Striving toward excellence in large classroom teaching (by Chiu, updated 4/13/04)

(ctalk- homepage is at


Use of CPS at UT:The term CPS stands for the "Classroom Performance System". It is a teaching tool which has been installed in 11 multimedia-classrooms in College of Natural Science on our campus. There is also one installation in College of Liberal Arts at FAC 21. For the use of the system in the past and present semesters see "classdata" in Sec. I.2. Here are several websites for your reference: ( UT-cps- Bulletin("Bn") at the top of our homepage.)


How does it work?What is thebenefit in using the system?


Studentís cost: There is an online registration fee of $12.50 and the cost of a remote is $5.00at UT-Coop, with a sellback of half cost. So the net cost to a student is about $15. During the semester, with this investment the student can enroll in all of his/her classes where CPS-system is in use.This price is by far the lowest available to us in the market. We will continue to work with our vendor to ensure the price UT-students pay remains competitive.


Physics undergrad committee endorsement: The use of CPS-system in physics classrooms and the student cost has been evaluated by the undergraduate committee of the physics department. The committee recognizes the potential merit in using the system in large classroom teaching and endorsed the use of the system in physics classrooms on a voluntary basis.


Is CPS appropriate for your class?


How can one get started to use the system? Please check whether the classroom you will be teaching is equipped with cps-system (see bulletin #4). If it is, you will be able to use the system for sure,for the coming semester.( If it is not, you can still signup, i.e. step 1 below. Please also contact Morrie Schulman of Center of Instructional Technology, through email:

1)       Sign up to use the system. (Sec. I.2)

2)       Attend one-hour orientation session: It usually occurs near beginning of the semester. We will announce the time and the location to all users who have signed up. ††

3)       Firstday of class: Announce the use of CPS. Distribute student instruction. Leave student's questions to Tech-support.

4)       During a class: Setup the response board (2clickes).Q/A cycles (4clicks).To end (2clicks)

5)       During the semester, check online posting for student attendance/participation records (Sec. II)

6)       End of the semester: participate class survey (optional).

The most important aspect in using CPS is thatthe instructor needs to work on incorporating interactive teaching strategy into his/her lesson plan. Through class observations and workshops, CIT and CTE plan to work with instructors to identify different pedagogies in interactive teaching; also to compile and further develop nuances in this approach .