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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: [email protected].
    • ©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 BS 2001 A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives Longman New York, NY
2. Bloom BS, Krathwohl DR, Masia BB 1956 Taxonomy of educational objectives: the classification of educational goals D. McKay New York, NY
3. Brooker RJ, Widmaier EP, Graham L, Stiling PD 2011 Biology McGraw-Hill New York, NY
4. Caldwell JE 2007 Clickers in the large classroom: current research and best-practice tips CBE Life Sci Educ 6 9 20 10.1187/cbe.06-12-0205 17339389 1810212 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-12-0205
5. Crossgrove K, Curran KL 2008 Using clickers in nonmajors- and majors-level biology courses: student opinion, learning, and long-term retention of course material CBE Life Sci Educ 7 146 154 10.1187/cbe.07-08-0060 18316817 2262112 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.07-08-0060
6. Freeman S, et al 2014 Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics Proc Natl Acad Sci 111 8410 8415 10.1073/pnas.1319030111 24821756 4060654 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111
7. Smith MK, Wood WB, Krauter K, Knight JK 2011 Combining peer discussion with instructor explanation increases student learning from in-class concept questions CBE Life Sci Educ 10 55 63 10.1187/cbe.10-08-0101 21364100 3046888 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.10-08-0101
8. Vickrey T, Rosploch K, Rahmanian R, Pilarz M, Stains M 2015 Research-based implementation of peer instruction: a literature review CBE Life Sci Educ 14 es3 25713095 4353089

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.951
2015-12-01
2019-08-17

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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