Concept quizzes and "clickers" for assessing students in real time-Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

Instructor: Paul Karol
Course: 09-105: Introduction to Modern Chemistry, Chemistry Department,
Mellon College of Science
Assessment: Using Quizzes and “Clickers” for Assessing Students’ Understanding of Concepts in Real Time

Purpose:

In a large lecture course, it is difficult to know what students do and do not understand as material is presented. I noticed that students did not understand basic concepts, were unable to apply the concepts to problems in class, and had difficulty self-assessing their understanding in class. I had tried pencil-and-paper concept quizzes, but the additional grading and analysis of results was time-consuming. I wanted to assess student understanding of basic concepts as they were covered during the lecture, but maintain a manageable amount of time spent grading and providing feedback.

Implementation:

I began using a clicker system that students could use to answer concept quizzes. Each week, I administered a concept quiz to assess students’ understanding of concepts recently covered in lecture. Before each quiz, I asked students if they had understood all the concepts; then I put up the slides for the quiz.

Results:

Students have responded positively to taking concept quizzes with the clicker system because they see it as a collaborative exercise in learning. It has also helped me to know if I should return to a concept or move onto the next one.

Comments:

Learning to set up the software for the clicker system takes time, and there can be some technical issues with the clickers themselves.

CONTACT US to talk with an Eberly colleague in person!