“Waking the Dead” with good questions

mummyWaking the Dead describes the initial research by Rand Cuthrie and Anna Carlin of Cal Poly Pomona on the effectiveness of SRSs in higher education as they introduced student response systems to engage passive listeners in their college classes. What a great title! It certainly sums up one of the most powerful features of this technology, waking the dead. It’s definitely much more difficult for a kid to slide by and go unnoticed when their every response is noted and recorded (which DOES NOT mean graded, but that’s a different discussion).

When I began using my CPS student response system two years ago as a participant in the Sustainable Classroom Grant and have fallen in love with it. I started by writing 2-3 questions that I started class with each day. That was it, just 2-3 questions for each class period so that I made sure I was using it every day but yet it wasn’t too overwhelming with all the other technology I was learning to use at the same time. Times have certainly changed since then. Now I use it every day throughout the class period, I know how to import questions from Examview, and I feel so comfortable using it that I regularly use it to ask unplanned questions that come up during class.

In my constant search for new and better ways to use this technology, I have come across a few other sites all about asking good questions. Some focus on using student response systems in particular, but others are really just about asking great questions which I think this is a better way to learn to integrate technology – tech should SUPPORT GOOD TEACHING first and foremost.

Vanderbilt Center For Teaching: Student Response Systems discusses types of questions and activities that lend themselves to this technology. Great resource for all subjects and grade levels to get teachers thinking about how and why they ask questions.

The GoodQuestions Project at Cornell University has questions and preclass warmups for introductory calculus on their materials page

Asking good questions in the mathematics classroom by Maria Terrell of Cornell University is a great personal case study.

Math247.jot.com has good questions for calculus in both Examview and pdf formats.

Transforming Student Learning with Classroom Communication Systems describes how student response systems can transform the learning process and includes advice drawn from lessons learned through a decade of experience in teaching physics.


The image above is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Italy” Licence.


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