Classroom clickers or "student response systems" have become high-demand classroom tools in schools, universities, and training programs across the country.
Research on clicker technology has proven that response systems are not a trend or a fad, but a true instructional technology piece that can change instruction and impact student learning.
How do clickers work?Each student in your class has a wireless handheld response pad, or clicker, with which they are able to answer questions. The teacher poses a question verbally or through the computer onto a projector or television screen, and the students respond with their handheld device.
In addition to making the grading of both formative and summative assessments a snap, the ability to pose verbal questions and receive immediate feedback from students allows the instructor to totally change the dynamics of what might be an otherwise tiresome lecture period.
Why is clicker technology making such an impact on student learning?
Clickers provide true data-driven instruction.After students respond to a question using the response pad, the teacher is able to see immediately how students answer and if they understand the material being taught. This provides data to understand if remediation is needed or if the teacher can forge ahead with new material if it is clear that the students are ready for it.
Clickers engage students and make learning fun.Clicker technology, very similar to the familiar feel of a remote control, is comfortable and fun for students of all ages. The younger generation instinctively knows how this "gadget" works, and the immediate feedback it provides makes learning fun and effective for both young and old.
Clickers involve everyone, embarrass no one.Clicker technology allows every student to answer without the fear of humiliation or negative attention. When using student response systems, every student can share their input without embarrassment rather than allowing one or two eager students to dominate discussions. When discussing controversial topics, students can also answer and voice their opinion behind a cloak of anonymity. Answering anonymously also encourages the audience to be completely honest, providing more accurate surveys and voting situations.
Clickers assess both formatively and summatively.Student response systems offer a wide variety of formative and summative assessment options, including teacher-driven or student-driven. Questions can be posed entirely through the computer for a daily pop quiz, reviews, surveys, or verbal questioning during lectures. With the self-paced testing mode available in some clickers, students can also progress through assessments at their own speed. Students can even take paper tests through the remotes, which saves the instructor prep time and still allows the software to do the grunt work of grading. Although we highly encourage the use of clickers as formative assessment tools, we can’t turn our backs on the benefits provided to teachers bogged down in papers and tests to grade. When clickers are used to grade assessments, teachers have the ability to deliver information to students, parents, principals, other teachers, and district administrators immediately.
Interested in classroom clickers?Browse our Ideas for Teaching with Classroom Clickers!