Audience Response System Is it a teaching tool, or a toy?

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1 Audience Response System Is it a teaching tool, or a toy? Ky Haverkamp, PA C Linda Vorvick, MD Integrating Advances in Technology and Education Using An Audience Response System (ARS) To Create Interest and Enhance Learning Deana M. Richter, MA Director of Teacher & Educational Development Lecturer II, Family & Community Medicine Medicine Steve Mitchell, MD Director of Office of Academic Support & Information Systems Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medicine MedEdPORTAL Providing Online Resources To Advance Learning Learning Objectives Identify pros and cons of using an audience response system for the program, the lecturer, and the student. Identify types of questions and applications that enhance student learning.

2 Learning Objectives cont. Recognize common pitfalls of using ARS, both human and technological. Discuss how to integrate an audience response system into one s own curriculum 1. Yes 2. No 3. Yes, but quit 4. No, but plan to start Do you use ARS? ARS as a new toy ARS is a fun new toy, especially to people who: Like technology and the latest gadgets Like high rates of change Are usually early adopters of new ideas Like to try something out first, and then think about how it might work or not work

3 ARS increases student engagement Technology is something students expect to be used in the classroom. Asking questions Breaks up the monotony of a straight lecture, similar to including jokes and cartoons Forces the student to use the information just presented Allows the lecturer to assess student s understanding, and correct misinformation Pushing a button keeps students active rather than passive ARS relies heavily on the equipment Technology can be an enemy when it doesn t work Most new technology has a learning curve for the user, and usually fails during times of stress, like presentations ARS systems are relatively new, so they are not plug and play, they each have their own idiosyncrasies ARS can chop up a good lecture Inserting too many questions can disrupt the flow of a lecture. A question with a controversial answer can sidetrack the lecture, if the controversy isn t the point of the talk. Simple questions can be boring which doesn t help the lecture.

4 ARS questions can reinforce the wrong answer Committing to an answer will make it more memorable. So wrong answers need to be corrected immediately. Therefore the correct answer needs to be emphasized. ARS testing can create student anxiety Using the technology for a graded test works but it creates a lot of student anxiety because the format is new, slides are timed, response unit might not work! Students will argue with the answers right then! Students have trouble with later questions when they answer the first question wrong. Students will spend a lot of time worrying that the technology won t accurately record their score. ARS testing can create program anxiety Not everyone in a program likes technology Not everyone in a program likes change Not everyone in a program is an early adopter Not everyone in a program trusts computer generated test results. The amount of investment needed to master setting up the technology may take more time and effort than some are willing to invest.

5 How do you know what your learners really know and understand? A. By the looks on their faces B. By the questions they ask (or don t ask) C. By how well they perform on tests D. All of the above E. I don t really know ARS can increase learning Testing at the beginning of a class can insure that everyone has read the background material. Committing to an answer increases the likelihood that the concept will be remembered. Questions build repetition into a talk without redundancy. Educational pedagogy can be used to construct questions. ARS question: In a national survey done in 1993, 87% of college students participating in the survey reported that they had cheated on written work, and 70% admitted to cheating on a college exam at least once. Have you ever cheated on a college exam?

6 Follow up: Ask learners how their responses compare to the national data collected in the survey and why they think this is the case. Discuss the potential consequences of cheating to the person who cheats and to his/her peers who do not, both in the short term and long term. ARS can make teaching/learning fun Breaking up a lecture can be nice for the teacher and the students. Large groups can have discussion like input without the same people always volunteering. Student who don t like speaking up in class can be interactive without having to raise their hand, or risk being wrong. ARS question: A newly developed highly accurate diagnostic test for disease X has a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 80%. If a test result is positive, what is the likelihood that the patient has disease X? A. 95% B. 80% C. Cannot be determined

7 Follow up: Ask learners to explain why they chose the answer they did. Then explain that there are common preconceived misunderstandings about terms such as accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity; and that answer cannot be determined without more information about positive predictive value and pretest probability. ARS can assess student s understanding Asking a question before you teach a point will let you know how much detail you need to give. Asking a question after you have taught a point lets you know if the class is still confused. Putting questions at the end of the lecture, or a few days later can assess if there are areas that need to be reviewed. ARS question: Which one of the following concepts addressed in this session is the muddiest in terms of your understanding and ability to apply? (Include all of these concepts are clear to me option.)

8 Follow up: Have learners pair up and spend 5 minutes or so discussing with each other the concepts they find muddy, trying to clarify them (teaching each other). Have them answer the question again. If there is still one or more concepts a significant number of learners are unclear about, plan a strategy for clarifying them. ARS lets students know how much the class understood new concepts The class knows how well the group understands a concept. Stopping to review a difficult concept where the class got wrong answers is less frustrating to those who got it right because they can see that there were classmates who didn t understand. ARS allows students to gauge their comprehension of the material Each student keeps score for themselves and will quickly realize if they are behind in understanding the material. Wrong answers direct students to the areas they need to review. Students who answer correctly are relieved that they do understand. Make sure to clarify that your questions are, or are not, at the same level as your exams!

9 ARS question: True or False Over the last 20 years, advances in medical diagnostic technology have significantly supplanted the need for a comprehensive history and physical. Follow up: Ask learners to share with the group why they answered the way they did. Explore the group s thoughts about the diagnostic importance of the history and physical, and share recent evidence that suggests the correct answer to this question is False. unm edu ARS lets teachers know how much the class already knows Assessing attitudes before an exposure helps teachers modify the tone for their audience. Assessing basic knowledge lets a lecturer skip the introductory material, or go more slowly because it is needed.

10 ARS question: If you could get a DNA test done that would identify potential health risks to you prior to their development or clinical diagnosis, would you want to do it and get the results? Follow up: Ask learners to discuss with a partner why they answered the way they did. Via large group discussion, develop a list of pros and cons from the class. Discuss the healthcare implications. Ask the ARS question again and see if consideration of the pros and cons changed any minds. unm edu ARS gives student s a stake in the lecture Likert scales can be used for exposing attitudes across the class without attributing a point of view to any individual.

11 ARS question: A 24 year old Caucasian female presents to your clinic with complaints of palpitations, anxiety, less frequent menstrual cycles, and difficulty sleeping for the past 6 7 months. Physical examination reveals a rapid but regular heart rate, prominent eye bulging bilaterally, and rapid deep tendon reflexes in all extremities. The thyroid gland is enlarged to twice the normal size. A thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level is ordered. What would you expect the TSH level to be? [OR Ask: what is the diagnosis and include options of hyperthroidism and Grave s disease] ARS lets teachers use the wrong answers to teach difficult concepts Questions don t need to meet the standards used in a test. Well worded wrong answers can be very effective teaching tools. Questions with more than one correct answer, or one more correct and one sometimes correct answer are excellent teaching tools. Detail and nuances can be clarified with wrong answers. ARS works well when: Teachers and students are comfortable with the technology Educational goal for using ARS in a specific setting is clear to the faculty and students

12 ARS doesn t work well when: Used in a high stakes grading situation It distracts from the content of a session by: Interrupting the flow of ideas Failing to address important concepts Goal of using the technology isn t clear to the instructor or the students Overused so it becomes boring or a chore Decide the goal of ARS Is it a testing tool? Is it a cartoon? Is it used to hold students accountable for something? Attendance Reading assignments Is it a learning assessment tool? Is it a teaching tool? Other helpful hints: Start with low stakes: High stakes use is likely to make students dislike using ARS technology in any setting. Have a back up plan in case the technology fails Make sure to declare if your questions are similar or NOT similar to your tests!!! Ask if ARS is helping by polling at the end of a lecture where you use it!

13 Did this session meet your expectations? A. Yes B. Sort of yes C. Sort of no D. No Thanks Questions? Comments

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