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Clickers in the Classroom

What are clickers?

In a classroom setting, clickers are the wireless remote transmitters students use to answer questions posed by faculty during a PowerPoint presentation. A student can use a clicker to respond individually or as a member of a group.

Clickers are part of an Audience Response System (ARS) which includes the software and hardware necessary to create questions and collect responses from audience members. At BCC, we adopted TurningPoint, an audience response system (ARS) developed by Turning Technologies.


Why use clickers?
According to the Center for Education Research and Evaluation at Colombia University’s Medical Center:

Research has shown that the ARS can substantially improve the effectiveness of learning and retention of concepts presented in lectures. (Copeland et al, 1998; Shackow et al, 2003; Stein, 2003; Gagnon and Thivierge, 1997; Blandford and Lockyer, 1995). The ARS transforms lectures into stimulating, active learning experiences. Students interact, give immediate feedback through wireless keypads, and their responses to questions (presented in PowerPoint) are displayed graphically within seconds.

The clickers, as part of an Audience Response System, can be used to:

  • Help monitor student understanding of material covered in a lecture
  • Expose and clarify student’s misconceptions
  • Promote interactivity and discussion in large group case-based learning
  • Elicit and discuss diverse points of view when there is no correct answer (e.g. ethics)
  • Test whether students complete assigned reading
  • Conduct quizzes, exams, and surveys
  • Take attendance
  • Provide immediate feedback on the value of the learning session
  • Facilitate “peer instruction”

Who is using it?

Here are some of the colleges and universities across the country which adopted TurningPoint clicker technology for classroom instruction:

Send your comments or suggestions to cit@bergen.edu.


References:
Blandford L, Locker J. 1995. Audience response systems and touch pad technology: Their Role in CME. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 15: 52-57. 

Copeland HL, Stoller JK, Hewson AG, and Longworth DL. 1998. Making the continuing medical education lecture effective. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 18: 227-234. 

Gagnon RJ, Thivierge R. 1997. Evaluating touch pad technology. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 17: 20-26.

Shackow TE, Chavez M, Loya L, Friedman M. 2003. Audience response system: effect on learning in family practice residents. Abstract presentation AAMC annual meeting, Philadelphia, 2003.

Stein T. 2003. Active participation and integration during lecture? Assessment of an Audience Response System in lecture format teaching. Abstract presented at AAMC annual meeting, Philadelphia, 2003.