AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 21 Astronomy Education Research
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Hanover Hall

[Previous] | [Session 21] | [Next]

[21.03] Exploring the Universe with TV Remotes: Cooperative Quizzes via the Classroom Performance System (CPS) in AY101

G. Byrd, S. Coleman, C. Werneth (Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa)

Our AY101 course has large enrollments. There are the usual attendance problems with students putting off studying until just before major exams, with predictable consequences. We (myself, faculty, Werneth, grad student, and Coleman, undergrad) describe our experience with one strategy to actively involve students: cooperatively answering quiz questions. We tried a solution during our May 2002 Interim term. Classes of three hours/day over three weeks make mid-class breaks essential! Before breaks, we presented a short multiple choice, open book/note quiz answered after break. Quizzes could increase grades, e.g. A- to an A, without excessively diluting importance of closed-book major exams. Comparing Interim 2002 final exams to Interim 2001, the average was 80%, much better than the 2001 class’s 57%. The 2002 students interacted with one another more. Attendance was over 90%. During a regular semester, handing out and taking up papers would take up much time during the more frequent and larger classes. It’s more interesting if students vote for different answers together then revealing the correct answer. Toward these ends, I obtained a grant for a “Classroom Performance System,” a computer receiver unit, 128 ``TV remote” response pads and software for creating quizzes. Spring 2003, three teachers tried out the system in a trial fashion. To compare, we used the system during Interim 2003. Ease of giving quizzes and grading permitted a shorter 5 question quiz during break with another at class end totaling of 27 quizzes (almost one/day for a regular semester’s Tuesday/Thursday class). Improvement was maintained with a slight 3 % increase. We used the CPS for events such as the recent Mars close approach. Kids of all ages like to check their understanding with a few questions. We created a web site where the students can interactively review questions and other materials, http://ay101.garnetsigma.com/index.html

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://ay101.garnetsigma.com/index.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: byrd@possum.astr.ua.edu

[Previous] | [Session 21] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.