Session S21a (Monday, 9:30am, Thomas 118)

P146: Audience response systems ("clickers"): Lessons learned the hard way!

Jack F. McKenna (St. Cloud State University, USA)

Audience response systems have grown in popularity since their infancy in the 1980s and widespread introduction in the 1990s.  However, the initial use of clickers has not grown as fast as it might have been anticipated because of technical and logistical issues surrounding their use.  Additionally, the adoption of different (incompatible) systems on the same campus has given rise to additional problems.  As the technology has improved with each succeeding generation, their capabilities and reliability have improved concomitantly.

The original decision to use clickers for a preparatory chemistry class was made hoping that assessment of student learning in ‘real-time’ would afford the opportunity for modification of the presentation of information during class ‘on the fly’ rather than during the next lecture period.  Additionally, the opportunity to monitor student attendance was a factor in the adoption decision.

The use of clickers in a general chemistry 2 class and the results, both anticipated and unanticipated, will be discussed.


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