Friday, June 28, 2013

Further adventures in Summer School

My summer class is winding down, and I'm still enjoying it (except for the ungodly starting time). We had another class today where the Learning Catalytics software really came through. Students were clearly having issues on public goods and common resource problems, but were not very forthcoming, so we went into the questions I'd prepared on the topic.

These questions go to their phones, tablets, or computers, where they answer and then  I see on my laptop either the individual answers if I've asked for a graph or a short answer, or the distribution of answers if the question was multiple choice.

On the first three questions, the splits were almost even between correct and incorrect, so without revealing the correct answer, I had the students discuss their answers with someone who had a different answer. In each case this "peer-instruction" (I never call it that in class), got us to around 75-80% correct, at which point I showed the distributions to the class and we talked through the incorrect answers.

On the last couple questions, we were getting 85-90% correct on the first round, and the mood in the room had brightened visibly.

It doesn't happen like this every class, but several times this process has really gotten the class to a place we might not have reached without this tool.

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