Students Writing Clicker Questions

Eric Tremblay recently blogged about his plans to have his students write clicker questions for him to use during class.  He’s not lazy; he wants his students to think about the material in his course and possible misunderstandings of that material.  Student questions will be posted in a class forum, and he’ll select one or more each week to use in class.  Students earn participation credit for posting questions and triple credit when their questions are the ones selected.

Having students write exam questions as a way of preparing them to take exams is a time-honored teaching strategy, but I have only lately heard of instructors like Eric having students craft clicker questions as a way to have them engage with course material.  Writing clicker questions is difficult, but that’s due in part to the difficulty of predicting student misunderstandings, which is required for constructing good wrong answer choices.  I wonder if students might be better able to identify potential misunderstandings since they are not experts in their fields and are thus closer, in a sense, to those misunderstandings.

This idea of having students write clicker questions came up a few times at the recent Joint Mathematics Meetings I attended.  Have you tried this?  I would be interested in hearing how this plays out.

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