Clicking into success
Published: Monday, May 7, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2012 13:05
A radio frequency classroom response system known as the i<Clicker promotes hands on learning for unenthusiastic students and provides immediate feedback for CSM professors.
The Macmillan company first acquired the i<Clicker in 2005 and since then has been implemented at more than 900
educational institutions and used by almost 1.5 million students. The i<Clicker is distributed throughout Canada, Mexico, Argentina and the United States, said Shaline Ferguson, i<Clicker sales representative.“They (teachers) are 100 percent behind clickers in general.
The technology gets students involved and enforces critical thinking as well as peer discussion,” said Ferguson, “There are between six and seven different response systems, but the i<Clicker is the most simple.”The immediate feedback that comes with the use of the clickers aids professors in observing how much students understand the material and what they should revisit as a class.
There has been a ten percent increase in students’ grades since implementing clickers in conjunction with online homework, said CSM physics professor Mohsen Janatpour. The use of clickers is a good way to actively participate in class and keep students interested during lectures, said geology student Brandon Kern, 19.
In addition, students get bonus points towards as part of their participation grade for questions answered correctly.
“It is especially useful in big lecture halls to keep students engaged,” said professor Linda Hand who has
used the clickers for the first time this semester in three of her classes.The i<Clicker can be bought at
the campus bookstore for $50 or rented each semester for $16. “It’s a tad pricey for how rarely we use it,” said Kern.
“We use it once or twice a week for ten minutes at most, but I think it’s helpful and a good way to get
students to participate.”
A potential hindrance to professors is when students forget to bring their clickers. Also they will stop working occasionally after two or three questions and disrtupte the lecture, said Hand.“Overall, my class likes it except
for one student,” said Janatpour.