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Interactive learning - it's just a click away

Published: 2010-04-09

Instructors interested in engaging students are using Student Response Systems or clickers in the classroom to help them gauge comprehension of concepts, poll students’ opinions, and allow for instant feedback.

Response Clickers
Clickers are an interactive technology that allows instructors to easily ask questions, receive student answers and display survey results electronically.

The Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) has piloted the use of clicker technology in a variety of formats in both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Bonnie Schroeder, senior lecturer in the Department of Management Sciences, uses the clickers in her Business Statistics course in conjunction with PowerPoint slides. She surveyed her class at the end of fall quarter and one of her students shared that, “It was helpful because it helped me realize what I knew and didn’t know and what I needed to review further.”

Bonnie is currently using the clickers in a 65-student classroom but hopes to use them in the large lecture hall in 105 Schoenbaum Hall to improve interaction with her students and engage them with the content in a new way.

David Schilling, professor of Management Sciences, had his MBA students use the Web-based version of the student response system, called Responseware. In this case rather than using physical clickers, students used their laptops to record responses to his questions.

Regardless of the method, both instructors are able to immediately see their students’ aggregated responses in a chart and know what percentage correctly grasped course material. The results can be linked to individual students, or they can be submitted anonymously depending on how each instructor wants to collect results.

Additional classes using this technology are scheduled for spring quarter to provide further feedback on how these tools can be used to improve student engagement. Instructors can review the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative article “7 things you should know about Clickers” or contact the ITS Helpdesk for more information.

Several workshops are scheduled to help instructors use the new technology, including a full-day session on Wednesday, May 19 as part of the INNOVATE! eLearning conference.