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ConcepTests; Voting; Clickers; Active learning


Classroom voting is a technique that involves students more deeply in the lesson being presented--the more the students are involved, the more they will understand, and the more they will retain. The key idea behind classroom voting is a series of multiple-choice questions within a lesson plan which is provided by the instructor. After each question is posed, the students are given a few minutes to work through the problem, to form an opinion, and then discuss the question in small groups before all the students vote on the right answer. After the vote, the instructor can call on various students, asking them to explain their vote and the reasoning behind their conclusion. These small group discussions can be very powerful for several reasons: The students learn from their peers, who understand the common mistakes that may no longer be obvious to the instructor. Students learn to "talk math" with each other on a regular basis, verbally expressing their own mathematical reasoning, and learning to evaluate the reasoning of others. Votes are recorded individually, so there is a real motivation for each student to determine the right answer, and not just copy the votes of their peers. Note: The Project MathQUEST website (http://mathquest.carroll.edu) contains a library of over 300 ConcepTests for differential equations. Each question has accompanying teacher's comments, as well as past voting statistics, showing the results that this question produced from different classes in the past.



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