Recently I mentioned the use of scratch-cards to provide instant feedback for students. Yesterday, a colleague of mine tried it out on a class of 2nd year electronics students, and I sat in to watch.
The most obvious impact was that students talked to each other. We were in a packed room, set-up linearly, so students didn’t face each other – not exactly conducive to conversation – but lots of talking happened. Students instructing students – that’s got to be a good thing.
Interestingly, I noticed that students seemed to fall into two types – the first type was absolutely intent on getting the right answer first time – it didn’t matter how slowly they progressed – they wanted a card with no mistakes on it. The second type was happy to hazard an intelligent guess and scratch away when they didn’t know – and it didn’t bother them that they took four scratches to hit on the correct choice. Does this mean anything? I don’t know – it was just an unscientific bit of observation.
I’ll give scratchies a go in one of my classes very soon.