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

my first classroom clicker session

My first clicker session was on Tuesday 3rd August 2010

What worked:

Handing out the clickers seem to work okay and didn’t take too much time. There must be a better way to do this but for a first time it seemed to go okay. Collecting the clickers back from the students also worked and I never lost one (thank goodness). Losing a clicker is a concern for me as they are expensive.

The session was interactive and that made it enjoyable. I never had a coutdown on the slides and rather just watched the polling numbers to decide when to move on. This felt better as I wasn’t waiting for a countdown except I know that the presenter can stop the polling at any time. So maybe I will play with this feature going forward. i didn’t wanti to add too many “bells and whistles” yet as it could become distracting.

I showed the results for each slide and this seem to be interesting to the class. It also gave me a chance to discuss the answers with them.

What didn’t work:

Microsoft PowerPoint crashed right at the end and I lost the session data and therefore all the answers! I did managed to find answers to the first few questions as I had gone out of PowerPoint at one stage in order to edit the questions – but this wasn’t enough. I think I did something while it was polling and then MS Office tried to save the autorecover file and then couldn’t so I had to kill the process. I must see if there is an autosave for session data.

The screen I was using didn’t show the top of the slide. Not sure why but it meant that the students could not read the first line if it was too high on the slide. This meant that in the middle othe presentation i had to go into edit mode in PowerPoint and edit the offending slide. Not great and stopped the flow.

What would I change:

I would add a few slides at the beginning of the presentation to explain how the clickers work. Something that shows the clicker and which buttons to press and then what the flashing lights mean. I would also add a slide that shows how each student can test their clicker and also add a note about what to do if it isn’t working (eg put hand up and get another one)

Lessons learnt:

  • Maintain focus at the end of the session
  • Make sure the session and the PowerPoint slides are saved before starting to pack up or disconnect
  • Test the presentation in the room before hand
  • Allow time to set up and time to shut down
  • Include a slide that shows how the use the clicker