Clickers encourage student participation during class

Jennifer Shore

Mandy Lawman, training specialist from Turning Technologies, LLC, held a workshop for professors yesterday to teach them how to utilize clickers in the classroom for student benefit.

“What I found is that the students, in general, are more engaged during the class and the constant interaction with the lecture as opposed to just sitting there and taking notes,” Lawman said.

Sociology professor David Purcell has been teaching at Kent State for three years, and this is the first time he made the $45 ResponseCard XR clicker a requirement for one of his classes.

In Purcell’s Introduction to Sociology class, he said he polls students for sociological demonstrations relating to what he will be teaching. He said that asking questions and getting students involved spurred in-class discussion.

“The biggest complaint that students tend to have with (in class quizzes is) when the professors say ‘Oh OK, that’s nice, only 20 percent of you got it right’ and then (they) just move on anyway,” Lawman said.

Purcell said he uses the clickers in every class to help students learn and get them talking.

“I’ll do a lecture and say, given this scenario, what would be the right answer? Sometimes there is no right answer, but I want them to argue for their choice,” Purcell said.

Purcell said he issued a midterm evaluation and he came to the conclusion that 75 percent of students are enthusiastic about using the clickers, 15 percent are indifferent and less than 10 percent hate them.

Sophomore accounting major Jessica White said she has been using clickers since her freshman year. White said one of her professors used the clickers to survey how students were doing to find out if he needed to review some of the material.

“(Professors) can get a lot more information into the class in a shorter period of time,” White said.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Jennifer Shore

at [email protected].