickers
  • I read the question and answers – maybe I shouldn’t do this

my third session teaching with clickers

My third clicker session was on 18th August 2010 at 11:00

The subject was E-Commerce from Chapter 5 of the text book

What worked:
For the first time I used a warm-up slide. I asked the question “How are you feeling today” with some normal answers and some funny ones. This was a fun way to start. I then used a few optical illusion slides and these went down well and the students seemed to enjoy the process. I also ended with a fun question about optical illusions.

What didn’t work:
I thought it would be easy to find warm-up slide questions but I couldn’t. I only decided to add this on the morning of the lecture and finding the right question took longer than I thought.

I added a countdown timer but it never really worked as I thought. It involves an extra click and that was confusing. I also didn’t use it on all slides so some ended too soon. I wanted to re-poll these but couldn’t remember the command to do this (I think it is F4)

Some of the slides had the same answer twice and this was just sloppy on my part. This obviously confused the students and it also changed the results. As some voted for say option 1 and others voted for option 5 when in fact they were the same answer.

I tried to use a participation list but realised that the list needs to be loaded on the computer doing the presentation. This seems obvious in hindsight, but I created the presentation on my work PC using a participation list and then copy the presentation to the laptop. The participation list is a standalone file in the Turning Point directory.

What would I change:

  • I would finalise my slide the day before. This would give my more time to run through the presentation
  • I had too much content and should have cut this down
  • I need to rehearse my timings

Lessons learnt:

  • Content lecture time is reduced when using Clickers (this sounds obvious but is true)
  • Using Clickers takes time to handout and time to collect
  • A Clicker lecture needs more precise time allocating than a normal lecture
  • I need to develop a bank of fun and amusing warm-up slides to be used at the beginning
  • Printout a list of TurningPoint shortcut keys and put it next to the laptop

Things to try

  • I must try to use the Registration Tool
  • I need to learn how the countdown timer actually works

my second classroom clicker session

My second session using clickers was on Wednesday 4th August 2010 at 11:00

What worked:

In the session everything seemed to go well (the problems came afterwards – see below).

I used a different colour scheme this time with a darker background and no footers. This meant I could move the text around when creating the slides and also gave me more space within the slide to display the objects.

The template was downloaded from the internet and this was better than the one I was using for my normal slides as it had more practical colours and this is an issue when there are say 6 options and each colour needs to be readable. My template sometimes showed white font on yellow which didn’t show up.

What didn’t work:

My plan was to send around a paper class register and than ask the each student to add their devive ID (which is on a sticker on the back of each clicker).

There were a number of problems with this:

  • There were duplicate ID’s listed.  Not sure how to prevent this as the students wrote down the ID’s
  • I was unable to use the list as I had created the slides with Participant List (Anonymous)

This was the big mistake of the day! I could not link the answers to each student as TurningPoint said the session was anonymous. All I had was data with ID’s from 1 to 83 and no link to my paper list. This was a major problem as I asked questions that I wanted to link back to each students. Like which lab they would prefer etc.

What would I change:

I need to understand how the participant list works in TurningPoint. I need to find out how best to use it and then make sure that I set-up my presentation to always work with participant lists. I think Anonymous should only be used if each student has their own clicker. Anonyous can also be turned on during the presentation on a slide by slide basis if required so I see no real reason why it should be the default. I need to see it I can change the default setting.

Lessons learnt:

  • Always set the Participant List at least to (Auto) as this gives you the Device ID
  • Leaving it as (Anonymous) means that there is no way you can later add a participant list
  • Ideally add a participant list before starting the session
  • If you want a truly anonymous session then don’t ask who is using which clicker or make the slide anonymous
  • I can only see a use for the (Anonymous) setting if the students have their own clicker or use the same one every time

Things to try:

  • Learn how the Real-time Registration Tool works