Uses of this technology vary widely and include spicing up standard lecture classes with periodic breaks, assessing student opinions or understanding related to lecture, increasing the degree of interactivity in large classrooms, conducting experiments on human responses (e.g., in psychology courses), and managing cooperative learning activities. Students and instructors who have used AR systems are generally positive and often enthusiastic about their effects on the classroom, and many researchers and educators assert their great potential for improving student learning (Beatty et al., 2006).
These examples illustrate the powerful potential of clickers not just to reveal but to address student misconceptions as part of formative assessment. This means that rather than simply noting the responses of students, the instructor responds to them and may use them to modify the subsequent direction of the lecture. Not only does this imply that instructors use poor responses as a cue for further explanation, but also that if students demonstrate solid understanding of a topic, it is unnecessary to lecture further on it. This approach does entail some amount of thinking on one's feet and planning lectures for contingencies, but instructors who take this approach regularly offer assurance that it becomes easier with practice (Beatty, 2004).
Generally the use of clickers either improves or does not harm exam scores (Knight and Wood, 2005). There are so far no consistent factors in clicker-using courses that correlate with increased exam scores: the style of teaching varies, as does the presence or absence of peer-learning activities (Simpson and Oliver, 2006).
Increased attendance resulting from clicker use. Data compares different sections of a nonmajors introductory biology course taught by the author at the same time of day, one year apart, at WVU. Blue bars indicate attendance data collected using exam attendance and periodic quizzes on index cards during spring 2004. Yellow bars indicate attendance data collected with clickers one year later, during spring 2005. Without clickers, attendance fluctuated widely (A), with high attendance generally limited to exam days. With clickers, the attendance figures were much more uniform and significantly higher (by 20% or more) on nonexam days (B). Error bars, SD. This was not a precisely controlled study; during 2005 a different textbook was used. Each course enrolled a maximum of 250 students (Caldwell, unpublished observations).
Students in an introductory nonmajors freshman biology course at WVU (as in Figure 1) evaluated clickers as part of standardized course evaluations. Students who did not respond to this question totaled to 1.6%. The instructor was not present during the evaluation, and students were reminded that their responses would not be given to the instructor until after final course grades were submitted. The response by 125 students is 77% of the total enrollment (Caldwell, unpublished observations).
Although much research remains to be done to elucidate the reasons why clickers are effective, they do seem to enhance students' active learning, participation, and enjoyment of classes. When used during lectures, clickers have either neutral or positive effects and a more strongly positive effect on learning outcomes when combined with peer or cooperative learning. They increase attendance and retention and can be used to promote student accountability. They simulate a one-to-many dialogue and make it easier for both instructors and students to receive prompt feedback.
I gratefully acknowledges the support of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU, who purchased clickers and gave financial support during my initial implementation of clickers in General Biology classes for nonmajors. I am also grateful for the financial support of the WVU Office of the Provost, which provided summer salary for the production of this literature review and has now supported the implementation of radiofrequency clickers at WVU. Jeremy Zelkowski, Melanie Butler, and Michael Mays of the WVU Department of Mathematics, as well as Catherine Merovich and James McGraw of the WVU Department of Biology, are all thanked for stimulating discussions and their willingness to share data and observations for this report.
New users should read through the training guide in its entirety. (If the steps seem overwhelming, remember that you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for training.) Use the links at the bottom of each page to progress to the next topic.
Student response systems use clickers or other devices to record responses, collect data, and provide feedback. The clicker software rides on top of common presentation formats such as PowerPoint, Keynote, PDFs, and Word, collecting responses when appropriate. Student responses and scores can be exported to a data file for use in Excel, Notepad, or Word, and can be imported into programs such as the Canvas learning management system.
UC San Diego faculty and Educational Technology Services (ETS) have adopted the iClicker student response system as the campus standard. It is highly recommended that faculty use iClicker so students do not have to purchase multiple products. With physical clickers, students will register their remote on the Canvas website unless otherwise directed by their instructor.
With physical clickers, students will register their remote on the Canvas website unless otherwise informed by their instructor. For iClicker Student, students register in the iClicker Student mobile application software on whatever device they are using. They will need to add their student ID and select iClicker Classic when prompted to choose which version of iClicker is used on our campus.
1. small handsets that students use to vote on a multiple-choice survey or quiz question projected in the classrooms2. a small wireless receiver attached to the classroom computer to collect the responses sent from student handsets. The receiver also includes storage for the students' responses and the3. software that you will need to run. The software displays the question and tabulates student responses, displaying a histogram of the responses when voting has finished.
The purchasing model of clickers has changed. Students who already own clickers will need to purchase a license, available through their Turning Account portal, or at the bookstore as a scratch off card. The licenses are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4-year increments and automatically include access to ResponseWare on mobile phones.
Users can create an account by utilizing the same email that was associated with their ResponseWare account to ensure their license transfers over accordingly. Users who had active ResponseWare licenses migrated will now also have access to our account system for the same duration of time. Turning Technologies subscriptions connect all response devices to one account and allow students to register clickers within the account system
Zell said that was the first time she used the clickers in class and not only were there some technical glitches with the clickers themselves, but she admits that she was dipping her toe in the water, using them primarily for attendance and tests.
As far as the cost of the device, Zell said she is working on that. She created a custom textbook this semester that cut $30 from the student cost (to $134 new/$100.50 used), and also made her students aware of an online textbook that is even less expensive at $80. The clickers can be sold back to the bookstore when the semester is over, just like textbooks.
Another way to minimize the pain, Zell said, is to have the university specify one device to be used by all professors. Currently, clickers from three different manufacturers are being used by 10 professors, while the entire chemistry department has standardized on a fourth.
In that class, he said, they did not use the clickers for exams, sticking with Scantrons for that activity. Everything else, said Jahangir, including attendance and participation, was graded based on clicker input.
Responses from physical clickers are captured using a USB receiver, which has a ratio of 1 to 1,000, and an average receiving range of 200 ft. Receivers for larger classrooms are also available. Responses from mobile devices are transmitted over wireless.
Clickers and other classroom response systems used to assess student learning can be seen in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education classrooms today. They are particularly popular in large classrooms where it might be more difficult to engage with many students at once. Probably one of their biggest benefits, as Mazur has written about extensively, are their power to get students to think about and solve problems on the fly in the classroom. Students are provided with near immediate feedback and are also able to discuss their problem solving strategies with other students and with the professor. Instead of passively sitting back through a lecture or feverishly trying to copy everything down from the chalkboard without really thinking, solving problems on the fly in class provides avenues for student learning to happen while being in a comfortable environment.
This all sounds great. And if schools have the resources (or request their students buy physical clickers or a clicker app), it can be relatively straight-forward to get set up with clickers in a classroom and reap the benefits explained above. Unfortunately, physical clickers can malfunction or not work in the classroom which can be a pain for instructional technologists, teachers, and students. If the remote sensor that clickers communicate with is not in the right spot, it can be difficult for some students to log their answers. Additionally, if the clicker app option is used, schools need to ensure that WiFi access is solid in all classrooms that plan to use classroom voting, since student responses will be sent over the Internet.
A study conducted in university classrooms revealed that students were just as likely to respond, and respond correctly, using phones as they were using clickers. One classroom showed slightly fewer correct responses with mobile phones, but final grades remained the same. 781b155fdc