A recent paper on Audience Response Systems and Missingness Trends in JMIR Formative Research identified an issue that educators need to pay attention to when using ARS to discuss sensitive issues in a school setting. As we’ve noted elsewhere in discussing the value of using ARS to facilitate active student engagement, the anonymity of ARS can help shy students overcome their reticence and diffidence. It can give a voice to students who feel uncomfortable sharing the reality of their experiences.
You’ve heard the terms positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement usually takes the form of a reward given for actively behaving a certain way. Negative reinforcement takes the form of a reward given for not engaging in a specific kind of behavior.
Reticence. It’s a fancy word that means a “reluctance to speak about something” and reticence is often the last thing that a board wants to encounter when asking voters to speak their minds.
Interacting with students can be tricky, particularly if you are seeking active engagement on sensitive topics. We’ve already written about how some educators are using audience response systems (ARS) to present interactive classroom programs on sexual health, but topics that are ostensibly far less delicate can also benefit from the use of a classroom response system.
The acceptance of electronics in the modern classroom is one that has proven a boon to students, who can more easily transcribe notes and access Internet-based source material being used in a lecture. Inversely, they have also become easy distractions from ongoing lectures. Random web searches, gaming or consumption of unrelated media could be taking place if they aren’t properly engaged.
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.
Student engagement is a priority for teachers who work hard to enrich the lives of their students through high-quality education. Today’s children have been raised with technology in all aspects of their lives, and the use of student response systems in the classroom can enhance learning and student engagement while erasing issues of peer pressure, shyness or embarrassment.