Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Writing iClicker Polling Questions

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Adding iClicker questions to your lecture deck is an easy process but coming up with content can be challenging. As you work on writing iClicker polling questions, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What higher-order thinking does this iClicker question require? Sometimes we want to know if students simply remember a concept, but we want to use iClicker questions to emphasize skills like analysis and application. Instead of asking a question that only requires a good memory (“What are the three parts of the brain?”), ask questions that require memory as well as higher-order thinking (“What part of Janice’s brain is most active when she reminisces about a walk across a balance beam?”)
  2. What wrong conclusions do my students often come to when faced with this kind of question? Identify the common wrong conclusions students come to and include them as tempting wrong answers in your multiple-choice questions. This gives you the opportunity to address misconceptions directly. It also increases the difficulty level of your questions.
  3. How many of my students are going to get this iClicker question wrong? A good polling question presents a real challenge to your students. No one likes when a game is too easy! This also creates an opportunity for a Think-Pair-Share activity. Ask your students an iClicker question but don’t reveal the correct answer. Instead, display the results and have students work in pairs to try and convince one another of the correct answer. Ask the same polling question again to see how their responses have shifted. This will give students a chance to learn by doing and you the chance to observe their thinking process.
  4. How does this connect to my quizzes and exams? Students find iClicker questions particularly valuable when they can clearly connect their iClicker questions to the questions they’re asked on more formal assessments. Retired assessments can be a great place to find fresh iClicker questions as well.