There was much cheering in August when IU signed an enterprise agreement with Top Hat, making this “clicker” solution free for IU students. Many faculty members have jumped at this opportunity to engage students in class and discover in real time what students are understanding and what they are not. But now that you’ve got Top Hat, what can you do with it? Some ideas are below.
You can take attendance with Top Hat, but be aware that it has many similar vulnerabilities as most attendance-taking options (including paper and pencil). See Ensuring Accurate Attendance and Participation with Top Hat for more information about this.
Did you do and understand your homework?
Consider starting off your class session with a low-stakes reading/homework quiz. Besides seeing if your students understood what they needed to, this activity also activates prior knowledge and re-focuses to the topic at hand.
Application: Present a few Matching or Word Answer questions at the beginning of class.
What do YOU think?
Maybe you want to see what your students’ opinions are on a subject, or perhaps you want to demonstrate how their bias confirms or denies that of the general public or some sub-population. Adding a poll offers you the ability to collect and display data immediately.
Application: Present Multiple-Choice, Sorting, or even Click-on-Target questions in the middle of your lecture or to prompt group work.
Class is over – what did you get out of today?
Before students leave class for the day, solidify what you’ve done with them and determine what you may need to re-address next time with some questions that ask them to summarize or apply what they’ve learned to another situation. You could also use “Word Answer” questions as a modification to the “Muddiest Point” activity (for a description of “Muddiest Point” and other activities, see Active Learning Activities for the Classroom).
Application: Present Sorting questions to see if students can order a process or Numeric Answer or Multiple Choice questions to present scenarios.
If you’ve come up with any other ideas, please share them in Leave a Reply below.
Know a colleague who might benefit from this information? CITL encourages you to share this information to colleagues as well. Interested in learning more about clickers and Top Hat? Consider attending a CITL workshop or contact our office for an individual consultation.