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Use of Classroom Response Systems for Formative Assessment in Natural Resource Courses

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Classroom response systems, i.e., clickers, increase student engagement and participation during class. Although they have many uses, clickers are particularly useful for encouraging student discussion and for formative assessment of student understanding. Clickers enable the instructor to rapidly gauge student understanding of the class topic and move discussion to points where students are having trouble. They also enable instructors to probe for common misconceptions about concepts, stimulate discussion concerning these misconceptions, and stimulate critical thinking in students in the process. I discuss my approach to using clickers for formative assessment and provide suggestions for effective use of clickers in the natural resource classroom.

Keywords: classroom response system; formative assessment; peer instruction; question-driven instruction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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