Professor Andrew Petto has over six years of experience using student response systems in his introductory anatomy and physiology course at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. After just one term using Top Hat, Professor Petto had already declared it “a superior system.” Read on for the 4 distinct ways that Professor Petto uses the tool in his course, followed by 6 differences from other systems he’s used.
It’s easy to tell that Professor Petto has been using student response systems for several years based on the wide array of his uses for Top Hat’s questions module. With over 1,300 students per year in four to five different sections, Professor Petto leverages the technology to connect with each student to gauge anything from content retention to interest in a field trip.
4 ways in which Professor Petto uses Top Hat questions in his course:
1. Daily Assessments: Most regularly, Professor Petto will present a quick quiz to gauge student comprehension. If 70-80% of the class submits the correct answer, he can move on to new material. Professor Petto hits the Reports tab to watch student answers appear in real time. Because of this feature, he can revise questions on the run and keep working with his students until 75-80% of the answers are correct.
2. Exam Review: Professor Petto provides Top Hat questions as practice questions prior to an exam. He will help students prepare for the exam by presenting them with an opportunity to gauge their own understanding of the material.
3. Decision Making: For any decision-making feedback, Professor Petto uses Top Hat to poll his large course to collect student feedback. For example, he will ask his course if they would like more practice identifying cells, if they feel a study session would be helpful, or if they are interested in an opportunity to take a field trip.
4. Class Announcements: For any important class announcements, such as an exam date, Professor Petto creates a Top Hat question and has students submit that they’ve received the information. No more excuses!
Top Hat Difference From Other Student Response Systems:
1. Real Time Submissions: Being able to see answer submissions in real time is a one of the biggest advantages of the Top Hat system, Professor Petto says.
2. Flexible question types: Top Hat provides flexibility in the format types of questions and responses that can be accepted, an improvement from previous student response systems that Professor Petto used in his courses.
3. Collaboration: Professor Petto encourages student collaboration when asking questions in his course; using the student usernames, he will set designated groups and one specific group leader who will submit the collective answer.
4. No Hardware: Before using Top Hat, Professor Petto was held responsible for any issues with hardware. Now, instead of dealing with dead clicker batteries during class, students are coming to class with fully-charged cell phones and laptops.
5. Cost: With previous systems, students were spending $50 to $70 per semester. Using Top Hat, his students are seeing significant savings.
6. Review Mode: Even if a student misses lass, he or she can see the questions that Professor Petto asked when he puts them in Review Mode. A “Lecture Capture” is available, in which students can watch his lectures at their on leisure, and now the review questions are available as well.
As evinced by Professor Petto’s profile, the best part about Top Hat is the flexibility that the system allows. Professors can use all six modules to engage students, or focus on just one. Ask a sorting question followed by a click-on-target, or simply stick to the multiple-choice format to provide consistency throughout the term. We provide options so that you can choose what best applies to your course.
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