If you ever want to see a classroom full of students simultaneously roll their eyes, speak the words “pop quiz.”
But it’s not just the students that groan. These impromptu assessments of student skills can take a toll on teachers, as well. Along with pulling together questions based on the subject matter, there’s the toil of presentation, paper collection, hand grading and returning results to students.
Fortunately, there’s a more efficient testing model that benefits both students and teachers. Using audience response, the necessary task of testing becomes less of a chore and, instead, an interactive process that facilitates more effective learning.
By using audience response hardware and software, teachers can easily prepare quizzes and tests that forgo traditional pencil-and-paper in favor of a centralized system that displays questions on the classroom projector, and allows students to respond from their desks using audience response handsets.
Answers are collected and processed immediately, giving students instant feedback on their performance. Gone are the days of waiting until the next day for a graded paper. Instead, students can find out their grades – and where they answered incorrectly – as soon as the test is complete.
In addition, teachers find out right away where gaps in knowledge exist. Weak spots in learning are immediately identifiable and can be addressed either through additional instruction or by engaging the class as a whole to help students who answered incorrectly understand the material better. For the teacher, there’s less time spent grading papers and more time spent addressing gaps and bringing the entire class up to speed. In addition, the system instantly stores results so the teacher can track students’ performance over time.
Overall, a classroom audience response not only saves time and work on the part of the teacher, but maximizes the learning potential for students, as well as adding an element of fun and interaction to a task that so often feels like a burden.
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