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