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This module outlines a four-step approach to formulating clicker questions and using clickers effectively in a classroom setting.

For clicker questions of the emphasized type, we believe it is best to usually follow the following steps:

Step a: question

Instructor poses the question, often with some remark about its purpose.

Step b: peer discussion

Students have time to think about the question individually (possibly answering individually with clicker), and then discuss the question in pairs or small groups (peer discussion). C.H. Crouch, J. Watkins, A.P. Fagen, and E. Mazur, “Peer Instruction: Engaging Students One-on-One, All At Once,” Research-Based Reform of University Physics, 1 (1) (2007); E. Mazur, Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual (Prentice Hall, NJ, 1997).

Step c: vote

Students submit answer using clicker.

Step d: whole-class discussion

Instructor and students have follow-up discussion, usually emphasizing the “why” of correct options and “why not” for incorrect options. The instructor should also make sure that any residual issues or student questions from the discussion are explicitly addressed before moving on.

Each of these steps plays important roles in students’ learning processes.

Step a: question

By posing a question to the students, several “good” things happen:

  1. Focuses students’ attention on (what you consider to be) the important ideas,
  2. Allows students to try applying ideas they just heard or read about,
  3. Allows students to build or make connections between ideas or representations,
  4. Gives students an opportunity to analyze a (new) situation or context, and
  5. Gets students thinking about how to ask questions (that is, it explicitly models the process of analyzing ideas or conclusions by asking questions and figuring out the answers).
  6. Prepares them to learn. Schwartz and Bransford D. Schwartz and J. Bransford, A time for telling, Cognition and Instruction, 16, 475 (1998). have shown that when a person tries to answer a question on a topic they do not know, even when they are quite unsuccessful in obtaining a correct answer, they subsequently learn much more from an explanation of the topic than if they hear the same explanation without preceding the explanation with a question they attempt to answer. This means a clicker question can be valuable when it precedes discussion of a topic.

When posing a question you might experiment with different ways of providing the answer choices. Often it can be good to have the students think about the answer before the answer options are revealed to them. This can discourage them from using test taking strategies to eliminate possible multiple choice options, rather than reasoning through the question as you intended. We have observed in some cases that not seeing the answer possibilities results in students using their notes and making more of an effort to connect the question to prior material. It can also be a good opportunity to make them practice drawing or diagramming something before presenting them with drawings to choose from. Also, listening to student discussions before possible answers are revealed can sometimes provide additional insights on student reasoning and/or confusion.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Clicker resource guide. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10724/1.2
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