Opportunities to Respond (OTR)

Response Cards

(Taken from http://www.interventioncentral.org/index.php/general-academic/89-group-response-techniques)

Truefalse.jpg Students can respond as a group by displaying 'response cards' which display their answers to a teacher question or academic problem. Two response-card formats may be used: (1) cards with pre-printed response choices (e.g., YES/NO; True/False, a,b,c, & d; 1,2,3, & 4) and (2) cards/whiteboards/chalkboards on which students write their responses.

Irrespective of the type of card format used, the teacher should introduce response cards by explaining and demonstrating their use and letting students practice the response procedure until they are proficient in using the cards. The instructor should maintain a quick, lively pace through the lesson, providing clear clues about when the students should hold up or put down their cards. Some students will inevitably offer an incorrect answer; the instructor should simply focus on, and provide feedback for, the majority response.

If pre-printed response cards are used, the instructor will have the best results if the cards contain items that are clearly legible from the front of the room, are designed to be easy for Dry erase spinners.jpgstudents to manipulate and display to the teacher, and have sufficiently few items to prevent students from becoming confused. (Additional items or cards can be added to the class's routine as students master the use of the cards.)

dry erase set.jpg If write-on response cards are used, it is best to limit responses to 1 to 2 words if possible. Students may shy away from writing, or be slowed down, by problems with spelling. Among useful strategies to reduce spelling difficulties, the instructor could:


Self-recording_chart_for_teacher.png Teachers can see for themselves the relationship between providing opportunities to respond for students and student achievement. First consider, keeping a baseline of what your normal practice was; then use different models of opportunities to respond and keep data for 15 minutes on the number of student responses you received using this method. (A sample is provided here).

(The chart was taken from Moore- Partin, Robertson, Maggin, Oliver, & Wehby, 2010).


Visit this link for an excellent presentation by Dr. Melissa Jones on how to use Opportunities to Respond to improve behavior and learning.

What the research says (in a nutshell): When teachers increase the rates of opportunities to respond, student on-task behavior and correct responses increase, while student disruptive behavior decrease.