DePaul Teaching & Learning BlogsInstructional Design
Teaching with clickers
Before getting started, make sure your class is fully aware of the use of clickers, familiarize yourself with the technology, and test your equipment. Professor Sandra Virtue of the Department of Psychology has an excellent new users guide .
One common challenge in using clickers is writing effective questions.
Teachers often see clickers as a great way to facilitate peer instruction.
See video demonstrations of clickers in action.
How DePaul faculty are using clickers:
“For me, the most interesting part was watching the data being collected and hypothesizing why students were answering the way they did. It really injected energy and momentum into the classroom (and into me).”
-Alan Burns, College of Computing and Digital Media
Professor Erich C. Dierdorff of the College of Commerce uses clickers in his Commerce courses for polling student opinions, confirming that concepts were comprehended, and linking real world situations to his course topics.
Professor Lori S. Cook of the College of Commerce has incorporated clickers in her classroom making the class more engaging, more effective for review, and for assessment.
DePaul professor Stan Cohn (Biology) tracked test scores and grades for his Cell Biology 250 course over several years, comparing classes that he taught without PowerPoint, with PowerPoint, with PowerPoint and clickers, and with clickers and supplemental instruction. Professor Cohn's data suggest that clickers do positively impact learning - and that students like using them.
How other universities are using clickers:
- Successfully using clickers in the classroom (Tips from Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne; excerpted from Beatty )
Categories of tips:
- Using Appropriate Pedagogy
- Avoiding the Instructor-Centric
- Use question wrap-up
- Engineer questions deliberately
- Best-practice tips (Section of article in Life Sciences Education by Jane Caldwell )
- An instructor's guide to the effective use of personal response systems . A guide on structuring clicker courses under the framework of question, peer discussion, vote, and whole class discussion. From the University of Colorado at Boulder.
- Ideas for how to use clickers with a variety of subjects and tips on writing questions for clicker courses from Ohio State University.
- Review sample syllabi from various disciplines (University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.)