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Presenting Clicker Questions with an Open- Versus Closed-Response Format

    Authors: Ginger R. Fisher1, Sue Ellen DeChenne1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, 501 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80639. Phone: 970-351-2004. E-mail: SueEllen.DeChenne@unco.edu.
    • ©2015 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 254-255. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.951
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    Abstract:

    Active learning can improve student learning but can be more difficult to use in large classrooms. Course response systems (clickers) can be used to increase active learning and student discussion. In this study, students in a large introductory biology course were given clicker questions in different formats. Students were first presented with an open response question on a PowerPoint slide where no potential answers were visible. After peer discussion, the same question was presented with potential answers in a multiple choice format and students used their clickers to answer. For comparison, the same questions were asked in a different section of the same course but all questions were in the standard multiple choice format. The results show that C students perform better when required to create their own answer for the question. The instructor also noted that student discussions were longer, most likely because students had to discuss the biology rather than just confirming a specific answer choice.

References & Citations

1. Anderson LW, Krathwohl DR, Bloom BS2001A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectivesLongmanNew York, NY
2. Bloom BS, Krathwohl DR, Masia BB1956Taxonomy of educational objectives: the classification of educational goalsD. McKayNew York, NY
3. Brooker RJ, Widmaier EP, Graham L, Stiling PD2011BiologyMcGraw-HillNew York, NY
4. Caldwell JE2007Clickers in the large classroom: current research and best-practice tipsCBE Life Sci Educ692010.1187/cbe.06-12-0205173393891810212 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-12-0205
5. Crossgrove K, Curran KL2008Using clickers in nonmajors- and majors-level biology courses: student opinion, learning, and long-term retention of course materialCBE Life Sci Educ714615410.1187/cbe.07-08-0060183168172262112 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.07-08-0060
6. Freeman S, et al2014Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematicsProc Natl Acad Sci1118410841510.1073/pnas.1319030111248217564060654 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111
7. Smith MK, Wood WB, Krauter K, Knight JK2011Combining peer discussion with instructor explanation increases student learning from in-class concept questionsCBE Life Sci Educ10556310.1187/cbe.10-08-0101213641003046888 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.10-08-0101
8. Vickrey T, Rosploch K, Rahmanian R, Pilarz M, Stains M2015Research-based implementation of peer instruction: a literature reviewCBE Life Sci Educ14es3257130954353089
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.951
2015-12-01
2017-09-23

Abstract:

Active learning can improve student learning but can be more difficult to use in large classrooms. Course response systems (clickers) can be used to increase active learning and student discussion. In this study, students in a large introductory biology course were given clicker questions in different formats. Students were first presented with an open response question on a PowerPoint slide where no potential answers were visible. After peer discussion, the same question was presented with potential answers in a multiple choice format and students used their clickers to answer. For comparison, the same questions were asked in a different section of the same course but all questions were in the standard multiple choice format. The results show that C students perform better when required to create their own answer for the question. The instructor also noted that student discussions were longer, most likely because students had to discuss the biology rather than just confirming a specific answer choice.

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FIGURE 1

Comparison of open- versus closed-format clicker questions. Percentage of questions answered correctly in the open versus closed format, for all students and by final course grade. The for each group is: A = 44, B = 128, C = 114, D = 58, F = 50. The group for which the difference is significant is the students with a C grade ( = 2.005, = 0.045).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2015 vol. 16 no. 2 254-255. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.951
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