Note: The following is a shortened version of a post on the
electric educator blog that I maintain.
This year I have been using a student response system (SRS) to give quizzes to my students each Friday. The SRS set that I have is made by einstruction. I have been fairly pleased with the performance of the system. The hardware works great. The software is a bit quirky.
The initial response of my students to this system was extremely enthusiastic. They loved it! It brought new life to quiz taking. I used the system all during first semester and have continued this semester. The enthusiasm for the clicker quizzes has cooled considerably, however.
After several students requested to take paper versions of the quiz instead of using the clickers, I began offering this option to all of my students. Those who preferred paper quizzes said that they didn't like the time limit for each question and had trouble focusing in the noise of the classroom. Because of this request, I now begin by asking if anyone would prefer to take a paper version (the questions are all the same) of the quiz instead of using the clickers.
This week, about half of my students decided to take the paper version of the quiz instead of using the clickers. What shocked me was that approximately 95% of the students that chose the paper version were girls! I was amazed to see that nearly all of the guys in my class wanted to take the clicker quiz and nearly all the girls preferred the paper quiz!
During my next quiz I will ask all of my students to take both the clicker quiz and the paper quiz (I will disable the option of showing the correct answer at the end of each question when using the clickers). As I analyze the data I will be looking for a relationship between the quiz delivery method and student performance.
I'm interested in hearing if anyone has made similar observations when using a SRS system or if you have any suggestions on my case study. Feel free to comment here or on my
blog.