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English Manual

5 Preparing clicker questions

Organisational/technical preparation

To ensure that everything runs smoothly please see the following points:

  • During the course students should select the new “ETH 5” network (if displayed).
  • Students may also use the mobile internet.
  • Inform your students that you will be using the EduApp in your lectures. It is an advantage if they already have the iOS or Android application installed on their smartphones, ready to run. They can also participate via web application at www.eduapp.ethz.ch.

Provide the following information by email:

  • Students should download the app in advance (instead of during the lecture). It may be found in GooglePlay/Appstore under ETH Zürich edu.
  • In the auditorium they should use the ETH-5 network where possible.
  • Android 4.x / iOS 9 are no longer supported.
  • Students should start up the EduApp before the lecture: the personal timetable will be downloaded.
  • Current questions always appear under “Dashboard”.
  • Lectures (type V) delivered by the same lecturer(s) simultaneously in different rooms will be merged automatically. Here a clicker question is only linked to one room, but it is still visible in all rooms, and students in all rooms can answer it.

Using clicker questions during class supports several useful student activities.

Cognitive activities

  • Sustain attention throughout lecture
  • Stimulate intellectual participation, comprehension of thought processes
  • Sustain and build motivation
  • Increase own interest in theme
  • Increase motivation to perform

Social activities

  • Collaboration and exchange among students (in the answering of questions)

Lecturer feedback to students

  • About lack of previous knowledge (what work needs to be done)
  • About any misconceptions regarding theory, problems, approaches, etc.

Student feedback to lecturer

  • About unclear lecture sequences
  • About problems of understanding


How do I want to use clicker questions in my teaching?

Consider how you would like to deploy clicker questions in your teaching.


  • Ask a question about students’ backgrounds or opinions.
  • Call up previous knowledge.
  • Ask a question about the content of the last lecture or the literature read.
  • Mention something from the last lecture and ask students to name the concept that was most difficult to understand.
  • Ask a question which is significant for coming material.
  • Conduct a small survey which prepares students for coming material.
  • Ask a question about a new topic in your course and start a discussion to introduce the topic.

During the lecture

  • Ask a subject-related question about the content covered during the last 15 minutes. For you this helps to verify student understanding, and it helps students to check their own understanding.
  • Idea: Display possible answers after a pause for students to reflect. Questions which inspire discussion or further reflection are ideally addressed in peer discussions. Here a good method is to pose multiple-choice questions (e.g. loaded questions) to stimulate peer discussion.
    • Ask a challenging question and let students discuss it before having them submit an answer.
    • Students express opinions regarding various statements which are neither true nor false. Representatives of the various opinions give brief reasons for their choices.
    • Ask a question for students to answer alone.
    • Have the students discuss the question and then answer it again (to do this simply pose it again). If you want to see the result changing select the live view. For the second round you may also use a copy of the first question. Then you may compare the answers of the two rounds.
    • Finally, discuss the results.

Interactive teaching

  • While you are depicting/solving a problem on the board, ask students what the next step should be.
  • Use clicker questions to predict the results of a demonstration, experiment, simulation, video etc.
  • Conduct a survey and use the results.
  • Ask a question which requires the application of a concept in a new context, and ask about the consequences.
  • As students how various visual representations (graphs, mathematics etc.) are connected.

At the end of the lecture

  • From a list, ask students which lecture topic was the most difficult (“the muddiest point”).
  • For this, use a clicker question with text answers.
  • Idea: Only create the list at the end.
  • Ask a general evaluation question (tempo, intelligibility).

After the lecture

  • Ask further questions in Moodle on the same themes, as exercise material. You can also export clicker questions to your Moodle course.




How to EduApp Copyright © by Marinka Valkering (LET). All Rights Reserved.

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