ConcepTests (clicker questions) for science and math classes
Dwain Desbien and Brant Hinrichs, expert modelers, use ConcepTests by Eric Mazur (at Harvard University) in their college Modeling Instruction. Below are weblinks for ConceptTests in physics, chemistry, earth science, life science, astronomy, computer science, & math. All URLs work as of Sept. 2018. (compiled by Jane Jackson)
ALL SCIENCES & MATH: Carl Wieman’s webpage has many resources.
PHYSICS: ERIC MAZUR’s clicker questions/ConcepTests are at
Interactive Learning Toolkit: http://ilt.seas.harvard.edu
Eric Mazur developed them by using wrong answers to short answer questions on quizzes and tests as his distractors for clicker questions. He did this systematically over the years. He used some from Paul Hewitt.
Interactive Learning Toolkit (ILT). "Administer your courses, design course Web pages, and interact with your students online." "The ILT-BQ software allows to upload ConceptTests prepared within the ILT to BQ and to return the student responses to the ILT for statistical analysis of the data and the tracking of individual student performance."
PHYSICS: Many Next-Time Questions by Paul Hewitt are at
http://www.physicslab.org/Compilations/NextTime.aspx (They are no longer at Arbor Scientific website. Thanks to retired physics teacher Catharine Colwell for compiling them.)
I quote Paul Hewitt:
Next-Time Questions are favorite insightful questions I have asked my students over my teaching career. I have embellished them with cartoons "to catch interest. Their intention is to elicit student thinking. My use of them was posting several in a glass case outside my lecture hall-without answers. The wait-time for answers was one week. I could have called them Next-Week Questions, which would have been more appropriate.
Most of these have been published over the years as Figuring Physics in The Physics Teacher magazine. They have also been in ancillaries to my Conceptual Physics textbooks, and physical science textbooks as well. My hope is that teachers will pose the questions, and withhold answers to "next time," which could be as early as the next class meeting. Their educational value is the long wait time!"
Thanks to modeler Geoff Schmit for posting comments about these, in his blogpost on Sept. 26, 2011: http://pedagoguepadawan.net/date/2011/09/
PHYSICS: Ranking Tasks are a type of clicker question/conceptest. Spiral Physics, a FREE online textbook by Paul D’Alessandris (retired in 2018), has ranking tasks.
Or buy the 2014 book called TIPERS, from Pearson, by Curt Hieggelke, Steve Kanim, David Maloney, and Tom O’Kuma. Or buy their 2000 book, used, called Ranking Tasks. Google it, for the introduction in pdf.
CHEMISTRY (This reference is on Carl Wiemann’s website – above):
Landis, C.R., Ellis, A.B., Lisensky, G.C., Lorenz, J.K., Meeker, K., Wamser, C.C. Chemistry ConcepTests: A Pathway to Interactive Classrooms, Prentice Hall, Inc.
http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/pedagogies.html Click on ConcepTests
LIFE SCIENCE: “Combining Peer Discussion with Instructor Explanation Increases Student Learning from In-Class Concept Questions”: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21364100
For a deeper understanding of how to use ConcepTests effectively:
* Peer Instruction Network is the global community for current and future users of Peer Instruction and related interactive teaching methods. By joining, you can connect with other innovative educators, share experiences and resources, and learn how to transform teaching and learning using research-based methods.
Info & weblinks to “Quick Start Guide”, etc. are at https://www.peerinstruction.net/
Visit the official Peer Instruction blog: “Turn to your Neighbor”: http://blog.peerinstruction.net/
* Peer Instruction is a research-based, interactive teaching method developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University in the 1990s. It has been adopted across the disciplines, institutional types, and throughout the world. Download a 2018 introduction to Peer Instruction in Life Sciences at
Download a guide to Peer Instruction in all sciences (with links to many resources) at
* Learning Catalytics is a classroom response system that was developed by Eric Mazur and his colleague by 2011, to better facilitate and measure learner engagement. Learn about it at