What is HAND RAISE?
HAND RAISE is a tool for the ASSISTments system that allows students to raise their hand virtually in class. Using a computer-based intervention, HAND RAISE provides teachers with a set of tools to augment their ability to pay attention to students in their class, specifically directing them to attend to students who would benefit most from assistance. The HAND-RAISE Intervention will also help students develop the skill set required to articulate questions while building their confidence and providing opportunities to engage in peer support.
Why HAND RAISE?
HAND-RAISE, from the perspective of the student, provides a means of asking a question to be answered by the teacher or a peer. Students with low confidence may be unwilling to physically raise their hands to ask questions as it may draw unwanted attention, but the HAND-RAISE tool allows students to do so in a more comfortable manner. The student can simply click the HAND-RAISE button from the ASSISTments tutor, which then requires that student to articulate a question. This prompt not only helps the teacher address the student's question, but it also helps the students develop the skill set to articulate questions when the material is confusing or difficult.
HAND RAISE and STEM
Students often refuse to raise their hands in class due to a lack of confidence, math anxiety, or a diminished feeling of belonging with relation to their peers. We believe that these aspects align directly with the most prominent documented causes of decline of interest and participation in STEM-related subjects and, later, careers. We do not suggest that our proposed intervention will renew lost interest in STEM. Instead, we hope that our tool preempts the decline by maintaining students’ interest over the course of critical school years by focusing on facilitating higher student engagement and fostering high quality student-teacher interactions within the classroom.