Student Response Systems, or clickers, as they are more commonly called, can promote active learning which many of today’s students prefer. By using clickers to increase student engagement, the classroom becomes a more collaborative environment which increases student involvement. Instructors ask questions using their preferred clicker system, and students respond using their clickers. The instructor is able to display the results so that the class can see the various responses.
Specifically, clickers can be used to:
- Facilitate Class Discussion – Instantly poll students using the clickers and then discuss the reasons for their opinions or misconceptions. Clickers allow you to engage even the most reserved students to everyone in the discussion.
- Guide Lectures – Get immediate feedback during class to determine if students are "getting" the concepts and based on students’ responses to questions, instructors can reinforce a topic if necessary for better comprehension.
- Make Class More Interactive – Most students in today’s technology rich environment expect to use technology, and prefer learning interactively. Use the clickers to engage your students and make your classroom an active learning environment.
- Encourage Peer Instruction – Allow your students to discuss the questions before and after answering them; see if they can sway other students’ opinions.
- Offer Quizzes – Ensure students are prepared for class or gauge their understanding throughout the lecture. Clickers allow you to become more efficient in grading quizzes (they do this automatically, which will encourage your students to be prepared for class.
- Take Attendance / Reduce Tardiness - Quickly record attendance in larger courses and ensure your students arrive to class on-time.
Important Clicker Links
DerkBruff'sBlog: Teaching with Classroom Response Systems
Educausehas created an article http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7002.pdf"7 things you should know about clickers" which provides some good general information about clicker adoption in Higher Education
Are Clickers Right for Your Teaching Style?
If you can answer yes to the following questions, then you might want to consider adopting clickers:
- Is the primary reason you are considering using clickers to enhance interactive teaching and promote an active learning environment that may improve student performance?
- Do you want an "active" classroom environment?
- Are you willing to adjust your lecture based on the student’s responses to clicker questions?
- Are you willing to devote more time than usual to asking questions in class using clickers?
Courses that Benefit most From Clickers
- Larger classes where the size of the room or number of students limits student interaction and feedback
- Team based courses