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A Better Q&A

February 26, 2015

When elementary school teacher Terri Eichholz (of San Antonio, TX) had a guest presentation scheduled for her class, she was worried about balancing the time for students’ questions with the limited time for their guest to give his presentation. She decided to use Socrative, a free student response tool, to create a classroom “back channel,” or a wall to post questions and comments during a presentation instead of interrupting the speaker. The speaker began his presentation, and throughout the class period, with a few scheduled pauses, the students could check off the questions that had already been answered and identify questions they had submitted in common, allowing them to focus on the ones that were unique and had not yet been addressed. Socrative allowed the class to use their time more efficiently – but Terri also noticed that, even though they were typing during the presentation, her students were actually more engaged. The opportunity to freely share comments and questions encouraged them to come up with good ones, and think more critically about the information in the presentation.