Tag Archives: clickers


My Tech Stack for Public Talks

A young boy giving a public talk at a microphoneWhether you like it or not, public speaking is a big part of what we do in academe. There is of course the teaching that makes up a large part of many of our jobs. But then there are the more formal speaking requirements of the job: conference presentations, job talks, and — hopefully — invited keynotes. Whether you’re an introvert or not — and Bill Pannapacker is correct that academia is a place that perversely attracts and then screens out the introverts — you inevitably want to do your best. …


Live Polling of Your Students with Poll Everywhere

A Screenshot of a Poll Everywhere Slide

Poll Everywhere is an online service that allows you to poll an audience through text-messaging. The polling mechanism is quite simple (and therefore easy for audiences to use): every answer in your poll has a unique number, and audience members text that number to Poll Everywhere’s 6-digit short code. The real magic occurs next, as you and your audience watch the results roll in, live.

I’ve been saying “audience,” but what I really have in mind is “students.” You ask your students a question, …


Low-tech alternatives to clickers

Audience at Humanities TheatreHopefully you’ve heard by now, but clickers are a great tool to use in the classroom to facilitate student learning through peer instruction (PI). Much has been written about them, and if you are new to clickers and PI I encourage you to take a look at what others have said about them, especially the pedagogy they support. Two must-have starting resources are Eric Mazur’s Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual and Derek Bruff’s Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Enviro…


Using Clickers to Facilitate Peer Review in a Writing Seminar


This is a guest post by Derek Bruff, assistant director at the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and senior lecturer in mathematics at Vanderbilt. You can follow Derek on Twitter (@derekbruff) and on his blog, where he writes about educational technology, student motivation, and visual thinking, among other topics.

I teach math courses, but for the first time this fall, I’m teaching a first-year writing seminar. It’s still a math course, since the topic is cryptography (codes and c…


Multiple Choice Questions on Exams

[This is a guest post by Derek Bruff, an assistant director of the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, where he is also a senior lecturer in Mathematics.  His book, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, about the technology known as clickers, was published in February, 2009 by Jossey-Bass.  On Twitter, he is @derekbruff. -- JBJ]

A couple of years ago, I was teaching a statistics course for the second time.  The first time I had taught th…