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SMART Response

Page history last edited by crathsack@... 9 years, 11 months ago

10+ Best Practices for Using SMART Response with High School Students

 Presented February 13, 2012

Quick Link to this page: http://tiny.cc/OETC2012smartresponse 

at eTech's Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC)
(Columbus, OH)

by C.Rathsack



Learn more about our Project T.E.S.S. grant funded by eTech Ohio's

Teacher Planning Grant for 2011-12 school year.

10+ Best Practices for Using SMART Response with High School Students

1.  Formative Assessment - on the fly, or ungraded, anonymous, feedback, opinion, Likert, reflection, etc.
2.  Tap into Prior Knowledge – uncover misconceptions and address them early & often
3.  Discussion Starters – see what the class thinks/feels, then discuss
4.  Summative Assessment – save time grading multiple-choice responses; HW checks, quizzes, tests
5.  Withhold the Answer – don’t mark correct answer… let students debate it out, Think-Pair-Share-Vote again
6.  Anonymous Responding – choose anonymous or swap remotes when ask question
7.  Color Coded Questions – for opinion, feedback, or graded responses (so they know)
8.  Fastest (correct) responder(s) – find out which student (or group) answered correctly first
9.  Data Galore! – from graphs on each question slide to more detailed tracking student progress/performance over time; compare with class average or self
10.  Formatting Questions – add backgrounds, images, and/or change text color or size


PDF Guides / Help Sheets / Video Tutorials







Tips from Rossford H.S. Teachers:



Work is graded instantly

Have opportunity for immediate feedback and helps discussions go more in-depth

Save each class individually so you can see how individuals did on each question

Students like the immediate feedback.

Students like using/holding the clicker.

If you have a test generator, you may use it to upload questions into the program and those selected questions will appear as a quiz, with answers provided. VERY convenient.

YouTube has tutorials on SMART Response.

Remotes are “sturdy”/well-built



Entire process is not intuitive… takes practice!

SMART Response cannot award partial credit; still need access to paper for exam review

Crashes a lot on the Mac side (3-4 yr old laptop)

It is somewhat awkward entering questions into the program (not fast/quick)

Without practice it can make a teacher look unprepared.

50 remotes (PE type) are maximum that can be used (other systems allow much more)

Remotes are “bulky” (but that can be an advantage, too!)

Need to watch for wandering eyes still!

It is great to be interactive but relying too much on the technology can be very dangerous to your lesson

Takes practice to get the hang of it

When downloading from Smart Exchange, MOST will not be grouped into one quiz (for a multiple question quiz.)  You will have to “start” every question. (check each one you download


Tips / Advice

Team up with a colleague and teach together, you can learn a lot

When all else fails, ask students—they’ve watched enough other teachers they can probably help

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Set aside time to build questions daily.  Even if you can only enter three or four questions per day you can make progress and can build a pretty sizable bank of questions over time.

Don’t be afraid to ask the students for technical help.  They may have been exposed to the problem before and be able to dispense advice.

Upload questions from ExamView test generator for a quick quiz.

For graded assignments/quiz/test, consider giving students a paper version, start the assessment, and don’t use the projector

Freeze screen (with projector remote) to look at students’ progress and see who has not yet responded.

Save then discuss, if you don’t want answers changed.

Go on YouTube to find videos on things you want to know how to do

Create a bank of questions by making a few questions everyday rather then test to test.

Do a full run-thru/practice run: take the test ahead of time to make sure that it is plausible.

Make sure that everything is ready to go prior to starting is vital.  Make sure everything is plugged in and ready to go.

Practice test ahead of time.

Have a back-up plan.

When all else fails, ask the students.

Set up everything for the use ahead of time.  Have all connections made ahead so that your students aren’t distracted.

Use a variety of questions and pull in pictures to add interest into your quiz. 

Save discussions until the end.

Save after each class quiz… lets you see individual work


The following table summarizes the most common uses of clickers in the classroom
—> pedagogically sound “H.O.T.S.” and misdirected, but well-intentioned “NOT.S.”



(Higher Order Thinking Skills) 


(NO Thinking Skills) 

Breaking Out: Mix up questions with lecture, activities, and discussion for reinforcement and to keep the mind engaged. Using clickers ALSO for attendance is fine, especially if it saves more time to ask more questions!


Attendance Ally: “I’m only using clickers to take attendance.” Clicker benefits are in formative feedback (and there are much less expensive ways to take attendance).


Movin’ On Up: Focus on a variety of questions, especially application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (e.g. ask for an opinion, then have students discuss/debate and re-vote… see below).


Factoid-Folly: Questions focus only on memorization skills (Bloom’s: knowledge and comprehension levels) rather than higher, critical thinking levels.


On the Fly: Create questions based on student responses or a new thought; have students work in pairs/groups to come up with questions during or out of class time and present it themselves.


On A Whim: Using clickers randomly or only for certain kinds of questions or topics – this doesn’t allow for the full range of educational benefits from this feedback system for students or the instructor.


Reflection Beyond Mirrors: Encourage students to analyze their own learning and understandings – in relation to the “correct” answers as well as to other student responses. Providing opportunities for them to “learn how to learn” is one of the most valuable outcomes of any course.


Analysis-Free: Repeatedly using clickers without examining student data and response patterns doesn’t lead to instructor reflection for improvement– questions that come from data could be: Should I review that section/concept? Why does Jimmy always answer “A” to every question, etc.


Think-Pair-Vote-Share: First ask a question, students should write down their thoughts, then pair with another student (or group). Next, as a pair (with one clicker) or as a whole class, students respond then share reasons for each choice before the answer is given.


Captured Soloists: Students respond alone rather than discussing with a peer or several others. Allow them opportunities to discuss concepts, share understandings, and challenge/broaden their thinking.


Off-Balance Learning: Keep students away from redundancy and repetition; vary the types of questions, response times, activities, and response options (show answer or percentages, or not) to keep them engaged in your message. Be sure to do so with a specific purpose, such as, “I am not going to show the answer because I want you to discuss this in groups to determine what it is.”


Answers-Only Learning: Some students may not prepare for class or try to think of the right answer – they are just waiting for the “smart” people (or “wisdom of crowds”) to provide the answer. Vary questions so that some do not have one right answer, provide time for pairs/groups to discuss answers before responding, and vary the use of showing the correct answer or student response counts.


Ask-Discuss-Ask Again: Using any type of question, especially those with few correct responses, after their responses, re-teach the concept (with activities, labs, research, lecture, readings, etc.) then ask the same question again. This can be done in the same class session or next.

Ask-Discuss-Ad-Nauseum: To use this strategy often is to remove the motivation to answer as accurately as possible the first time. Students will soon discover that they can quickly divert the flow of class with tawdry responses and drawn-out discussions.













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