Classroom Response Systems

Classroom response systems, or “clickers,” are instructional technologies that enable teachers to rapidly collect and analyze students’ responses to multiple-choice questions. I am interested in investigating the types of questions and actvities that take advantage of these technologies to productively transform the way instructors use class time. You can follow my investigations on my Teaching with Classroom Response Systems blog.

I regularly consult with Vanderbilt University faculty interested in making effective use of clickers in their teaching. To that end, I’ve put together a teaching guide on clickers and a bibliography featuring research on the effectiveness of clickers. See this recent article in the Vanderbilt Register for more information on clickers at Vanderbilt, as well as ways in which I use clickers in my own teaching.

I have spoken twice on clickers as part of the Teaching, Learning, & Technology (TLT) Group’s FridayLive webinar series. The first session, titled "Classroom Response Systems: Teaching with Clickers," focused on useful types of questions to ask in class with clickers. The second session, titled "Clickers as Tools for Engagement: Removing ‘Cloaks of Invisibility,’" focused on ways to use clickers to engage students in learning during class. Follow the links for archived versions of these sessions.

I have recently finished writing a book for faculty on teaching with classroom response systems. The book is titled Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments and is coming out in February 2009 from Jossey-Bass.  In the book I describe many ways college and university instructors can use classroom response systems to engage and assess their students.  The book features example clicker questions and activities from almost 50 instructors from a wide variety of disciplines and types of institutions, as well as advice for using clickers to generate class-wide and small-group discussion, to prepare students to get more out of lectures, to conduct classroom games, to administer quizzes and tests, and to generate feedback on student learning useful for instructors and students.

If you’ve used clickers in your teaching, I would be glad to hear from you. Also, if you’re interested in bringing a speaker to your campus to talk to faculty about clickers or facilitate a workshop on clickers, I would be glad to talk with you about visiting your campus.

Publications

  • Bruff, D. (2009) Teaching with classroom response systems: Creating active learning environments. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Bruff, D. (2007). Clickers: A classroom innovation. National Education Association Advocate, 25(1), 5-8.

Invited Talks

  • Bruff, D. (2008, September). Teaching with clickers: Engaging students with classroom response systems.  Presented at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

  • Bruff, D. (2008, April). Teaching with clickers: Engaging and assessing students with classroom response systems. Presented at San Joaquin Delta Community College, Stockton, CA.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, October). Classroom response systems: An introduction to teaching with clickers. Presented at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, October). Classroom response systems: An introduction to teaching with clickers. Presented at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, September). An introduction to teaching with clickers. Presented at Castleton State College, Castleton, VT.

Conference Talks

  • Bruff, D., Cline, K., Parker, M., & Zullo, H. (2009, January). Teaching with clickers and classroom voting. Minicourse presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Washington, DC. [Slides Day One] [Slides Day Two]

  • Bruff, D. (2008, November). A taxonomy of clicker questions and activities: Reflecting on current and future uses of classroom response systems. Presented at the Inaugural Conference on Classroom Response Systems, Louisville, KY.

  • Bender, H., & Bruff, D. (2008, March). Clickers as tools for engagement: Removing "cloaks of invisibility." Presented at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) Group’s FridayLive! web conference.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, December). Thoughts on backchannels. Presented at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) Group’s FridayLive! web conference.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, November). Classroom response systems: Teaching with clickers. Presented at the Middle Tennessee Math Teachers Conference, Nashville, TN.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, November). Classroom response systems: Teaching with clickers. Presented at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) Group’s FridayLive! web conference.

  • Bruff, D. (2007, March). Supporting faculty use of classroom response systems. Presented at the Southern Regional Faculty and Instructional Development Consortium (SRFIDC) Conference, Chattanooga, TN. [Slides]

  • Bruff, D. (2006, October). Supporting faculty use of classroom response systems. Presented at the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network Annual Conference, Portland, OR.


Page maintained by Derek Bruff (derek.bruff [at] vanderbilt.edu).

Last updated January 15, 2009.

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