Saturday, March 19, 2011

Effects of response cards on student participation and academic achievement: A systematic replication with inner-city students during whole-class scie

Gardner, R, , Initials, & Grossi, T. (1994). Effects of response cards on student participation and academic achievement: a systematic replication with inner-city students during whole-class science instruction. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 27(1), 63-71.

This very informative journal article focuses on a study conducted to determine the importance of asking students to write a response to a question on a board versus having students raise their hands in response to the same question. The study conducted in an inner-city school took place with a sampling of 5th grade students. The method used in the study had students wrote their responses on a small board which they would then hold up in response to a posed question. Gardner explains that in the study, which was conducted using 22 students, he found that the increase in active student responses was as much as 14 times higher when he utilized the white board method. The ability for students to retain information was also significantly increased with students improving dramatically on next day assessments as well as on 2 week review tests. While these figures are impressive I suspect that the small test sampling if enlarged would produce less impressive statistics.

Relevant Quotes/Concepts:

“During lessons in which response cards were used, individual students actively responded to 15 times more teacher-posed questions than during lessons in which students raised their hands. In addition, most students scored higher on daily quizzes following lessons with which response cards than on
quizzes following lessons with hand raising” (64).

“The mean quiz score for the 22 students increased from 59% during the first HR session to 70% during the first RC session, decreased to 51% when response cards were withdrawn, and increased again to 70% when response cards were reinstated” (68).

“This study replicated the findings of Narayan et al. (1990) in that response cards increased the frequency of active student response during whole class instruction, improved students' scores on quizzes over the instructed content, and a majority of the students preferred response cards over hand raising”(68).

“We found that not only was improved achievement sustained when the students were quizzed the next
day, but that improved performance on RC-instructed material was maintained on the biweekly review tests. These maintenance effects suggest that response cards might help students to be more successful in their school careers” (69).

Text Sources:

Narayan, J. S., Heward, W. L., Gardner, R., III, Courson, F. H., & Omness, C. (1990). Using response cards to increase student participation in an elementary classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 483-490.

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