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Articles - Using MOARS in Classrooms
Written by Bill Pellowe   
Monday, 07 June 2010 15:16
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In a previous article, I discussed the workflow of giving a MOARS quiz to students in class. In that scenario, students went though a quiz at their own paces, albeit within a set time limit. In this article, the students are all accessing the same question at the same time. First, I'll go over some reasons why you might want to do this, and then I'll go through the workflow.

Why Lockstep?

You'd want to have all of your students on the same question at the same time if you were giving a quiz or survey that depended heavily on something you were showing them at that very moment on an overhead projector. You could also be asking students the question, or giving them the options, or saying both aloud. The best reason, though, for lockstep is when you're integrating the question/response into your teaching.

Integrating Questions / Responses Into the Lesson

So, during the class, you pause to ask the students a question that goes to the heart of what they're supposed to be learning at the moment. You ask the question, and look at students' results. These results will give you feedback on how much the class understands, and it should inform your next move:

  • If there are many wrong answers, then maybe the class is very confused, and needs to take a step back, or a new approach.
  • If about half or more of the students "get it", then now it's time to put your students into groups to have them explain their answers to other students, a well-explored technique that helps all students: Those who understand will deepen their grasp by articulating it to others and answering their questions; those who don't understand will benefit from a peer explanation.
  • If nearly all of them seem to understand it well, and you can take the next step forward.

Even if this is a question with a right answer, you may want to try this as a survey, so that the class can all see how the answers were distributed. (Remember, surveys don't reveal which answers match with which students.)

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