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ERIC Number: EJ913076
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Innovative Use of a Classroom Response System during Physics Lab
Walgren, Jay
Physics Teacher, v49 n1 p30-32 Jan 2011
More and more physics instructors are making use of personal/classroom response systems or "clickers." The use of clickers to engage students with multiple-choice questions during lecture and available instructor resources for clickers have been well documented in this journal. Newer-generation clickers, which I refer to as classroom response systems (CRS), have evolved to accept numeric answers (such as 9.81) instead of just single "multiple-choice" entries (Fig. 1). This advancement is available from most major clicker companies and allows for a greater variety of engaging questions during lecture. In addition, these new "numeric ready" clickers are marketed to be used for student assessments. During a test or quiz, students' answers are entered into their clicker instead of on paper or Scantron[R] and immediately absorbed by wireless connection into a computer for grading and analysis. I recognize the usefulness and benefit these new-generation CRSs provide for many instructors. However, I do not use my CRS in either of the aforementioned activities. Instead, I use it in an unconventional way. I use the CRS to electronically capture students' lab data as they are performing a physics lab (Fig. 2). I set up the clickers as if I were going to use them for a test, but instead of entering answers to a test, my students enter lab data as they collect it. In this paper I discuss my use of a classroom response system during physics laboratory and three benefits that result: 1) Students are encouraged to "take ownership of" and "have integrity with" their physics lab data. 2) Students' measuring and unit conversion deficiencies are identified immediately during the lab. 3) The process of grading students' labs is simplified because the results of each student's lab calculations can be pre-calculated for the instructor using a spreadsheet. My use of clickers during lab can be implemented with most clicker systems available to instructors today. The CRS I use is the eInstruction's[R] Classroom Performance System[TM] (CPS[TM]).
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A