Monday, May 17, 2004

In-class response system evaluation

The last week of lecturing is finally here, and as always there's far more to do than time to do it in. Since this is the first semester I've used the in-class response system, I'm excited about getting student feedback on it. A few weeks after the students started using the system I did a preliminary survey (results are in the middle of the linked post) which showed that the students seemed to like the system a lot. What I want to find out this week is if that initial "like" has blossomed into a full-blown love affair, or if the romantic glow has faded from their eyes and they're still "just friends".

In my first survey I asked three primary questions, and I'm planning on asking them again this week (I've summarized the answer options in brackets; when options are separated with a "->" an intermediate answer option will be present)
  • How much do you like having the in-class response system (PRS system) in this class? [Like them a lot -> Neutral -> Dislike them a lot]

  • If you had a choice, would you prefer this class use or not use the in-class response system (PRS system)? [Greatly prefer with -> Neutral -> Greatly prefer without]

  • Would you like other instructors to use the in-class response system (PRS system)? [Definitely want -> Neutral -> Definitely don't want]
However, there's clearly more I could ask, and more I'd like to find out. My initial thoughts for further questions include:
  • Do you feel that the in-class response system helped you understand the topics covered in this class? [Helped a lot, helped a little, it didn't help or hurt, hindered learning a little, hindered learning a lot]

  • Did the in-class response system help you stay involved/interested/awake in lecture? [Definitely helped -> Neutral -> Definitely didn't help]

  • Did the in-class response system influence your attendance in this course? [Was a major factor in my coming to class, was a minor factor, was not a factor]

  • Did you experience any problems using the in-class response system, and if so, how severe were they? [No problems, minor problems that were resolved, minor problems that were not resolved, major problems that were resolved, major problems that were not resolved]

  • How did your participation in this class compare with participation in other similar-sized classes (~150 students)? [A lot more participation -> Same -> A lot less participation]

  • If you had your way, how many in-class response system questions would you like to see in my future lectures? [Many more -> About the same as currently (2-4 per lecture) -> None per lecture]

  • In the last few weeks of the semester I regularly started class with a review question. Did you find this helpful, and should I keep doing it? [Definitely helped, keep doing it -> Neutral, doesn't matter much -> Definitely didn't help, don't keep doing it -> I missed all of them]

  • Overall, how did you like the way I discussed questions after your responses had been tabulated? [Discussed them for too long, discussed a bit longer than I'd like, just right, didn't discuss them quite long enough, didn't discuss them nearly long enough]

I'd also like to open this up and find out if there's anything my esteemed readers would like asked, since at least some of you have expressed interest in using this system in your own classrooms. I plan on asking some questions on Tuesday and some on Thursday of this week (using the system, of course), so feel free to either e-mail me suggestions or leave them in the comments before then.

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