increase active student response


22 students in an elementary classroom


Students are given individual response cards/materials to hold up as the answer to a question given by the teacher. Students are required to answer as a group. Each student is given his/her own set of response cards/materials. Response cards can take on many forms that include preprinted cards, write on cards, and dry erase boards. Response cards can be preprinted with answers according to subject, yes/no responses, and true/false responses depending upon the desired response in relation to the subject being taught. The students can also record their answers on a write-on materials such as blank cards or dry erase boards. For example, a teacher says "What is 5 x 7?" Each student will write his/her response on their card or dry erase board and hold up their response card for the teacher to see.


The write on cards, when compared to hand raising, showed a 21.8 times more response to teacher posed questions per 30 minute lesson compared to a 1.5 responses per 30 minute lesson when individual students were called upon to answer teacher posed questions. Based on the results of this study, if a teacher used response cards he/she would increase student active responses during a 30 minute time period to 3,700 additional academic responses per year. Students also scored higher on next day quizzes and two week review tests when response cards were used.


Heward, W. L., Gardener, R. III, Cavanaugh, R. A. , Courson, F. H., Grossi, T. A., & Barbetta, P. M. (1996). Everyone participates in this class: Using response cards to increase active student response. The Council for Exceptional Children Winter 1996. 4-10.


Marcia McMurray, ETSU