Clickers

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What is it?

A Student Response System (SRS) is a wireless response system that allows faculty to request information and for students to respond by using a small keypad called a “clicker” or any web-enabled mobile device (smart phone, tablet, netbook, etc.), referred to as a mobile clicker.

How does it work?

Hardware clicker signals are sent directly to a receiver plugged into a computer. When presented with a question on-screen, the student presses a button on the keypad or their mobile device. Hardware keypad responses are capture by a USB receiver; mobile device responses are captured on the web and then sent to the same classroom computer. The computer records and/or displays the response per the instructor’s preference.

Why is it significant?

Student Response Systems (SRS) or clickers have the potential to provide the means for introducing active student participation and engagement into lecture classes. Student response system technologies equip the student with a personal response unit, or “clicker”, for answering questions posed by the instructor in class. The potential for transforming traditionally passive large lecture classes into stimulating interactive classes is great. Student response systems can engage the attention of students, make them active participants in their learning, and provide them with immediate feedback on their understanding of material. They also provide faculty with information on students’ understanding of course concepts and the ability to adjust course activities based upon student responses. Class responses can also be used as a prompt for classroom discussion and other activities.

Who is using it on campus?

11,000 students annually, 100+ course sections, 40 instructors in 20 departments, including health sciences, business, nursing, architecture, art, communication, journalism, history, sociology, biology, physics, and more.

What do they think about it?

According to Kaleta and Joosten (2007), “faculty agreed or strongly agreed that there was greater student engagement (93%), participation (87%), and interaction (68%) in class as a result of clicker use…the majority of students also agreed or strongly agreed that the use of clickers made them feel more engaged (69%) in the course, increased class participation (70%), and helped them pay attention in class (67%)” (p. 5).

For more information on the study, please view the ECAR Bulletin publication as a result of our efforts at: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erb0710.pdf or visit our grant project site, which includes faculty and student feedback, faculty development materials, and more at: clickers.uwm.edu.

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