I am seriously late on this stuff. First, by clickers I mean student response systems. In a previous post, I stated how much I like these things. The basic idea (in case you have never heard of them) is that these are small devices that students in a class have. The instructor (learning facilitator) presents some multiple-choice questions and the students click a button to represent their answer. The summary of the student responses can then be presented to the class.
Big whoop you might say. But it is a big whoop and here is why:
- Technologically and logistically, these are trivial to get started with in a classroom. The price for these things isn’t too terrible. The barrier potential for these things is low.
- This little change in a lecture class can help make a big transition from passive learning (listening to the lecturer) and active learning (students learning by doing stuff).
Although clickers are nice. There are some ways to make them better. Here are some resources from the recent AAPT meeting.
- Ian Beatty’s blog Think Twice has a post with his presentation Key factors in teachers’ success or failure adopting clicker pedagogy
- Stephanie Chasteen has a nice summary of Tom Carter’s presentation on clickers at The Active Class blog
- While we are at it – Stephanie also has some other talks online about clickers and stuff.