NPR’s All Things Considered radio program this week aired an excellent segment about the use of student response systems (Clickers) in the classroom, even mentioning the supported clicker used here at Chico State. There’s ongoing discussion here and certainly at other universities about whether these devices provide an educational advantage to the students and faculty using them, and if the more than $50 cost of a clicker is justified by these results in the current economic climate. One conclusion that is emphasized in the reporting and reinforced in many of the comments on the NPR web site is that effective use of the clickers requires that the instructor invest time into integrating the clicker with the curriculum to achieve a desired outcome, such as greater engagement or realtime feedback.
Read or listen to the 8 minute NPR podcast and think about how you could use, or make better use, of the clicker technology in your own classroom.
The NPR story comments are also insightful, including one from Derek Bruff who writes an excellent blog about teaching with clickers; it appears he also has a book on the subject that was came out last month. Book-in-common for clicker-users?