Documentation:Clickers/Points for Questions

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Q: How many points should I make i>clicker questions worth?

A: There is not a definitive answer to this question. Users (and recent academic literature) indicate that clickers are most effective when they are associated with "nominal" points, but not "too many" points. You need to assign enough credit so that students are motivated to bring their remotes to class and to hopefully think about the question being asked. Remarkably, a small number of points (less than 10% of the course grade) is often enough to motivate students to participate in class using their i>clicker remotes.

Many experienced clicker users discourage colleagues from assigning a lot of points to clicker questions, especially in large, introductory or survey courses. When clicker questions carry too much point value, the clicker becomes one more tool the student fears, and they are less likely to give an honest answer because they fear they will lose too many points. It can also encourage cheating.

Truth be told, though, it all depends on how you structure your course, your points, and your overall course goals. We also have a number of happy i>clicker users who weigh clicker questions heavily, but do so as part of a small group approach for courses with 20-30 juniors and seniors working in teams. For more information on this topic and to discuss your ideas with others, please visit the user community area at www.iclicker.com for faculty-generated best practices and case studies.